1. HURRICANES: UM hosts Notre Dame in biggest game in years: Saturday night's matchup between the unbeaten No. 7 Canes and No. 3 Fighting Irish was big enough to take up this week's entire Top 5, renewing an old rivalry that has evolved from "Catholics vs. Convicts" to "Chains vs. Rosaries." It was Notre Dame's first visit to Miami since 1989. So ... was it worth the wait?
2. DOLPHINS: Miami at Carolina on Monday Night Football: Fins have lost two games in a row on Thursday night (at Baltimore) and Sunday night (vs. Oakland) and now give Monday a shot in last chance to avoid being first team ever to lose three consecutive prime-time games. At 4-4 Miami is only one game off playoff pace. So when do the playoff-quality performances start?
3. NASCAR: Seven days 'til season finale at Homestead: Today's penultimate race in Phoenix will finalize the Championship Four for next Sunday's run at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It'll be Martin Truex, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and a driver to be determined racing for the season crown. As many eyes, though, will be on Dale Earnhardt Jr. in his last race before retiring.
4. UM BASKETBALL: Canes men, women open season with wins: No. 13 UM men routed Gardner-Webb 77-45 in Friday's season opener behind Bruce Brown's triple-double while Canes women beat FIU 77-69 led by Mykea Gray's 27 points. Men's team plays under cloud of that FBI investigation into college recruiting, but winning is a diversion, at least.
5. MARLINS: Stanton trade speculation gaining traction: Heat are average and Panthers are worse, so the 5-spot goes to the increasing speculation that the Fish will trade slugger Giancarlo Stanton, with the Red Sox, Cardinals, Giants and Phillies out front among reported suitors. Dear Marlins: Small request. Get (a lot) more for Stanton than you got for Miguel Cabrera.