It's not so great to be a Miami Hurricane.
The cloud of an NCAA investigation looms over the program all because a pathetic, Ponzi scheming manchild decided it would be a real cool idea to buy the friendship of college kids. Much of the ballyhooed-but-ultimately-disappointing 2008 recruiting class is off somewhere trying to make a CFL squad or something. Miller time is now being celebrated by the Dolphins. Only ten starters return.
The Wall Street Journal has us ranked as one of the most embarrassing teams in college football. We're playing in a conference that is a final Big East implosion away from becoming the official laughing stock of the majors. Friggin' UCF got more pre-season poll love than us. Some doomsayers are predicting the 'Canes worst season since the '70s. This computer thing says we'll win two games. Unless, you're a big fan of Al Golden's neckwear there's just not that much to grasp on to and get excited about this season. But let's try anyway!
1. Boston College at least has the decency to suck enough to let us start the season off with a win
The Hurricanes head up to Bahston to take on the Eagles this Saturday (3:30 p.m. on ABC) to start off the season. That team racked up only four wins last season and has had an injury prone off-season. Despite being on the road, Miami comes into the game as the favorites. If we win it, we'd at least be tied for first in the ACC ... at least until week three. So, that's something! Don't worry too much about the fact that one of BC's four wins last season was against us. Ancient history.
2. So much "young talent" you guys!
I'm getting sick of hearing this actually. I don't even know how many times in the past few seasons I've turned on a game or ESPN and heard about how much "young talent" the Hurricanes have. This team apparently goes through more "young talent" than the Disney Channel. The difference this year, though, is that based on his time at Temple, Al Golden might actually know what to do once he's assembled all this "young talent," unlike our last two head coaches. Perhaps one day they will even be "old talent." Not this year, but you could see the beginnings of future Hurricane greats, and that in itself is pretty exciting.
3. This season probably won't even mean anything, so just enjoy drink beer, enjoy the games, whatever.
Unless the team actually shocks its way into a meaningful bowl, we wouldn't be surprised if the team decides to forfeit another year of bowl eligibility (assuming they actually become bowl eligible). Yes, it totally sucks, but it's nice to take a break from coming into a season with high expectations only to see this team totally crash and burn. It's a no stress season. Just tune into some games, get drunk, chill with your friends, whatever. It's Saturday. You live in Miami. The weather's nice. Don't get too caught up in it. Make some nachos! Jump in the pool during halftime. I just forked over too much cash to go to the FSU game. Do I think the team is actually going to win? Probably not, but I do plan on pre-gaming to the point where I won't remember who won or lost anyway.
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Who the hell knows. Maybe they'll surprise us all. Probably not, but anything is possible.
4. It could be so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so much worse.
Given the accusations being levied against the team, we wouldn't have been surprised if there was an even bigger exodus out of Coral Gables and a lack of quality recruits coming in to replace it. Al Golden and his staff are sticking it out, and are quietly building a solid team for the future. Rivals ranked their 2012 recruiting class the 9th best in the country. ESPN had them at 8th, and has the next recruiting class as the 18th best so far. Those NCAA sanctions probably won't be as bad as we all initially feared, and look how quickly USC recovered. They're coming into the polls at number one in their year of post-sanction bowl eligibility, and they did it under friggin' Lane Kiffin. This could have been a period of program destruction, but it appears to be a period of program rebuilding, one you'd expect in the second year of a new head coach even under better conditions.