If the Irish can keep Michael Floyd away from the NFL for another year they have a real shot at a BCS berth next year.
Floyd on his own defeated Miami in the first period and he could have had four touchdown catches with a bit of luck by the end of the game, despite not playing much of the second half
If he returns he will free up Brian Kelly's offense to an incredible extent with every team keying on him.
It is not clear what he will do.
NFL Scouts say he will be in the top 5 receivers chosen, but likely at the lower end. His lack of NFL break out speed and his frequent injuries will make many NFL teams pause before picking him
Notre Dame had a mixed year, if he stays he knows he will play on a much better team next year . The Sun Bowl was a preview of that.
Without him Notre Dame will be much weaker. Kelly threw the kitchen sink at Miami yesterday, but realistically, without Floyd this might even have been a very close game.
Theo Riddick as wildcat quarterback did not really pay off, the running game looked good but not spectacular. The other receivers hardly figured
Floyd ultimately was the difference, as Miami simply could not contain him.
His return is far more important than that of Kyle Rudolph. The Irish found a way to win without Rudolph when he went out for the season.
It is doubtful they could have done the same without Floyd.
Likewise with Dayne Crist who was hardly missed once he got injured. Crist will have a major battle on his hands regaining his post after what Tommy Rees has done.
It is incredibly difficult to replace a kid who was 4-1 as a starter and showed guts and class in the white heat of battle, especially when the chips were down.
But Brian Kelly will need all his vaunted recruiting skills to keep Floyd.
Let's hope he can work his magic.