If the latest Sports Illustrated bowl projections hold up, Notre Dame will get a chance to take on a SEC opponent in the Gator Bowl, and there will be a familiar face on the other sideline.

According to SI's Michael Shapiro, Notre Dame will take on Texas A&M in the Jan. 2 Gator Bowl, which pits an SEC team against either an ACC opponent, a Big Ten opponent or Notre Dame.

Texas A&M, of course, has a defense coordinated by Mike Elko, who ran the Irish defense in 2017. Elko was instrumental in building the foundation of the current defensive success, which includes recruiting the 2018 class and bringing on Clark Lea, but Elko left after just one season to join the first staff for Jimbo Fisher at A&M.

The Aggies improved to 5-3 this weekend with a 49-30 victory over Mississippi State. Texas A&M has lost to Clemson, Alabama and Auburn thus far in the season, but it should be able to get healthy over the next three weeks thanks to matchups against Texas San-Antonio and South Carolina, with a bye week between those two games.

With season-ending road games against Georgia and LSU on the docket, the Aggies will likely need at least one major upset to get to the Gator Bowl.

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