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Brighter future? May, Holtz say Irish over Canes

EL PASO -- If the Hurricanes needed some bulletin board material heading into Friday's Sun Bowl showdown with Notre Dame they can thank ESPN College GameDay Final analysts Mark May and former Irish coach Lou Holtz for providing it.

Lou Holtz Both analysts are not only picking Notre Dame to win Friday they also believe the Irish will rise back to prominence faster than the Canes.

"I think if you look at both teams right now, Miami has better overall talent," May said on a conference call Thursday. "Randy Shannon did a great job recruiting Miami, getting some great pieces in place. I just don't know if Al Golden is the guy to take them to the next level.

"If you look at Notre Dame in my opinion, I think Brian Kelly struggled early, then they got their quarterback hurt and were able to come in with Tommy Rees, put some good efforts together at the end of the season, strung together some nice impressive victories. I think they're going in the right direction.

"This is a football team in which every one has bought into the program under Brian Kelly. I look forward to them getting better in their future. They're 7-5 right now, coming in on a three-game win streak. I think Notre Dame will be better down the road. And what impressed me late in the season is Notre Dame played better on defense. The last couple years they were atrocious on defense. But the last couple games they've been a lot better defensively."

Mark May Holtz thinks the biggest advantage Notre Dame has over UM at the moment is at quarterback.

"I do believe it will be Notre Dame for several reasons -- No. 1, they have an established quarterback -- two of them. [Dayne] Crist has been injured. But the young freshman [Tommy Rees] has done an excellent job," Holtz said. "Kelly will going to be in the second year of this program. Recruiting is going good.

"As far as Miami they don't even know who their quarterback is going to be. Is it going to be the freshman? Is it going to be [Jacory] Harris? I think the big thing is they both have the potential to get back. I don't think there is anything that keeps them from being an outstanding football program like they were in the 1980s and 1990s. Its nice to see them get back, nice to see them playing again. They both should get back. It just depends on the leadership of the head coaching position."