Greg Cote

Miami-Notre Dame, Dolphins, NASCAR, UM hoops, Stanton make latest Hot Button Top 5

Miami Hurricanes quarterback DeeJay Dallas (13) scores in the fourth quarter as the University of Miami Hurricanes host Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017.
Miami Hurricanes quarterback DeeJay Dallas (13) scores in the fourth quarter as the University of Miami Hurricanes host Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. adiaz@miamiherald.com

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Miami Hurricanes fans scream as the Canes intercept the ball in the fourth quarter as they play Notre Dame at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, Nov. 11, 2017. CHARLES TRAINOR JR ctrainor@miamiherald.com

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?

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Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler (6) walks off the field after the Miami Dolphins are defeated by the Oakland Raiders at Hard Rock Stadium on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. AL DIAZ adiaz@miamiherald.com

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?

NASCAR Phoenix Auto Racing
Ryan Blaney points to the pole award stuck on his car after winning the starting position for a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Phoenix International Raceway, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, in Avondale, Ariz. Ralph Freso AP

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.

Gardner Webb Miami Basketball
Miami guard Bruce Brown Jr. (11) drives up against Gardner Webb guard Liam O'Reilly during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, in Coral Gables, Fla. Wilfredo Lee AP

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.

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Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton bats Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Pedro Portal pportal@miamiherald.com

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.

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