That's the feel around Saturday night's clash between Notre Dame and Miami in the Hurricanes' Hard Rock Stadium home. The teams are ranked No. 3 and No. 7, respectively, in the latest College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday.
It is the first time since 1989 that both teams have been ranked in the top 10 at the time of their meeting (though there have been only four meetings since then). That season marked the third consecutive year they had met as top 10 teams. Miami was No. 7 and won 27-10 over then-No. 1 Notre Dame in the final game of the regular season.
Interestingly, the Hurricanes (8-0) are hoping a victory in this meeting with the Irish (8-1) will have a similar impact. It wouldn't put them in the national title game or even assure them of one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff. But it will keep them going in the right direction.
That's pretty much all coach Mark Richt could expect.
Even before the second week's CFP rankings were announced Tuesday night, Richt was taking a pragmatic approach to the whole situation.
"It's like last week," he said. "If you win, you move up. If you lose, you move down. It's really pretty simple right now. There are so many games to be played yet. That's really all there is to it.
The Irish have won seven in a row since dropping a one-point decision at home to Georgia, and all of their wins, including their opener against Temple before the loss to Georgia, have come by double digits. Their "closest call" was an 11-point win over Wake Forest last week.
Even then the Irish amassed 710 yards in total offense, but they did let a 41-16 cushion late in the third quarter melt down to a 48-37 final.
"Preparation needs to be better," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said.
The physical match-ups in this one would seem to favor the Irish. They are one of the nation's best rushing teams, No. 5 in the country with an average of nearly 325 yards a game. Running back Josh Adams has averaged 132.3 yards per game rushing (No. 9 nationally), quarterback Brandon Wimbush nearly 80.
Miami's defense, on the other hand, may be coming off a strong effort against Virginia Tech in limiting the Hokies to just 102 yards rushing, but for the season the Hurricanes have had their problems stopping the run. They gave up 264 rushing yards to Syracuse, 226 to Georgia Tech, 203 to Florida State, and 176 to North Carolina before the effort against Virginia Tech.
Still, Kelly had good words about the job defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has done in just his second year at Miami and the effort he gets out of his players.
"They run to the ball. They're athletic," Kelly said. "It's a group that's excited to be playing. So you can see that energy. There is great energy."
On the other side of the ball, Miami's offense has gained much of its success with long strikes such as running back Trevor Homer's 64-yard touchdown run and tight end Christopher Herndon's 43-yard touchdown reception against the Hokies.
"They don't give up big plays," Richt said. "You're going to have to earn it. We haven't been very good at that. We haven't been good at long drives.
"We've hit some shots here and there and made some big plays, and every so often we'll have a drive that will last more than six or seven or eight plays, but we haven't done a lot of that."
The intangibles would seem to break even. Miami is playing to move up into the top four in the rankings. Notre Dame, with one loss, is playing to stay there.
"This part of the season, obviously in November, all the teams that are in contention are focused on one game at a time," Kelly said. "It's single-elimination for both teams."
