The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Miami Hurricanes.
No. 7: Miami Hurricanes
Spring Practice Starts: March 20
Spring Game: April 14
Miami Hurricanes Spring Status
And that’s how it’s supposed to work under head coach Mark Richt.
Okay, so he was known for getting Georgia to within sight of the mountain top without ever getting there, and that’s what happened to Miami last season – while Georgia was a play away from winning the national title – but this appears to be just the beginning of something special.
The Canes might have lost their final three games after a 10-0 start, but they got to their first ACC Championship, they made it to the Orange Bowl, and they were a win away from going to the College Football Playoff.
And more than that, the program is fun. The Turnover Chain has become a really, really big thing.
There might be some losses – especially on the defensive front and at kicker – but the talent level is getting back to a championship level, the speed and athleticism are there, the coaching is top shelf, and the expectations are reasonably high.
The linebacking corps might be the best in the country – or close to it. The secondary is loaded, there’s a terrific battle at quarterback, the rest of the skill guys are strong, and three starters are back up front.
Miami should still be the king of the Coastal, but now it’s time to do a little bit more.
Miami Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Quarterback. The bigger fight might be on the defensive line after losing four starters from last year’s tremendous D, but for an offense that underwhelmed at times, the quarterback play needs to be better.
Malik Rosier was fine. He wasn’t great, but he was … again, fine. He came through in the clutch against Florida State and Georgia Tech, and he led the way to a 10-0 start, but 2017 super-recruit N’Kosi Perry might just be better.
Rosier is the one and Perry the two, but Evan Shirreffs is gone as a grad transfer, taking away one of the options. Redshirt freshman Cade Weldon is getting some work, and star get Jarren Williams will get his chances. But it’ll all likely come down to whether or not Perry can grow into the main man – or if Rosier can do more on …
Miami Biggest Issue
Third downs. It all ties together. The passing game was just okay – Rosier hit 54% of his throws – and it showed on third downs and the lack of ball control. The Canes didn’t control the clock, mostly because they struggled to keep the chains moving, converting a pathetic 29% of their third down chances. They did next to nothing in the losses to Pitt, Clemson and Wisconsin, and on the year hit the 40% mark just twice against FBS teams.
Miami Biggest Positive
The linebacking corps is special. Richt threw the freshmen to the wolves two years ago, and they all started to mature into seasoned pros as sophomores. This year, look out.
The combination of Shaq Quarterman, Michael Pickney, and Zack McCloud is special – and there’s more talent behind them. In all, the defense gets back eight of the top nine tacklers.
Really, Why Are The Miami Hurricanes Ranked Here?
There are still question marks. The running game has to be more consistent, the offense more explosive, and the team has to prove it can beat the good ones on a regular basis. But the speed is there, the talent is undeniable, and the swagger is back. Throw in the motivation after the way last season ended, and expect another fantastic season.