Irish likely heading to Sun Bowl
It appears Notre Dame will close out 2010 on New Year's Eve in El Paso. Bowl plans for the 7-5 Fighting Irish won't be official until Sunday, but Brian Kelly's squad is likely headed for the Sun Bowl in El Paso against an ACC opponent.
With a 52-yard field goal with 17 seconds remaining Saturday night for a 19-16 victory over South Florida, Connecticut claimed the Big East title and the league's automatic BCS berth. Co-champion West Virginia, at 9-3, will likely land in the Champs Sports Bowl on Dec. 28, which is slotted for the Big East's second-place team.
However, if Champs Sports Bowl organizers fancy the Irish over the Mountaineers, ND has no choice but to head to Orlando. It's hard to imagine they'll pass on WVU, so a trip to Texas for the Irish and possibly an attractive matchup with Miami is probable.
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Powers is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997. He joined ESPNChicago in May 2009 and lives in Chicago.
Rittenberg joined ESPN.com in 2008 after four years at the Daily Herald, where he covered sports at Notre Dame, Northwestern, DePaul and several other colleges. He lives in Chicago and writes for the Big Ten blog.
Bennett joined ESPN.com in August 2008 after nine years at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., where he covered college sports and the University of Louisville beat. He lives in Louisville and writes for the Big Ten blog.
Fortuna joined ESPN.com in 2011 after working for MLB.com and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where he covered college sports. He grew up in New York and is a Penn State graduate. Fortuna's Notre Dame blog is here.
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