Miami-Notre Dame: The Likely Renewal of Catholics vs. Convicts

Carlos PinedaCorrespondent IMay 14, 2010

Catholics versus Convicts.

A moniker to a rivalry that entailed so much hate between the University of Miami and Notre Dame in the 1980s.

The series was so famous, a Notre Dame student created t-shirts with the phrase "Catholics vs. Convicts," and they were huge sellers.

The Hurricanes can say they have shed the bad boy image that made them infamous, but a renewal to this heated series has always been a hot sell on prime time television.

Miami and Notre Dame are supposedly working on a deal to play at Soldier Field in Chicago in 2012, 22 years since their last meeting in 1990.

In addition, the Chicago Tribune is reporting that there would be two follow-up games in 2014 and 2016, a home-and-home.

“It’s a game that would be great for both universities,” said the person familiar with the talks, speaking on condition of anonymity because no deal has been signed. “Everyone involved wants it to happen.”

The possible renewal of one of college football's most colorful rivalries comes at a time when both programs are looking to return to the elite level of college football.

The game in Chicago helps Miami, who has a strong following in the Midwest.

The 1980s and 1990s saw the Hurricanes and the Fighting Irish contest for the national championship on a yearly basis.

In 1985, Jimmy Johnson's bunch concluded the regular season with a 58-7 shellacking of Notre Dame. Many believed Johnson ran up the score in the send-off of then-Notre Dame head coach, Gerry Faust.

The Hurricanes held the Fighting Irish scoreless in 1987 on their way to claiming the program's second national championship.

The following season, it was Miami that saw its national title hopes fall apart after Notre Dame upset the 'Canes 31-30 in South Bend.

The controversial game is remembered for the "fumble" ruled against Miami running back Cleveland Gary. The Irish were crowned the champions that season.

Miami then won the 1989 title, defeating Notre Dame along the way with a 27-10 score.

“I’d love to see us play them again,” former Notre Dame star Chris Zorich told The AP in October 2009, when he was in Miami for a conference on the future of college athletics. “We should be playing. It’s Notre Dame and Miami. Everyone would want to see that.”

In the final meeting between the Hurricanes and the Irish, Miami saw its hopes for another title drop after losing 29-20.

Then-Notre Dame athletic director Dick Rosenthal felt the rivalry needed to stop for a few years with the intensity so high. The 1988 game saw a fight break out between the two teams before the game began, as the Miami team headed to the locker room.

“Perhaps a year or two off is not without its benefits,” Dick Rosenthal, Notre Dame’s athletic director in 1990, said before the teams met for the 19th time in 20 years.