There are a mere 10 days till kickoff in the 77th annual Hyundai Sun Bowl featuring a matchup between Notre Dame and Miami.
Both have already begun preparations for the game Dec. 31 in Sun Bowl Stadium.
Here’s a few odds and ends.
• Notre Dame will know who will be under center for the Hurricanes before kickoff. The Miami Herald reports that Hurricane interim coach Jeff Stoutland will make a decision on a starting quarterback by the time Miami begins practicing in El Paso on Dec. 27.
Junior Jacory Harris started every game for Miami in 2009 and went 5-2 this season before sustaining a concussion against Virginia on Oct. 30. True freshman Stephen Morris filled in, winning two of the next three games before being relieved of duty in Miami’s home finale against South Florida.
The quarterback question has been a hot topic in South Florida ever since. But evidently, it will be answered before New Year’s Eve.
• Stoutland, meanwhile, had another important question answered for him recently — whether he would remain employed after the Sun Bowl.
New Miami coach Al Golden is keeping Stoutland, along with wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Aubrey Hill and linebackers coach Micheal Barrow for the 2011 season.
Golden has six coaches on his staff for next season. Defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio, defensive line coach Jethro Franklin and defensive backs coach Paul Williams — all of whom were with Golden at Temple — were hired last week.
Stoutland will remain the interim head coach for Miami's appearance in the Sun Bowl.
• An ESPN report praises the elevated play of Notre Dame inside linebacker Brian Smith. Smith, who started the last four games of the season, was instrumental in the Irish’s upset win over USC.
Smith, along with fellow linebacker Manti Te’o, figure to form a formidable presence between the tackles when Miami runs the ball. Add nose tackle Ian Williams to that mix, and we’re in for an interesting matchup inside against Miami’s bulwarts.
Williams missed the last four games of the year with an MCL injury. But he expects to suit up Dec. 31.
• How big of a distraction will the Lizzy Seeberg story be?
The parents of the college freshman who committed suicide after claiming she’d been assaulted by a Notre Dame football player appeared recently on Good Morning America and expressed their feeling of betrayal.
Lizzy, a 19-year-old student at Notre Dame’s sister school, St. Mary’s College, took her life Sept. 10, days after she reported to university police that she'd been improperly touched by a football player on the night of Aug. 31.
Lizzy had battled anxiety and depression.
The University of Notre Dame defends its investigation of the matter.
• Preparations inside Sun Bowl Stadium have already begun for the game.