Brian Kelly walked off the tarmac in Fort Lauderdale, hopped aboard one of Notre Dame's team buses that bore his image on the side and grinned broadly as he sat in the driver's seat.
Soon, the Notre Dame coach will know if his team -- or Alabama -- will finish college football's season in that proverbial spot.
The top-ranked Fighting Irish landed in South Florida on Wednesday, not long before the arrival of the second-ranked Crimson Tide. The teams meet Monday night to decide the BCS championship, a matchup that was set more than a month ago, the hype growing with each day.
"Going to play the national championship game in Miami, it's not like any trip that they've had before," Kelly said.
Saban, the former Miami Dolphins coach, was glad to be back.
"It's great to be back in South Florida," he said. "It's the first time we've been to the Orange Bowl. I'm sure these people here are going to do a great job of providing tremendous hospitality for our players and our entire family."