For all the banner-flying, Twitter-trolling haters out there, you got what you wanted.
The pressure of the city of Miami has now fallen squarely on the shoulders of Al Golden and his coaching staff. Even with a chance for the Canes to completely turn the season back around, which team will you really root for on Saturday night?
The 3-1 Hurricanes will head to Tallahassee to face the No. 12 Florida State Seminoles amid all the negativity and talk of coaching change. While I’m sure many players wouldn’t admit it, that negativity certainly has to affect them before such an important rivalry game.
Last week’s debacle surely put the Canes in a deep hole, but they can just as easily flip the narrative of this 2015 season with a win on Saturday. For all the talk of future change, it’s not like this team has completely eliminated themselves from competing in the ACC. They haven’t even played a conference game yet.
FSU (4-0) has won this meeting five straight times, but they haven’t looked anything like the team that’s been contending for a national championship the past two seasons.
Things could go very south late Saturday night, but the Seminoles have struggled to get past the likes of South Florida, Boston College and Wake Forest to start the season. With that in mind, I see no reason why the Canes can’t at least compete with the Seminoles.
While it may not seem like it, this could be Miami’s biggest game in years. No, maybe not for the immediate implications that surround the game, but more because of the many ways this program could go depending on the result of this game.
With a win, this season could actually prove to become one in which the Canes are contending for the ACC Coastal Division. A victory Saturday night could also begin to turn the tide on the recruiting front where FSU has held the edge for the past few years.
With a blowout loss, on the other hand, the banners will continue to fly, the doubters will continue to voice their negative opinions on the team and the Canes could begin to crumble.
Just look back at what happened two years ago to the Canes following the Florida State game, and that matchup was surrounded by completely different circumstances.
That 2013 team came into the game ranked No. 7 in the country with a 7-0 record and all the confidence in the world. That same team fell to the Seminoles 41-14 and proceeded to finish the season losing three of its’ last five, including an embarrassing loss to Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Any tumble like that this year and the Hurricanes will likely clean house.
But before we get to all these foregone conclusions, let’s just remember this team is far from making this season irrelevant. It very well could become so after Saturday night, but let’s just give them a chance to avoid that.