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Randy Shannon Was a Better Coach Than Al Golden and Here's the Proof

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The Miami Hurricanes dropped their third game of the season against Georgia Tech this past Saturday, all but assuring that the 2014-15 campaign will be just another dead-end. The frustrating loss to the Yellow Jackets has even caused some of Al Golden's most loyal supporters to reconsider their allegiances.

If these frustrations sounds familiar, they should. Just four years ago, in an eerily similar fashion, the Canes fired Randy Shannon following an upset loss to South Florida, citing bad defenses, poor development of talent, questionable play-calling. Has anything changed since then? Let's take a look at the numbers.

1. Records

Randy Shannon: 28-22, (16-16 ACC)

Al Golden: 25-18, (14-13 ACC)

When the Miami Hurricanes fired Randy Shannon following an upset loss to South Florida in 2010 it was because the program was not living up to the standards they had become accustomed to since the early '80s. So far Al Golden has done little, if anything, to improve upon what Randy Shannon was able to accomplish. The most troubling part of Golden's tenure is that it's trending downward. In the last 12 games, Miami has lost seven times, all by double-digits.

What's more shocking than both these coaches' failures? What they add up to. The Hurricanes are just 55-45 over their last 100 games. Joaquin said dominate, and we ain't!

Advantage: Saddest. Push. Ever.

2. Notable Wins

Randy Shannon: #16 Texas A&M (2007), FSU (2007), Virginia Tech (2008), #19 FSU (2009), #13 Georgia Tech (2009), #8 Oklahoma (2009), Clemson (2010)

Al Golden: #16 Ohio State (2011), #22 Georgia Tech (2011), #12 Florida (2013)

The records look the same, but the quality of the wins look much different. While Randy Shannon wasn't exactly successful at Miami, he did pick up a few quality wins along the way, wins that teased the fan base just enough to make them believe the program was turning the corner.

Golden, on the other hand, has not done anything of the sort. His Miami squads are 1-12 against teams that finish with eight or more wins, including 0-3 against Florida State. Of Golden's three most notable wins, two came against teams, Ohio State and Florida, that ended the season so poorly, you had to ask yourself if wins against them really even were big wins.

Advantage: Randy Shannon

3. Recruiting Classes

Randy Shannon: 19th, 5th, 15th, 16th -- (13.75 best class average)

Al Golden: 36th, 9th, 20th, 12th -- (19.25 best class average)

(Those rankings come from Rivals.com)

Do you believe in recruiting stars? If you do, these two coaches aren't all that much different.

A common misconception as-of-late is that the University of Miami just doesn't have talent, which may or may not be true. Sure, Miami is no longer picking up top recruiting classes, but that doesn't mean they don't have more talent than teams they are losing to. Since Al Golden took over, 23 four or five-star players have come to Miami, more than enough to compete in the ACC. These are all players other schools wanted, all players that Miami went out and got, so the argument that Miami lacks talent doesn't hold water. Miami way have dealt with sanctions, but the teams they are losing to deal daily with being, well, themselves.

Randy Shannon was doomed by his inability to develop talent, Al Golden is quickly gaining much of the same reputation.

Advantage: Randy Shannon

4. Defensive Rankings

Randy Shannon:

2007- 33rd

2008 - 28th

2009 - 29th

2010 - 22nd

Al Golden

2011 - 45th

2012 - 116th

2013 - 89th

2014 - 16th

By comparison, Randy Shannon's Miami Hurricanes teams were much more consistent on defense, although not anywhere near as dominant as Hurricanes teams of old. Al Golden's defenses have been a disaster, and much maligned in his tenure. This season's ranking of sixteen looks good, but it's from a tiny sample size, considering three of the six games have come against FAMU, Arkansas State, and Duke. In the other three games, the Hurricanes have been gashed, giving up 31, 41, and 28 points to Louisville, Nebraska, and Georgia Tech.

Neither coach had great success on defense, but Randy Shannon had much more success in this area.

Advantage: Randy Shannon

5. Offensive Rankings

Randy Shannon:

2007 - 110th

2008 - 89th

2009 - 45th

2010 - 31st

Al Golden:

2011 - 70th

2012 - 37th

2013 - 48th

2014 - 81st

Randy Shannon's offenses started off slow, but saw a steady improvement over his time at Miami. One could argue Al Golden has much more talent than Randy Shannon ever had on offense, but has done far less. The Hurricanes have much better talent in 2014 on the offensive side of the ball than a 81st ranking would indicate, which is ironic, because the biggest excuse made for the Canes failures during Golden's tenure is their loss of scholarships. You can't have more talent, and still cry poor, that doesn't make much sense.

Advantage: Randy Shannon

So did the Canes make a mistake by firing Shannon and hiring Golden?

Many probably still agree that, at the time, a change was needed. But it's more than fair to wonder three-plus years in whether Golden has been that much of an upgrade over his predecessor.

Both dealt with black clouds, and both have had mediocre results -- something Miami Hurricanes refuse to accept. Yet UM's decision makers have put much more faith in Al Golden, who is under contract until 2020. By comparison, Randy Shannon received a four year, four-million dollar plus contract when he replaced Larry Coker.

They say you get what you pay for, but as of right now, it seems like the Miami Hurricanes are getting short-changed.

The Miami Hurricanes (3-3) host the Cincinnati Bearcats (2-2) at Sun Life Stadium this Saturday; kick-off is set for noon.

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