Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Miami Hurricanes season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Miami Hurricanes
– Team Overview
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players, Key Game, Fun Stats
– What Will Happen & Win Total Prediction
– Recruiting Class Analysis | Schedule Analysis
– Miami Previews 2017 | 2016 | 2015
The college football world really, really wants Miami to be great again.
To people of a certain age, say the words Miami and Hurricanes, and their eyes will glaze over on the way back to a special sports era that can never be duplicated.
Being “all about the U” meant a brashness that forever bucked and changed the system. It was all about the swagger, the ridiculous NFL talent, and annual games that became among the greatest of all-time.
But it was also all about backing up the bravado by always being national title-good – or losing in national title-level classics.
But that was a long, long time ago.
Take a guess on the last time Miami lost fewer than three games in a season.
There might not be an Uncle Luke, or a Sports Illustrated magazine cover – back when Sports Illustrated, magazines, and the printed word mattered – requesting that the school drop the football program, or even a freakout by the NCAA over celebration dances and overt acts of joy following a big play, but … whatever.
Be national title-good again, and everything else will be fine.
When you’re national title-good, the entrance onto the field is cool. When you’re 10-3-good, it looks like you borrowed the smoke machine from a recent Gwar concert.
When you’re national title-good – or looking like you’re in the mix – the Turnover Chain thing is awesome, and every other team wants to rip off the idea. When you’re 10-3-good and getting walloped by Clemson and blown past by Wisconsin, it comes across as a silly gimmick.
When you’re national title-good, playing in the school’s first ACC Championship, winning ten games, whacking around Notre Dame, and getting by Florida State are supposed to be a given. When you’re 10-3-good, that means you lost more games in your last three outings than the program did over a 44-game stretch from 1999 to 2003.
But it really does seem like Mark Richt is getting the program close to being national title-good again. (Meanwhile, Georgia is there now under Kirby Smart, but that’s for another day.)
Even if last year’s 10-0 start was a mirage, it showed glimpses of things to come, starting with a hellacious defense that would’ve made any of the late 1980s-early-1990s versions proud.
The pass rush should still be among the best in college football, the secondary is beyond loaded with good veterans, and the linebacking corps full of true freshmen starters a few years ago has grown into a devastating group.
The offense still needs to find the right quarterback – speaking of why the old school Miami era was so amazing – and the skill stars have to be better, but that’s coming. As long as the defense is doing what it’s supposed to, the offense just has to be good enough.
Throw in a more-than-manageable schedule – by the way, some of those historically great Miami teams fattened up on a LOT of cupcakes – and a great coaching staff, and the national title-good corner could, should, and be expected to be turned.