Miami Hurricanes: Randy Shannon's Do or Die Season?

Luis GonzalezCorrespondent IJuly 29, 2009

DURHAM, NC - OCTOBER 18:  Head coach Randy Shannon of the Miami Hurricanes talk to his players during the game against the Duke Blue Devils at Wallace Wade Stadium on October 18, 2008 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Randy Shannon has been with the Hurricanes for quite some time now, two years as head coach. He is definitely a man who knows his defense and truly is vested in this program.

That being said in a "what have you done for me lately" era there are questions in the success of the greatest team on the globe.

The team that is arguably the best in NCAA history and resided here from roughly 1999 'til 2003, has not resembled that form in quite some time. The MPC Computers Bowl or the whatever bowl isn't why the Hurricanes take the field.

Ever since the days of Howard Schnellenberger, the Hurricanes only hunt for two things: great talent and national championships. Everything else is just semantics.

Shannon is a great human and a good defensive coordinator, but maybe running the whole show is a bit much on a team that is volatile in its nature. You have to appease 80 young men and maybe he is better at focusing on the pride or the eye of the hurricane, our staunch, stingy defense, which has put countless players in the NFL's Hall of Fame.

Randy has even had a hand in molding the greats like Ed Reed, Jonathan Vilma, and even Ray Lewis, but individuals make up a team and if all aren't on the same page that's you play in a Humanitarian Bowl instead of the National Championship Game.

I truly feel Randy has the best intentions for the U in mind, but a scholar once said the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Not to say he's leading us to damnation, but on the greatest football team to grace the field, mediocrity might as well be damnation.

He still has this season, however, for last year's No. 1 recruiting class to use their experience and show just how great they can all be together. Jacory Harris is a Miami native who has to know the level of excellence he grew up watching.

If he could minimize his mistakes and learn to repeat those heroics we saw against Virginia Tech or in our fight in which we lost to the Florida Gators for the first time in 26 years, then QB will not be a position of worry in 2011 at the earliest.

The offense boasts young talent at every position. Jason Fox is the o-line captain, and the left tackle showed much promise and good technique last season. Graig Cooper is a heavily talented back with shades of a modern day Ottis Anderson.

The wide receivers boast youth size and speed, and if they can get really hungry for the football, Jacory could really tear up the gridiron with their talents. Last year freshmen, this year sophomores, LaRon Byrd and Aldarius Johnson brought a glimpse of the days of Reggie Wayne and Andre Johnson. They're not there yet, but at least they are attending the right university to learn how to be that great.

The defense has always been and always will be the badge of honor of this glorious squad. This year, several players look to keep our tradition and tenacity flowing like the days of old. Sam Shields is our most talented, versatile, and most experienced DB, as he is a senior and has the ingredients needed to be a Devin Hester-type player.

Randy Phillips seems to be the leader of this year's D and plays kinda like the late, great Sean Taylor. Hopefully, he could play like the legend, god rest his soul. Ryan Hill plays kinda like Antrel Rolle in that he will hit you hard, but he really just wants that big play.

That's great for a defense that very rarely is ever out of the top 10 in the NCAA, we could use a lot of big plays this year. Sean Spence shores up a linebacking corps that has been our team's strength since Michael Barrow was suiting up in that gorgeous uniform, with ability size and great athleticism and only going into his sophomore year looks poised to be the next Ray Lewis or Dan Morgan.

The year holds promise, but promise and almost only work for horse shoes and hand grenades last time I checked, and we aren't playing those games. We are playing the best game with the best team and therefore must settle for nothing less.

This is why I believe it's do or die for a great human and a good coach.

Good luck and godspeed to the greatest team to play the game.

Show them what I mean for 2010!!!


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