Diagnosing the state of the University of Miami's football program in the wake of the firing of Al Golden is currently the favorite parlor game of college football commentators. To some, the head coaching job is the single greatest open position in college football right now other than the University of Southern California. To others, it could be the right fit for the right coach looking to make a name for himself. Debbie Downers maintain it's a trap of a position, and the U will never return to prominence.
However, no one is taking a harder stance than ESPN commentator Paul Finebaum. He appeared on ESPN U's College Football Live yesterday and bluntly stated that the University of Miami might as well just shut down the program.
"It used to be a dynasty, but it's not a dynasty anymore," he said. "It's a dumpster fire."
Tell us how you really feel, Finebaum.
Excuse me, sir. People in Miami know what a long smoldering dumpster fire of an FBS college football looks like. It's called FIU, and Miami is no FIU.
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Kirk Herbstreit played the angel to Finebaum's devil, noting that it was a ridiculous notion that the program should be shut down. He did, however, list off all those well-worn talking points everyone in the national press notes when it comes to talking about Miami: subpar facilities, an inability to pay coaches top dollar, and the less than ideal stadium situation.
Which, fine, fine, fine, all valid points, but all criticisms that don't have easy immediate solutions. They also ignore the fact that recruiting at the U over the past decade really hasn't been atrocious at all. Certainly not as atrocious as the team's records over those years would suggest, and there's still a lot of recent Hurricanes alumni currently tearing up the NFL. Miami has also always had X-factors that give it recruiting advantages that money can't buy. Number one being: Hello, we're in Miami, one of the greatest pools of high-school talent in the country.
At the end of the day, the woes in Miami really do come down to coaching, and the program's legacy isn't at dumpster-fire levels. Sure, maybe there's a bit of an electrical fire in the coach's office right now, but the right coach armed with a fire extinguisher would do a lot to put the program back on track.