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Miami Football: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the Al Golden Era

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Miami Football: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the Al Golden Era
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports
Al Golden has had his ups and downs at Miami, quickly learning that the expectation to win is enormous.

Al Golden made his way to Coral Gables from Philadelphia's inner city just over three years ago. Armed with a 300-page binder and a blueprint for rebuilding "The U," the former Temple coach was a man on a mission—saying and doing all the right things to rile up the fan base and right the ship.

To Golden's credit, Miami was in shambles upon his arrival. The culture was broken, players were out of shape, losses were piling up and a sense of entitlement was destroying the Hurricanes from within.

Months later, Nevin Shapiro became a household name, the NCAA launched an investigation and Miami suffered for two-plus years as a result.

The dust has since settled, with Golden buckling in for his fourth year at "The U"—though some January flirtation with his alma mater, didn't help the former Penn State standout with a Hurricanes fan base that has grown impatient.

Miami did start last season 7-0, including an upset of then-No. 12 Florida, but finished 2-4 and got whacked by Louisville in the bowl game, ending the year with a thud.

With year four officially underway and spring practice having kicked off, here are six things Golden has either learned, or must figure out, between now and the time Miami is officially "back."

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