Miami Football: 5 Reasons the Canes Will Benefit from New ACC Teams
The Syracuse Orange and Pittsburgh Panthers are members of the Atlantic Coast Conference for the first time in the 2013 season, and the Miami Hurricanes will benefit from this move for a few reasons.
Since the ACC added locations in Pennsylvania and New York, the conference has a larger impact along the East Coast of the U.S.
Conference realignment also caused a slight hiccup in Miami's 2013 schedule, which actually plays in their favor.
Miami already travels to one of the two new ACC schools this upcoming season, and that is a huge advantage for the future of the program. Read on to see how.
Face Virginia Tech at Home Again
The ‘Canes defeated Virginia Tech 30-12 at home last season with one of their best all-around performances of the year.
But due to the recent realignment of the conference, Miami has another contest against the Hokies at Sun Life Stadium in 2013.
Miami caught a break by avoiding a game at the vaunted Lane Stadium.
Of course, not hearing “Enter Sandman” blare over the speakers as the Hokies gain momentum is not a bad thing, either.
Play at Duke Instead of Heading to NC State
Miami concluded its 2012 season at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, and will return to play the Duke Blue Devils due to the updated ACC schedule.
According to a slightly ancient ACC release, the Hurricanes were slated to play at the North Carolina State Wolfpack this season.
Although the Wolfpack lost quarterback Mike Glennon, the Blue Devils no longer have Sean Renfree under center.
Duke will still be a formidable opponent on the road, but the ‘Canes would certainly rather go to Durham than Raleigh.
‘Canes Replace NC State with Pittsburgh
Of course, since North Carolina State is no longer on the schedule, Miami has one game against a different team. Pittsburgh, as it is now a part of the Coastal Division, is that different team.
The Panthers finished its final Big East Conference campaign with a 6-7 record after falling to the Ole Miss Rebels in the BBVA Compass Bowl.
Now, the ‘Canes must travel to the Steel City on November 29 to close the 2013 regular season on what will more than likely be a chilly Friday night.
The matchup between former Big East foes could determine if Miami qualifies for the ACC Championship Game the following week, and it certainly helps the Hurricanes that they face a weaker Pitt team instead of the Wolfpack.
Helps Recruiting in the Northeast
As long as the current divisional alignment sticks, Miami will travel to Pittsburgh every other year, and yes, while not often, face non-divisional opponents Syracuse and Boston College.
Under head coach Al Golden, the ‘Canes have started to make an impact recruiting in the Northeast, especially in New Jersey.
Golden snagged a pair of 4-stars from the Garden State in Kevin Olsen and Al-Quadin Muhammad, plus Hunter Knighton during the 2013 cycle. Starting defensive lineman and New Jersey native Olsen Pierre was also Golden’s first commit after he arrived in Miami following the 2010 season.
Among others, the ‘Canes are targeting 4-star safety, Kiy Hester, and playing a game near the home state of recruits would allow more potential Hurricanes to watch Miami compete live.
Minimizes Turnover in Future ACC Schedules
Preparing a successful game plan is one of the most difficult things for a coaching staff to do, and, ultimately, it's the most important role of a coach on game day.
From this point forward, the ‘Canes will play seven of the same eight ACC opponents every season.
The ACC announced the rotating crossover schedule for the next 12 years, so it is a safe assumption that the conference will not be realigning the Coastal and Atlantic anytime soon.
Miami will still face longtime rival Florida State every year, but the Hurricanes will only have a matchup with the likes of perennial Atlantic Division power Clemson once every six seasons.
Playing the same schools every year is an advantage each ACC team possesses, but even if the game plan is not the same, Golden will have plenty of firsthand experience against his opponents.