FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Notre Dame left temperatures falling into single digits and not getting much higher than the mid-20s when the team left South Bend on Wednesday.
When the No. 1 Irish (12-0), who play No. 2 Alabama (12-1) in the BCS championship game Monday, got to Florida, they were greeted by humid conditions and the temperatures in the 80s.
When the championship game roles around, temperatures are expected to be in the high 70s during the day and only cooling off to about 67 degrees at night.
It is a climate change coach Brian Kelly said the Irish have to be prepared for.
"We were indoors most of the time," Kelly said. "There will be some acclimatization. We're going to have to get out there and practice and sweat it out. But our guys are in great condition and great shape. I think a couple of days outside and they'll be fine."
Notre Dame's first practice in Florida was at 1:15 p.m. this afternoon. Kelly said the team, which began a hydrating program over the weekend, would run hard in the heat to get used to what the game will be like against Alabama.
Notre Dame will also practice at 11:30 a.m. Friday. The Irish will have one more practice on Saturday before Sunday's walk through.
"Hydration is the key, we started that last weekend," Kelly said. "They did a great job of cycling to this point. Now they are excited and want to play the game. I think they did a good job of holding back, and really what we are trying to do is peak at the right time."