After two turbulent seasons as head coach of the University of Miami football program, Al Golden is taking the U back to national prominence this year.
The defense's dominating performance against the University of Florida earlier this month proves Goldie is on the right track. In fact, the Canes will be undefeated. No school left on the schedule, not even in-state rival Florida State, can beat Miami. And the Canes will play in their first Bowl Championship Series game since 2004.
It was tough to watch Golden's second season as head coach of UM's football program. Despite winning a share of the ACC's Atlantic Division last year, the Hurricanes suffered through blow-out losses to ranked teams, suspensions of star players, and the still-unresolved NCAA investigation into the Nevin Shapiro scandal.
It wasn't fun being a Canes fan.
For a time, it seemed Golden was straying from the blueprint that made the U great.
But in the past eight months, he has shown he is committed to recruiting South Florida's best players, which is why Goldie's 2014 recruiting class is ranked in the top five of all BCS schools.
However, Goldie's gang still has a long way to go. The U is missing those stout, All-American student-athletes who exude personality and style such as former Canes greats Jerome Brown, Warren Sapp, and Ed Reed. These guys were recruited out of hard-knock high schools in the grimiest neighborhoods, from Central Florida to central Louisiana.
They came to play for Miami because they knew they could express themselves in front of a national TV audience. They fell in love with the Canes' "fuck the world, everybody is against us" mentality. Miami has lost that edge.
Goldie and his staff are still gun shy about recruiting football athletes with larger-than-life personalities. His bosses don't want any players who will remind people of the bad-boy days. It's the same reason the school won't play the theme song I recorded for the Rakontur documentary The U.
That's got to change so the Canes can reclaim their throne.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.