Miami Hurricanes vs. Maryland Terrapins: Well, It Could Be Worse
As we all know college football is purely an amateur sport. The kind of mere amateur sport, of course, where a broadcast powerhouse can look at its TV schedule, realize it has a Labor Day hole, and coerce a team that historically guarantees good ratings to change its schedule so everyone can make money, save for the actual players on the field.
Ironically though, now those ratings-hungry ESPN execs have struck potential gold as the Miami Hurricanes sit in the middle of category-five scandal because, whoops, someone dared to give some of the players a bit of dough.
What was originally planned as a battle of two ACC also-rans (sorry, but lets be honest) under new coaches with great expectations, has become a national schadenfreude fest. For most tuning into the game tonight it will be like watching a car crash, but then expecting the driver to get back behind the wheel and run a drag race. All magnified of course by the fact that all but a few other teams played patsies this weekend.
Obviously, we all know by now how Yahoo! Sports accelerated Nevin Shapiro's shit towards the direction of the NCAA's fan. There's no need to retread (and we're sure the play-by-play team will do plenty of that for us, ugh), so lets breakdown why we should actually get excited.
1. Stephen Morris is the new man
Sure, the NCAA suspended one of the ACC's most experienced QBs for the game, but sorry Jacory, it wasn't guaranteed you'd even start anyway. In his place is Stephen Morris, the true sophomore who made his starting debut last year against ...hmm, who was it again? Oh right, Maryland, and lead the Hurricanes to a fourth quarter comeback. He's had 10 months to improve since, and while the pressure is on, its not anything new. Just for the love of God, no more interceptions, Stephen.
2. It's the beginning of the "Golden Era' / The 'Canes are Playing Under Golden Rules / Our Coach is the Golden Boy / Puns! Puns! Puns!
Sure, Al Golden's arrival on campus early this year was greeted with mixed emotions, but the guy's handling of the NCAA mess has quickly endeared him to the fan base. Of course, a win in his debut would go a long way to cement the admiration. By all account he's got a better handle on the play calling and time management than Randy Shannon, and you've got to think that more than any coach in football right now he wants nothing more than a win.
3. Randy Edsall is Overrated and He Lost to Golden's Owls Last Year
Maryland ;made the weird choice of firing a guy who racked up a nine win season and replacing him with a guy from UConn who racked up an eight win (which in the Big East is good enough to make you champs). You have to think there's a still a few players bitter about the change, and the team didn't even have the benefit of a scandal for insta-bonding. Plus, among Edsall's five loses at UConn last year was a 16-30 defeat at the hand of Golden's Temple Owls. Golden definitely has Edsall's number.
4. Its The U Against the World
Remember in Space Jam when the Looney Tunes were down at half time against the Monstars and the fate of their very world was at hand? Then Bugs came around with some "special stuff" to perk up his dejected team, and they managed to beat the Monstars. Then, in a stunning plot twist that likes of which cinema has never seen before, Bugs reveals that the "special stuff" was just water, and the real "special stuff" was the place athletes go when they reach into their soul, lay it all on the line, and play like they've never played before.
Yeah, well, we think the Hurricanes have some ingredients for some "special stuff." It would be an insult to the Monstars to compare them to Maryland, but the NCAA's archaic rules, the scandal hungry press and the extra glare of "haters" is definitely some Monstar level shit. Of course, in Miami we don't call it "special stuff." We call it Swag, and if ever there was a time to swag the fuck out on the football field and shut the peanut gallery up it would be now.
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