October 02, 2009
Hurricanes coming back into conversation of elitesAt the beginning of the college football season everyone expected to see perennial powerhouses USC, Florida, Alabama and Texas among the top five seeds in the weekly Associated Press poll, but the team that no one thought would even scrape the top ten was Miami.
Once a factory for NFL prospects, Miami had simply fallen off the map when it came to the discussion of the top college teams, and has simply become irrelevant.
After a subpar 2005 season, Larry Coker, Miami's head coach, was in the hot seat, this after being in the National Championship picture for the past decade, including a 2003 appearance against Ohio State. After a season where the team went .500, Coker was fired.
It signaled an end to an era at the University of Miami.
After a long search, the school came to the conclusion that Randy Shannon would be the successor who would once again bring pride and a competitive nature back to the team.
It is hard to believe that a team that at one time provided the NFL with numerous talents who have become stars on professional teams has fallen so far.
After two seasons at the helm, Randy Shannon and his Hurricanes had a combined record of 12-13. So coming into this season, the pressure was on Shannon to once again bring his team to the pinnacle of excellence in college football.
There were questions about the quarterback position coming into the season, as the only choice that the Hurricanes had was sophomore Jacory Harris.
He was an unproven signal caller who had very little experience, although he did compete in the previous season.
The unranked Miami Hurricanes would get a test in their first game when they played their in-state rival the Florida State Seminoles.
In a high-scoring affair where Harris proved to be impressive while throwing for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns, the Hurricanes pulled out the victory in the closing moments when they went ahead 38-34 on a Graig Cooper three-yard run.
The following week, after they moved up in the polls to number 17, they went home to take on intra-conference rival Georgia Tech, who last year tore the Hurricanes up on the ground racking up more than 300 yards of rushing offense.
This game was never even close as the Hurricanes jumped out to a quick lead and never relinquished it.
The patented triple-option offense of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets proved to be a non-factor as the Hurricane defense swallowed up Heisman hopeful Jonathon Dwyer.
It seems that the Miami Hurricanes have returned to their previous ways. After the game against the Yellow Jackets, it seemed that the Hurricanes had regained that "swagger" that made them the most hated, but one of the most successful, college football team for the longest time.
They seemed to have the sort of arrogance and fulfillment that many players get when they play for a team such as the Hurricanes.
The Miami Hurricanes have produced NFL talents such as Clinton Portis, Ray Lewis, Devin Hester, Vince Wilfork, Ed Reed, Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson, Frank Gore and the late Sean Taylor.
These are only a few of the stars that Miami has produced over the years, and they have all made the Pro-Bowl at one point and are the cornerstones for most teams.
Often when they say which colleges they are from, former Hurricanes say the "U," which stands for the University of Miami.
These players carry that "swagger" that they obtained at Miami even into the professional ranks.
This confidence and high quality of talent seems to have returned to South Florida.
We can only hope that Miami can once again return to glory because, although you may not like them, they are fun to watch if nothing else.
College football needs Miami to return to its ranks as one of the most elite teams in the national picture.
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