Last season for Miami Hurricanes fans was a respectful rebound, and should provide encouragement that our days of being left off most pre-season polls are over.
The season doesn't officially kick off for another seven months, but that hasn't stopped ESPN's Mark Schlabach from making his pre-season rankings. He's got the Canes at number 23, and notes that next season may ride on Jacory Harris' continued development. There's also a note there to UM officials that it's time to extend Randy Shannon's contract.
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We're not going to take Schlabach's list as gospel truth, and it probably wasn't meant to be. What it is, though, is a good guide to pre-season hype and expectations. Judging by that, the 'Canes will again have a rough schedule. Exactly half of their scheduled opponents make the list, and five rank ahead of them: Ohio State (#2), Virginia Tech (#5), Pitt (#14), FSU (a possibly over-hyped #17, then again their schedule will be weaker than ours) and North Carolina (#18). Georgia Tech sits one spot below Miami at 24.
By the way, that's five spots for the ACC. And in case you were wondering, and we know you were, The Gators sit at #10. Nick Saban's Alabama return to the top spot.