No one is claiming that last nights win over North Carolina was pretty for the Miami Hurricanes, but the 'Canes became the first team to maintain their undefeated status in week 8.
Yet, ESPN's ACC football blogger Heather Dinich wasn't impressed, and in a bit of throwaway shade she called the 'Canes top 10 ranking into question.
"The No. 10 team in the country -- allegedly -- survived four interceptions from quarterback Stephen Morris," she wrote. And despite the win called it an "otherwise inglorious performance."
Of course, that seems to tow the ESPN party line. Last night the game's announce crew was pretty much celebrating a UNC upset before the fourth quarter even began like those four fingers we hold up meant nothing! To our delight last night they actually did mean something.
What's ironic though is earlier this month Dinich's co-ACC blogger wrote a piece tearing into the media for how they react to high-ranked ACC teams pulling out close wins versus how they treat SEC teams in the same situation:
The context points here. Had Florida State or Clemson gone to overtime against a team from the bottom half of the ACC this season, their national championship aspirations would have been questioned. For Georgia, a tough win on the road is not questioned, based solely on its league's swollen reputation. Close wins are not ridiculed. They are allowed.
What remains disconcerting is the way SEC teams are almost always forgiven a loss, or even a close win. Given the way people have talked about Georgia lately, you have to wonder whether they remember this team lost to Clemson.
And Miami pulls out a close road win and their top ten ranking is called into question. No one at ESPN questioned Georgia after their overtime win against Tennessee, who might as well be the North Carolina of the SEC this season (and, yet, in hindsight maybe they should have).
Never mind the fact that Miami has historically had troubles against North Caroline. This is only their second win at Keenan Stadium since joining the conference.
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Never mind the fact that Miami-North Carolina is the definition of one-sided rivalry. The Tar Heel faithful get super excited about this game every single year, and this year was no exception. The Hurricanes are the most prominent team they'll face at home all season. They gave the game a nickname (Zero Dark Thursday) and commissioned special edition all-black uniforms. They saw this game as something to prove. Hurricanes fans -- and the team -- have a habit of overlooking this game every single year. Sure, Al Golden was preaching a "we might as well be 0-0" coming into this game, but fans were treating this as a minor chore to accomplish before walking into Tallahassee with an unblemished record. It's hard to imagine that feeling didn't, on some level, sink into the team as well.
Never mind that two of the 'Canes biggest offensive weapons -- Duke Johnson and Tommy Dorsett -- left the game with injuries in the first half.
The fact is the 'Canes held on and didn't walk away with a surprising loss like other formerly high (and still) ranked teams like Stanford, Georgia, and, oh yeah, Florida.