VDB Free Betting Prediction: Notre Dame 34, Miami 33
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Miami Hurracanes VDB Sport Betting Odds and Matchup Report
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Miami Hurracanes VDB Betting Odds
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish||-3½ (-110)||-155||57 (-110)o|
|Miami Hurracanes||+3½ (-110)||+135||57 (-110)u|
|Name||Record||Home||Away||ATS||ATS Home||ATS Away||Offense||Defense||Diff|
|Name||Record||Home||Away||ATS||ATS Home||ATS Away||Offense||Defense||Diff|
Betting Odds Trends
|Notre Dame is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games|
|Notre Dame is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games|
|The total has gone OVER in 8 of Notre Dame's last 11 games|
|The total has gone OVER in 7 of Notre Dame's last 10 games on the road|
|Miami-FL is 9-4 ATS in its last 13 games|
|Miami-FL is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Miami-FL's last 5 games|
|Miami-FL is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Miami-FL's last 6 games at home|
|Khalid Kareem||DL||Prob Sat - Knee - 11/7/17||Kareem suffered a knee injury but is expected to play Saturday against Miami (FL).|
|Brandon Wimbush||QB||Prob Sat - Hand - 11/6/17||Wimbush is expected to be available against Miami on Saturday despite a hand injury.|
|Josh Adams||RB||Prob Sat - Upper Body - 11/6/17||Adams exited the last game with an upper-body injury and his status for Saturday's contest against Miami is unknown.|
|Alize Mack||TE||Prob Sat - Concussion - 11/9/17||Mack missed the last game as he is going through the concussion protocol but is expected to play in Saturday's tilt against Miami.|
|Dexter Williams||RB||Ques Sat - Thigh - 11/7/17||Williams is dealing with an injured thigh and it is unclear if he will play Saturday against Miami (FL).|
|J.D. Carney||QB||Ques Sat - Concussion - 11/6/17||Carney missed the last game with a concussion and his availability for Saturday's matchup against Miami is unknown.|
|Cameron Smith||WR||Ques Sat - Hamstring - 11/6/17||Smith missed the last two games with a hamstring injury and his status against Miami on Saturday is unknown.|
|Freddy Canteen||WR||out for season - Shoulder - 10/29/17||Canteen had surgery to fix a shoulder injury and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.|
|Elijah Taylor||DL||out for season - Foot - 10/18/17||Taylor has a Lisfranc fracture in his foot and is expected to miss the rest of the season.|
|Alohi Gilman||S||out for season - Eligibility - 8/30/17||Gilman is expected to miss the entire 2017 season due to eligibility reasons.|
|Dee Delaney||DB||Ques Sat - Knee - 11/6/17||Delaney has missed four straight games due to a knee injury and it is unclear if he will return Saturday against Notre Dame.|
|Mike Harley||WR||Ques Sat - Ankle - 11/6/17||Harley sat out the last two games with an ankle injury and his availability against Notre Dame on Saturday is in question.|
|Demetrius Jackson||DL||out for season - Knee - 11/6/17||Jackson suffered a knee injury and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.|
|Mark Walton||RB||out for season - Ankle - 10/8/17||Walton will require season-ending surgery for a right ankle injury.|
|Robert Burns||RB||Out indefinitely - Shoulder - 10/14/17||Burns has been sidelined by a shoulder injury and it is currently unknown when he will return.|
|Evidence Njoku||WR||out for season - Knee - 10/18/17||Njoku has been sidelined by a hyperextended knee and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.|
|Gerald Willis III||DL||out for season - Personal - 8/23/17||Willis III will not play during the 2017 due to a leave of absence.|
|Jamie Gordinier||LB||out for season - Knee - 8/20/17||Gordinier suffered a season-ending right knee injury.|
|10/29/16||MIA 27||ND 30||-2/58.5||W/U||-105||-130||25|
|10/6/12||MIA 3||ND 41||-15/54.5||W/U||-302||-292||-10|
|12/31/10||ND 33||MIA 17||-2.5/48||L/O||25||-93||118|
|10/20/90||MIA 20||ND 29||3/-||W/-||0||0||0|
|11/25/89||ND 10||MIA 27||-1.5/45.5||W/U||0||0||0|
|10/15/88||MIA 30||ND 31||3.5/41.5||W/O||0||0||0|
|11/28/87||ND 0||MIA 24||-6.5/44||W/U||0||0||0|
|11/30/85||ND 7||MIA 58||-12.5/46.5||W/O||0||0||0|
Notre Dame Last 10
|10/7/17||@ UNC||W 33-10||-12/63.5||W/U||222||255||-33|
|9/23/17||@ MSU||W 38-18||-3/53.5||W/O||-141||31||-172|
|9/16/17||@ BC||W 49-20||-14/52||W/O||211||330||-119|
|11/26/16||@ USC||L 27-45||17.5/60||L/O||-4||-53||49|
Miami Last 10
|10/28/17||@ UNC||W 24-19||-21/55.5||L/U||-13||-117||104|
|10/7/17||@ FSU||W 24-20||-2.5/45.5||W/U||-69||-120||51|
|9/29/17||@ DUKE||W 31-6||-5.5/55||W/U||60||-44||104|