Miami Hurricanes Gallop Towards 10-Win Season
The 2009 Atlantic hurricane season officially ended Monday with the fewest named storms since 1997. It came like a whisper and exited with a whimper.
The conclusion to the 2009 Miami Hurricanes football program was quite the opposite, as the Canes blew into Tampa last Saturday and nearly tore Raymond James Stadium from its foundation as they walloped USF, 31-10.
The defense is healthy at the right time and it showed, as they held USF to only 220 yards.
But Miami's not done yet. In fact, a few more storms are brewing (last weather pun).
With UM's win over USF, the 17th-ranked Canes are 9-3 and poised to win 10 games for the first time since '03.
They also seemed to have secured a spot in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville.
It's a game Miami covets greatly since it's in Florida, allowing fans a short (six- to eight-hour) road trip to watch their team.
Additionally, it's a New Year's Day game available to the entire country.
Coach Randy Shannon would like nothing more than one more nationally-televised game to help his already-strong recruiting.
But in the words of the aptly-quoted FSU alumnus Lee Corso: Not so fast my friend!
Just when Miami thought it was rid of one of its most respected and absolutely toughest rivals with FSU coach Bobby Bowden announcing his retirement this week, it seems the Seminoles are lining up for another game-winning field goal—and they just might make this one.
According to the Florida Times-Union, coach Bowden wants his final bowl game to be in Florida.
Considering he was at West Virginia before he moved to Tallahassee, there's one bowl game that would be perfect for his farewell: the Gator Bowl, of course.
This wouldn't be a problem for WVU, as the Gator Bowl pairs the ACC and the Big East/Big 12.
What is a problem is that it's typically the ACC's third team, a.k.a. the '09 Miami Hurricanes.
With UM possibly getting bumped for a Seminoles' team that went 6-6, Miami is left looking at the Music City Bowl, the Meineke Car Care Bowl, and the Emerald Bowl (which it played in last season). None are in Florida, and all are before Dec. 28.
Here's hoping the 'Noles go wide left on this bid.
In addition to wondering their bowl fate, some underclassmen are already considering their professional futures.
Coach Shannon has already told the media that he'll soon be speaking with those juniors considering the 2010 NFL Draft.
"We're going to talk a little bit in the next couple of weeks,'' Shannon told the Miami Herald. "That's one thing I always did when I was a position coach and also as a head coach. I make them fill out forms and send them into the NFL. I'm not afraid to talk to the kids.
"I make sure they get their information back, and then guys come in and talk to me. We did it last year with Jason Fox, Javarris James, and some guys like that. They trusted me and what we were doing.''
Miami's juniors with the best shot to get drafted are RB Graig Cooper, G/T Orlando Franklin, DE/DT Allen Bailey, WR Leonard Hankerson, and LB Colin McCarthy.
So far Bailey, Hankerson, and McCarthy have said they'll be back. Cooper and Franklin will most likely seek the advice of the NFL college advisory committee before making a decision.
Finally, Some Good News
Four Hurricanes made the All-ACC first team.
Team leaders and UM models of consistency K/P Matt Bosher and T Jason Fox were honored, as were standout sophomore CB Brandon Harris and junior DE/DT Allen Bailey.
I was initially upset that LBs Daryl Sharpton and Colin McCarthy didn't make it, but the ACC, sensing my displeasure, added them to the All-ACC second team—and that Bosher made it on the second team as a punter. He's unstoppable!
Well done, gentlemen.
Here's a look at the full list of the All-ACC first and second teams.
Keep an eye out this Sunday, Dec. 6 when the college football world will know who's playing who, where, and when in the bowl games.
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