They finally did it – thanks to a little help from their friends.
The Miami Hurricanes are the Coastal Division champions and will play defending national champion Clemson in their first Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game on Dec. 2 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The No. 7 Hurricanes clinched the Coastal Division title of the ACC on Saturday even before stepping onto the field to play No. 3 Notre Dame in a late-Saturday showdown at Hard Rock Stadium.
Miami, 8-0 overall and 6-0 in the ACC before the Notre Dame kickoff, can thank ACC Atlantic Division member Louisville for crushing the Coastal’s Virginia 38-21 in a 3:30 p.m. game that buoyed the Canes to their first division title.
UM’s opponent in the ACC title game, Clemson, defeated Florida State 31-14 on Saturday to clinch the ACC’s Atlantic Division.
No. 4 Clemson (9-1, 7-1) last played the Hurricanes on Oct. 24, 2015 at home, where the Hurricanes were eliminated in the program’s worst loss of all time: 58-0.
The Canes are 6-4 all-time against the Tigers.
The Hurricanes joined the ACC in 2004, a year before the league split into divisions. UM was a Big East power before that, winning several Big East titles. But despite the nation’s perception that the then-vaunted Hurricanes would go on to dominate the Coastal, it was Virginia Tech who dominated.
The Canes took care of the present day Hokies last week to eliminate Virginia Tech from contention, and had control of their league future even before the outcome of Saturday’s Louisville-Virginia game.
UM’s game against Notre Dame (8-1 before Saturday night’s kickoff) would have no bearing on the ACC race, as Notre Dame is an independent.
After Saturday, the Canes’ schedule includes two more regular-season games, both against Coastal opponents: at home against Virginia at noon Nov. 18 and at Pittsburgh on Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving.