In the late-1980s, there was no more heated rivalry than Miami-Notre Dame. The two teams played each other ten times between 1980 and 1990, and during three straight seasons from 1987-1989, the winner went on to win a national championship.
It was a far cry from the pre-1980 "rivalry" (if you want to call it that). Before the Canes rose to prominence during the 1980s, Notre Dame dominated the series, going 11-1-1 against Miami before 1980.
Things changed when Howard Schnellenberger arrived in Coral Gables and built the UM football program from the ground up. Miami went 6-4 against the Irish from 1980-1990, and the two participated in some of the most memorable games in the history of college football. Here are the top five.
5. September 24, 1983: Miami 20-Notre Dame 0. The Canes catapulted into the national rankings by shutting out the 13th-ranked Irish in the Orange Bowl. Bernie Kosar completed 22 of 33 passes for 215 yards, one touchdown and one interception as the Canes were in the middle of an 11-game winning en route to the school's first national championship.
4. November 25, 1989: Miami 27-Notre Dame 10. The Canes broke top-ranked Notre Dame's 23-game winning streak in front of 81,634 fans at the Orange Bowl, avenging a heart-breaking 1988 loss in the process. The game put Miami in a position to win the 1989 national title after bowl season, and featured one of the Canes' most legendary moments when QB Craig Erickson hooked up with WR Randall Hill to convert on 3rd and 43 early in the third quarter:
3. November 30, 1985: Miami 58-Notre Dame 7. Irish fans are still bitter about this one. In the final game of the 1985 season, Jimmy Johnson's Canes gave Notre Dame its worst loss in decades. Irish coach Gerry Faust would eventually lose his job after this drubbing, for which Johnson would be accused of running up the score (a charge which Johnson still denies). The Canes scored on 8 of their first 9 possessions against the Irish.
2. November 28, 1987: Miami 24-Notre Dame 0. The Canes steamrolled the Irish in their first meeting since the 1985 game in front of a sold out Orange Bowl. The 1987 Canes, one of the school's best-ever squads, went on to win a national championship and secure UM's first undefeated season.
1. October 15, 1988: Dubbed "Catholics vs. Convicts," top-ranked Miami saw a fourth-quarter comeback attempt fall short when a Steve Walsh pass fell incomplete on a two-point conversion attempt in the final moments. The Canes would lose 31-30, their first loss in 37 regular season games, while Notre Dame completed an undefeated season for the 1988 national title. In a scene memorialized in the 2009 documentary "The U," Miami and Notre Dame began their grudge match with a brawl after pregame warmups. The fight convinced officials at both schools to keep each other off the football schedule after 1990, leading to the 22-year hiatus that ends this week.