Football

Bowlin’ Shoes

Should the season end today, the Miami Hurricanes would be in a bowl game.

This in itself should not be considered a great success for a program which expects excellence; however, for this team and this coaching staff, it can be considered a huge accomplishment.

First, compare six wins through nine games this season to the five total wins last season, and one has to call this season an improvement.

This is just looking at hollow numbers and not taking into account the “quality” of the three losses, all of which Miami was extremely competitive in and was in the position to win games against teams that outgunned the Canes.

It also leaves out the fact that Randy Shannon is starting to get the hang of just how a head coach does his job. Clock management is better, and so are the adjustments that are being made at halftime.

Secondly, think about the position Miami has played itself into. With three games left, Miami can win out and guarantee a New Year’s Day game; with a little help, they can also contend for a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) spot.

For a team that is supposed to be two years away from being a true contender, that is a pretty big accomplishment.

Last season, the Canes were in the exact same position: win the last four and play on New Year’s Day. They lost all four and finished out of the bowls completely. To make matters worse, they looked almost resigned to defeat in each of the four games.

This year’s team fought off a similar start, but then bested Virginia in a classic fourth quarter battle and is now starting down the right path.

At this point, the worst case is that Miami goes 0-3 down the stretch. Even then, the team accomplished exactly what they were projected to and receives some extra weeks of practice to get ready for the bowl (this is of unspeakable benefit to a young team).

Reasonably, Miami should be expected to beat Virginia Tech at home under the lights and a weak North Carolina State on the road. The Georgia Tech game could go either way, but even if Miami loses, they have a realistic shot of playing in either the Gator or Music City Bowl against a solid opponent (a Notre Dame or Ole Miss sounds about right for those games).

If Miami should win out and get the help required (a North Carolina loss, always a possibility in the ACC), then a trip to Tampa for the ACC championship and a probable rematch with Florida State waits.

The question?

Does this team have the constitution to succeed, where last year’s failed?

We shall see over the next month or so. However, one thing is for certain.

Being bowl eligible is not just an accomplishment for this team, but possibly a small bump in the road on the way to something much bigger.

November 9, 2008

Reporters

Dan Stein

Senior Sports Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

UM dining services team earns national recognition for special event catering. ...

From hammerheads to great whites, University of Miami researcher Neil Hammerschlag is a dedicated sp ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

Miami senior Tyler Gauthier was named to the 2018 Fall Watch List for the Rimington Trophy presented ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.