SOUTH BEND -- The season kicks off today at Notre Dame Stadium, where the Irish welcome Rice (NBC, 3:30 p.m.).
Weather conditions. Rain will be something to monitor today as storms brush across the northern half of the state. Lightning is expected, and the National Weather Service believes there could be periods of heavy downpour. This figures to affect kicking for sure, and possibly the deep passing game, as well. Wind gusts of 25 miles per hour are expected by kickoff, with a temperature around 80 degrees, according to Weather.com.
Atmosphere alive. The fact that this isn't necessarily a big game (relatively speaking) means this won't be one of the biggest media corps of the year. But students and tailgaters were buzzing all around campus and town beginning early in the morning, giving it the feel of a brand-name-opponent matchup.
Tappen makes her debut. Kathryn Tappen is the new sideline reporter for Notre Dame games on NBC.
New uniforms for the Irish. The Irish will be in their new Under Armour uniforms today. The uniforms are traditional and resulted from a January apparel contract worth $90 million with the company.
Torii Hunter there in spirit. Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter tweeted a picture of himself wearing a "We are ND" T-shirt in the Detroit clubhouse. His son Torii Hunter Jr. will not play for the Irish today because of a groin injury.
It's how you start. In their illustrious history, the Irish win their first game of the year 85 percent of the time.
Perfect. Notre Dame has played Rice four times and never lost.
Irish FieldTurf recognition. A dedication ceremony was scheduled for 12:30 p.m. today in Notre Dame Stadium to recognize the FieldTurf gift provided by former Irish football player Jim Morse and his wife Leah Rae.
School president John Jenkins and athletic director Jack Swarbrick are to unveil a plaque that is on the right wall of the stadium tunnel that leads to the field.