I do not know how to put this delicately, so I will just tackle it with brutal honesty and not succumb to political pressures.
The University of Miami will never be elite with Al Golden as the head coach. They cannot and he cannot put together a staff that can assemble a winning game plan, not to mention he is lacking as a game day manager. This has turned into a bad hire, and it looks worse than ever this season.
Golden has the same record as the displaced and fired Randy Shannon after 50 games. Just like when Shannon was terminated, there is no ray of hope, no sunshine and no belief that this team will ever improve. Miami's 24-21 loss to South Carolina in the Poulan Weedeater Bowl was an embarrassment to all of the alumni and to all of those that have worn the U in battle.
When the U hired Al from Temple, they thought that they were getting an up and coming coach that would restore the program to prominence and make them relevant again. What they really got was a coach that was over his head and has set the program back a decade. For some reason he talked his way into a contract extension and Miami will owe him money if they let him go. It would be money well spent.
Perhaps Al should negotiate a buyout with the Board of Trustees and resign on his own accord. However, that level of boldness is a long shot, as we have not seen much resembling it in four years. Ice Harris would likely coach with more skill, and the man has no experience on this level. The man, though, wins championships.
Al and the staff have lost the attention of his players and it showed today.
Golden/D'Onofrio played a zone defense all afternoon, which a sub-par Gamecock quarterback ate up all day. As special teams coach, Golden had a player run on the field late for a field goal attempt, which was missed. Who knows if that played a role in Michael Badgley missing the potential game tying field goal? Surely it didn't help.
Steve Spurrier joined a not-so-elusive club on Saturday as he joined the ranks of other coaching dignitaries such as Bobby Petrino, Jimbo Fischer and Bo Pellini. Those are top-flight coaches that led successful programs that all beat a Golden-coached team.
Golden is real good against the Savannah States, the Arkansas States, Florida A&M and Bethune Cookman. Put Al in a game with a real school, a real coach and a real program, and he gets as nervous as a room full of cattails in a rocking chair factory. Golden has shown no aplomb against the big dogs. For that reason, he should be terminated forthwith.
Take FAMU and Arky St. off this year's schedule and Miami goes 4-7. This is simply unacceptable. If anyone decides that they want to accept the status quo and sweep this under the rug, then they are not Hurricane football fans and they know diddily squat about college football. It is time to put on the big boy pants, clean house, and get someone in that knows what they are doing. You all know what the short list would look like.
I do not want to hear about what a champ he was when we had the "cloud" hanging over heads. Penn State had much more disgusting issues and were a hair away from the death penalty. They had their sanctions reduced and won their bowl game today. They have performed well in the Big Ten and have also recruited good players to Happy Valley, despite the large number of scholarships that were lost until they were reinstated.
The University of Southern California, which also got the life ripped out of them from the NCAA, is playing well against Nebraska in a bowl game and has been playing good enough to be ranked in the Top 25. They are doing that with about 70 percent of a full roster. The lost a ton of scholarships. They did get screwed by the NCAA, but they are not crying. They are winning and they have Trojan Pride. What does Miami have? Miami has trophies that have dust on them and a bag full of laurels.
Golden lost nine scholarships over three years and cannot beat Pitt at home or Virginia on the road. He gets a lead against Florida State and then stutters his way to a loss as he cannot coach with a lead. He is equally ineffective from behind.
It is time to take the program back and start winning titles again and we must become relevant. We will not be relevant and we will not have a top-five recruiting class until Alfred James Golden and his defensive coordinator are told to pound the pavement.
Finally, Duke Johnson is going to announce tomorrow that he is foregoing his senior season and will enter the draft. Could you blame him? What does he have to accomplish at this level? He will never win the Heisman because the school gets no respect and he would be foolish to think that this team can win a national title next season in its current position.
Bon voyage, El Duque. I enjoyed covering you these past two seasons and you are a class act. I wish you all the best that life has to offer and much more than you were ever rewarded with at Miami.