clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Miami, Notre Dame, and the need to bounce back

A guest blog examining the stakes of this week’s Canes-Irish game

Miami v Virginia Tech Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

Hello Friends. By now, I’m already in Chicago in advance of the Saturday’s Miami-Notre Dame game. But, don’t let that have you thinking that the show stops. Oh no no no, my friends. This show must go on.

For today’s commentary, I bring to you again a guest blog by my good friend Roman, who you can follow on twitter here. As usual, he brings some good points to the table, and I hope you enjoy his perspective. Without much further ado, here we go:

So with Notre Dame on the horizon and 3 consecutive conference loses in the rear view, questions and a sudden crossroad looms portentously in the foreground. Who is Miami? Where does it want to go? Let’s start off with who is Miami currently.

They are a 4-3 team who instinctively dropped its annual rival game with FSU then unwaveringly rode that surfboard of negative inertia on top of the waves of mediocrity and wiped out into the ACC abyss. Yeah. Surfs up dude. I mean the season started off promising. A 3.5 favorite on the road vs Appalachian state was only a decimal point off from the actual 35 point drubbing the Canes left Boone’s faithful as a parting gift. Then there was that double digit win on the road vs conference opponent Georgia Tech which was highlighted by 2 defensive touchdowns in seemingly 2 seconds. It was hard not to catch the euphoric high of that hang 10 national ranking.

Then one little catastrophic missed extra point later and I can’t seem to get the song wipe out from playing in my mind. Because that is what Miami does this time of year. It wipes out. It loses to Florida State and goes underwater. In 2015 Miami would lose 3 more games after its loss to FSU including the 58-0 debacle to Clemson which was the worst in school’s history. In 2014 Miami would lose 3 more games after its loss to FSU which happened to be the final 3 of that season including a bowl loss to South Carolina. In 2013 Miami would lose 3 more games after its loss to FSU after starting the season 7-0.

If you ask me who Miami is, I would tell you that they are a team who has steadfastly not been able to get over the heartbreak of losing to its rival. The single loss to its true rival has been the reoccurring epicenter of Cane calamity and perpetuated the remainder of the season into a week old opened carbonated beverage. Flat and undesirable.

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy! It’s Notre Dame week. I won’t begin to say it’s a rivalry. Maybe back then. But can we get something settled. Miami is only rivals with schools because we either A) beat them in route to a national championship, B) they beat us in route to winning a national championship, or C) we play them consistently and consecutively enough. Even if you look on Notre Dame’s Wikipedia page under the tab rivals, Miami is only listed as a frequently added opponent and not a rival. After their annual meetings from 1971-1990 (they did not meet in 1986), the Hurricanes only played the Irish twice. The 2010 loss in the Sun Bowl and the 2012 regular season loss at Soldier Field in Chicago. I’m sure there is no recruit considering Miami or Notre Dame these days who can recall this “rivalry.” However I won’t deny this upcoming ESPN 30 for 30 Catholics vs Convicts piece might add exploratory nostalgia for some.

So where does Miami want to go? The past 3 seasons we chronicled how the Hurricanes have amassed 3 losses post FSU defeat. Miami has 5-6 games left depending on bowl eligibility and only 1 loss to go in order to fulfill the post-apocalyptic FSU quota.

Now,. with Notre Dame’s 2-5 record, you would be hard pressed to quantify this as a quality win. Subsequently this was a game at the beginning of the year that you took your trusty pen and circled 10/29 as a potential signature win on the road for new Hurricane’s coach Mark Richt. Now you want to give that same trusty pen to coach Mark Richt and request that he design some more x’s and o’s and script in some much needed offense (Miami’s offense is only scoring 20.8 ppg vs. conference opponents). But a win vs. Notre Dame would count as a win and it would definitely stop the hemorrhaging. It would still mean something.

The Notre Dame vs. Miami rivalry for those who remember has definitely passed by and neatly been categorized into a college football history filing cabinet. It is something you bring out on occasion as party piece to strike up conversation. It’s fine china hardly ever used. It’s an obscure tab on a Wikipedia page. But it’s still Notre Dame vs Miami. And it still counts.

Miami needs to eventually put its best foot forward, including the coaching staff, and literally fully engage itself. Miami moving forward needs to establish its identity as a team incapable of collapse and it can start by regrouping and beating a 2-5 team in South Bend. Let it start there and inch closer to bowl eligibility. Let it finish with a bowl win which hasn’t been accomplished in Miami in over a decade.

Living in the past at times is very easy to do at Miami. It’s a great and illustrious past. Miami vs Notre Dame may not have the same ring it used to, but a win in South Bend might be exactly what’s needed to get the Canes back in the right direction.

Thanks again to Roman for his commentary. Keep the conversation going in the comments below.

Go Canes