Barring an upset by Penn State or (giggle) Rice this week, Notre Dame's choices probably will be 1) the Orange Bowl against the winner of Nebraska-Oklahoma; 2) the Sugar Bowl and either Auburn or LSU; or 3) the Fiesta and either West Virginia or Florida State. Forget a return trip to the Cotton Bowl, where host Arkansas is currently unbeaten but unlikely to stay that way, and therefore unlikely to be ranked high enough to whet the Irish appetite.
Oddly enough, Miami may have a hard time finding a bowl berth—and not because of its black-hat reputation. The Fiesta and Orange bowls may not court the Hurricanes because that could ruin their chances of getting Notre Dame. The Sugar would not want Miami if LSU wins the SEC, because that would set up a rematch barely a month after the Tigers and 'Canes played their regular-season game. And the Cotton certainly won't want Miami after they get through with Arkansas on Nov. 26 in what could be a replay of last season's 51-7 Hurricane win in Little Rock.
Rest assured, however, that the Hurricanes will adorn somebody's Jan. 2 game. By beating East Carolina 31-7 last week behind quarterback Steve Walsh's fourth straight game with four TD passes. Miami kept alive its hopes of successfully defending its national title. All the Hurricanes need, besides wins in their last three games and a bowl victory, is for USC to lose to UCLA on Nov. 19 and then beat Notre Dame the following week.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]