Less than half an hour ago, the University of Miami has defeated Duke Blue Devils by a score of 28:13. This is a good win, not a great one and a much bigger game looms next week against North Carolina.
It was a little more than 6 days ago when I watched my Canes get beat down by Florida State. I hate to dwell on the past, but it was this rout that got me thinking to write this article on the current state of Miami Hurricanes both in the short and long term.
The Canes are 4-2, and more importantly, 1-0 in the ACC coastal division. This season was supposed to be THE season back to the top with a show down against OSU, We know what happened there and the Canes seemed to have recovered, but the FSU fiasco happened.
Season is not yet lost. If the Canes run the table against the Coastal division teams, they will be in the title game. The Canes need to focus and maximize their potential. Here are some outlooks for the key parts of the Canes.
During the first several games, he looked like the Bad Jacory a.k.a. the arm punter. The last few against FSU and even Duke, he looked like the Worse Jacory. Yes, he has cut down on the INT, but he seems much more... timid. He is taking less shots and he is missing easy throws to his targets. His completition % is way down. For this season, it is OBVIOUS that he will remain the starter unless he is REALLY hurt as the backups just aren't ready. It seems that Whipple has been using the run more to put pressure OFF Jacory, but I think that's doing Jacory worse. Running on 3rd and long shows lack of confidence on the passing and that can't go well with Jacory. However, I am LOVING his scrambling the past few games (he has two Rushing TD's.)
Well, he isn't leaving for the Draft, so he'll be back. But will he have better backups and actual competition? Probably not. Bridgewater, the J12 2.0 just lost two games in a row and unless that Morris kid is really good, Jacory will remain the only option at QB.
Three words: WTF. Besides for Hankerson, everyone has been hiding. All the receivers must be eating popcorn on the sidelines because they can't catch anything. Even Hankerson has key drops and whoever compared Ford to Shockey should die. They need to practice catching and holding on to the ball. The second, but just as important, thing is the route running. The "best receivers in the country" are not gettiing open. i refuse to believe that FSU secondary was THAT good; the WR's have to get the blame for not getting open and making Jacory look worse. Hopefully, they will get their shyt together.
Good bye Hankerson. Hopefully, Streeter will step in and do something besides getting stupid penalties on punt coverage. The age of the WR corp should allow new recruits to come in next fall.
The turnovers are coming at a rate that Jacory's INT used to be coming. I can't explain it, but I like it. However, the D can't do simple things like, TACKLE. FSU ran all over them and Duke had somewhat of a good job on the running game. They better learn how to tackle for Gtech's and Vtech's running QB's.
The freshman, Cain, looked solid at MLB. Can he be the Ray Lewis or Jon Beason? If the Canes win ACC, Brandon Harris WILL stay to try to win a national title. If not, he's gone. Although he is a beast, Allen Bailey will not be missed too terribly.
Randy Shannon and the program as a whole:
To the Randy haters: it's NOT ACC title or bust for Randy, but it's close. Randy will NOT be fired this season.
This is the key part of this article. I love Randy Shannon for his character and control over the players. However, he is a football coach and W's should be the most important thing for him. Not saying he should be the next Urban Meyer and get half his team arrested; Randy has to keep doing what he's doing off the field and start producing. And I am willing to give a few more years.
The University probably takes my point of view. In fact, this is what I think. The University of Miami wants to keep its image clean, no matter what the cost is. Unless Randy Shannon produces a losing record, HE WILL REMAIN AS HEAD COACH.
I repeat: Randy Shannon will remain as head coach for a LONG TIME even without producing championships if he can keep a the image of a clean program.
Here are the reasons why:
1: The University of Miami is becoming an elite, educational institution. It has jumped 20 spots on the national rankings for the best schools i the last 8 years, which is unheard of. Now, you can be smart AND be good at football, but the school will not take a risk and hire someone who may put the school in bad light. It will gladly take 9-4 record over a national championship and several players arrested.
Some fans have been chanting for Mike Leach. The reason above is why Leach will never coach at Miami.
2: The university of Miami wants to distance itself from "the U." The current administration wants to hide all the past thug-like, arrogant image of the school. This is the reason why the documentary, "the U" will no longer carry the school's famous logo. http://twitter.com/billycorben/status/25706901622
This is the reason why some past greats have trouble attending practices or sitting on the sidelines during games. As stupid as this sounds, this seems to be the truth.
3: Money is no longer a factor the football team can use. The President of UM, Shalala, raised 1.4BILLION dollars in 2007. http://www6.miami.edu/UMH/CDA/UMH_Main/0,1770,2593-1;60269-3,00.html
The football team will need to sell a LOT of tickets and jerseys to match that. While football still raises good revenue, it no longer has the power it used to.
Basically, the future of the team lies on Shannon's shoulders. Let's hope he delivers