Monday, November 19, 2007

Will Da U's Season come to a merciful end?

Saturday, the Miami Hurricanes lost to the Hokies in Blacksburg by a score of 44-14. Should the Canes drop their game at Boston College next week Da U will be guaranteed of not be going to a Bowl Game for the first time in 10 years.

A chronology of the Hurricanes' fall from grace:

In 2001, the Canes were Big East champions and national champions with a record of 12-0 and a Rose Bowl win over Nebraska.

In 2002, the Canes again were Big East champs and played for a national championship against the sweater vest in the Fiesta Bowl. That loss to OSU, arguably because of a bogus pass interference call in the end zone, was the only loss of the season for the Canes and, in retrospect, marked the beginning of the end of that chapter of success for da U.

In 2003 Miami could only muster a share of the Big East crow, going 11-2 including an Orange Bowl win over Florida State.

Then in 2004 Miami joined the ACC. In that year the 9-3 Canes finished 3rd in their new conference, behind Virgina Tech and Florida State.

In 2005 the Canes again managed a 9-3 campaign. Now with 12 teams and divisional play in the ACC, the Hurricanes finished 2nd in the Coastal Division.

A 7-6 campaign in 2006 cost Larry Coker his job. That mark was good enough for 4th in the Coastal division and a berth in the Micron PC Bowl.

And now it comes to this. A 5-6 record, with a distinct chance at 5-7.

Many fingers have been pointed. Until now it's been taken as an act of faith that Larry Coker was the man responsible for Miami's fall from relevancy in big time college football. Randy Shannon certainly won't be fired after one season, but already the fans are whispering about lack of effort on the part of the Hurricanes who are being accused of quitting.

I think that Miami's present state can be largely attributed to more than just coaching. First of all I think joining the ACC meant a significant step up in competition to what Miami had become accustomed to. Additionally, I think increased academic and off-the-field standards have led a lack of talent on the field. And lastly I think Miami had a remarkable run at the beginning of the decade. NFL rosters are littered with former Canes playing at high level. It is almost impossible to maintain that kind of success in scouting and recruiting players for an extended period of time. In other words Miami has drifted back to the mean, and perhaps below it, because of the aforementioned factors.

I will be keeping an eye on da U. Living in Miami, I have no choice. To be fair, I'll add that Miami kicked Florida's ass 3 times during the seasons I summarized above. We look forward to returning the favor in the swamp in 2008.

3 comments:

Gator Boys said...

And lastly I think Miami had a remarkable run at the beginning of the decade. NFL rosters are littered with former Canes playing at high level. It is almost impossible to maintain that kind of success in scouting and recruiting players for an extended period of time. In other words Miami has drifted back to the mean, and perhaps below it

Bobby Bowden kept up the recruiting and good play at FSU for 14 years. Dont you think Urban MIGHT be able to keep it up too?

Henry Gomez said...

I've never seen a team produce as much top quality NFL talent as Miami did in the late 90s and early 00's.

Gone Gator said...

Miami (and to a lesser degree, FSU) are each feeling the impact of the rise of USF, UCF, FIU and particularly FAU. Florida's school age population isn't growing any more, so you now have 2x as many scholarships available in the state for the same player population (Florida's rotting public school system may actually be shrinking the pool of eligible D-1 players because of academic failures). UM used to be the only place you could play and be close to home if you played in South Florida. Now you have a lot more choices and the teams are basically even (FAU is playing better than FSU and UM right now). UM's lack of an on campus facility, small student body and small fan base means they are in a world of hurt. What the Canes would do for the FAU QB right now.