CHIGACO -- So, here we are, another chapter in the Miami-Notre Dame history about to unfold, and at historic Soldier Field, no less.
Notre Dame and Miami will meet for the 25th time, with the Irish holding a 16-7-1 series lead.
At least as of last night, Notre Dame was favored by 14 points.
Notre Dame has had an extra week of preparation for this game, as the Irish had off last week. That also gave them extra time to heal.
The weather tonight will be in the low 40s, but the Canes can deal with that.
Judging by the past five games, the only way Miami wins this one is if the offensive line does its job today and opens some running holes as well as passing lanes. Duke is due, though the Notre Dame defense is very good. Linebacker Manti Te'o is scary good.
We've seen how prolific the UM offense can be, too. UM has to score and score and score some more. No one else has done it against the Irish.
I saw a lot of UM fans yesterday, which was a good sign. But the Canes' tickets were spread out among three separate portions of the stadium, according to Chris Freet, UM associate athletic director for communications and marketing. I don't see how the Canes fans aren't going to be drowned out by the Notre Dame crowd.
Of course, as the avid (and fairly plentiful) UM fans who attended the Georgia Tech game can tell you, there's nothing more gratifying than seeing your team silence the vaunted opponents at an away site (and let's face it, Soldier Field is not neutral).
Winning this game will catapult UM into the rankings and national spotlight.
If it's a UM loss, hopefully for the Canes it won't be a rout.
I can tell you for sure, as all of you know by now, this young team has tons of heart and does not quit. It needs to keep that personality no matter what happens.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN