The Miami Hurricanes for all intents and purposes were left for dead this season.
After firing Randy Shannon and then the Nevin Shapiro scandal hitting Coral Gables like a Category 5 storm, the team wasn't expected to do anything this season.
They were not expected to compete in the ACC after they had lost their top players in Jacory Harris, Sean Spence, Olivier Vernon and Ray-Ray Armstrong for varying amounts of time due to suspension, and not many "experts" thought or even still think that Miami will have a football program after the season.
The Hurricanes have had their share of ups and downs this season, as they have close, heartbreaking losses to Virginia Tech, Virginia, Kansas State and Maryland. They have either been driving for the game-winning score or been within one touchdown of the lead in all four losses.
Al Golden was brought in to restore some of the luster to a program that has such hallmark names as Jimmy Johnson, Dennis Erickson and Butch Davis.
In 2001, Miami had arguably the greatest team in college football history as they stormed to the 2001 National Championship by outscoring opponents by more than 30 points per game.
Golden previously worked as an assistant during Al Groh's tenure in Virginia, and then he coached the Temple Owls back to respectability and his former school has even been mentioned as a candidate to go to the Big East.
Al Golden preaches accountability, consistency and overall mental toughness in his teams, and that is something that the Hurricanes have lacked for the better part of a decade as they have failed to earn an ACC division championship and have also failed to appear in an ACC Championship game in that same time span.
Miami has recently approached Golden and his representatives about re-doing his contract, as they should because of the fact that he wasn't made aware of the coming storm regarding Nevin Shapiro and the university obviously felt like it was obligated to make it fair for Golden in case the NCAA comes down hard on the program.
If the NCAA should come down hard on the Hurricanes, they have the right man to help them weather yet another round of sanctions that will bring about some lean years in Coral Gables, FL.