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A change of fortunes for Miami, Florida State

One of these teams is playing stifling defense, undefeated on the year, and ranked in the top 10 in America. The other is Florida State.

Miami v Appalachian State Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

You know that I am a big Canes fan (I mean, you see the website, don’t you?). And, in talking to some of my friends who are also Canes fans, I think they have takes that you guys might like. So, today, I have another piece from my friend Roman (who you can follow on Twitter here), as we move closer to the FSU game.


The original Freaky Friday was released in 1977. A young daughter played by Jodie Foster has an out of body experience after wishing she could have the easy life of her mother, played by actress Barbara Harris. Fast forward to the 2011 and the comedy The Change Up basically stole the same body switching premise except it involved a married man, a single guy, urinating in a fountain and a lighting strike. Now in 1977 I’m sure wholesome Disney writers didn’t think that peeing in a fountain probably could manifest a cosmic switcheroo, but the ideology and fantasy of switching places with someone has definitely been one that I’m sure we have all at one time entertained. I will now entertain my own version of Freaky Friday 2016 using college football and a historic rivalry as a backdrop.

Miami comes into its matchup with Florida State 3-2 on the year with much of the fan base appropriating blame towards the defense and its respective signal caller. The Hurricanes are giving up 438.4 total yards a game and consenting a staggering 6.98 yards a play. (which is 125th nationally, or 4th worst in FBS). Plus the score board has been illuminating markedly more for adversaries. Excluding a win over an FCS program, the Hurricanes are allowing 42.5 points per game to FBS opponents. Earlier this season the Hurricanes suffered its most lop sided loss since joining the ACC conference in 1992: a 63-20 demolishing at the hands of Louisville.

5 games into the season and with the fall leaves still firmly perched on branches rather than on the ground, the Miami Hurricanes essentially negated any chance to represent its side of the conference in a championship game with 2 ACC losses. After North Carolina delivered Miami its second conference loss last Saturday, the head coach for the Hurricanes was quoted “You’ve got to coach better. We’ve got to play better. And there is a lot of good there, but like I said, there is just way too much bad, and we’re giving too much. Look them in the eye, be honest and it STARTS WITH ME.”

Huh? What just happened? If I were to write this same fan editorial last year, or the past 5 years for that matter, it is uncannily accurate and precisely depicts the University of Miami’s state of affairs.

Except those aren’t the Miami Hurricane’s statistics in 2016.

Those are Florida State’s.

That defensive coordinator that’s the focal point of fan criticism is Charles Kelly. The 2 loss record going into the beginning weeks of October is not the Hurricanes. And that over used institution of jabber defunctness, the quintessential hallmark Al Golden-ism of coach speak? The head coach who said it starts with him was Jimbo Fisher.

You cannot argue that since the hiring of Mark Richt, the Miami Hurricanes program seemingly has done an irrefutable about face.

  1. An SEC-quality and reputable coaching staff assembled under Richt’s leadership and the notion that Miami isn’t willing to pay coaches was shattered.
  2. Miami announced a stunningly beautiful 20,000 square foot mausoleum of magnificence in the Carol Soffer Football Indoor practice facility. This subsequently negated the notion facilities are antiquated.
  3. Attendance? Attendance has seen record breaking sales in terms of new season ticket holders.

Magically seats are filled. So far 2016 has not had days where empty seats headline the highlights. Highlights have ideally and rightfully relocated to the play on the field.

The 3 main culprits and adverse overused aspects continually and incessantly driven by national pundits and rival fan bases have disappeared. Staff, Facilities, Attendance. Poof. Gone. Freaky right?

2016 has brought an almost unrealistic role reversal and a certainty of a rivalry full circle. Miami is ranked 10th in the country by beating the teams it was supposed to in convincing fashion. Miami also beat coastal division foe Georgia Tech on the road by double digits. Miami has climbed up the top of the rankings mainly due in part to crisp, concise offensive methodologies guided by Mark Richt’s steady hand and a havoc wreaking, tackle for loss manufacturing, aggressive style defenses orchestrated by Manny Diaz.

After one quarter of the season in the books it is without argument that this rivalry game will see one team still in position to win a division, while the other is not. So what cane fan had a prepaid cosmic connection card and called this in? What cane fan wished for this? Then again, what cane fan didn’t wish for this?

Rivalry week is upon us. It’s Miami vs FSU. And regardless of the role reversal of rankings, statistics, records etc. FSU can definitely dastardly dampen the Hurricanes current out of body experience with a win on Saturday night at Hard Rock Stadium. In either direction you can believe FSU is still a very dangerous team. They have plenty of weapons peppered on both sides of the balls who will play on Sundays. Then there is that current strangle hold they have on the rivalry. They’ll wear the 6 game winning streak like a suit of audacious armor accentuated by spears and tomahawks. They’ll play hard. They’ll taunt you. They’ll try to silence you and the crowd. They’ll try to block Miami’s transformation at all costs. They have too. This isn’t something they can allow to happen. Miami is a dead program living in its past remember? And when is the last time you’ve seen an Ibis pull a truck? (Que Sebastian)

So here you go 2016 Miami Hurricanes. This is the question: Are you an aberration or are you an actuality? Because I’ll be honest, after the 58-0 nothing massacre at the hands of Clemson, I would have never believed that the Canes would be standing on the precipice of this iconic rivalry as a top 10 team. Nope. Not I.

I still think a majority of what I’m seeing isn’t reality. How could I? I mean If I could only tell you what my eyes have seen the past 5 years. But it doesn’t matter what this single fan thinks is reality. If Miami can refuse to believe that this is an anomaly and refuse to adhere to what it was in the past then it will solidify itself into a contender again.

Simply put, Miami woke up one morning and became a serious program again. Leave it there. Don’t go back.

Beating your rival is quintessentially the most important contributory factor in establishing Miami’s reestablishment. Looking ahead to next weekend UNC’s matchup is way more pivotal in terms of Coastal division supremacy and ultimate hopes for a trip to Orlando’s ACC championship game but beating FSU does something big. It takes a wish on a freaky Friday and tells Saturday that this is the way things are going to be from now on. It basically takes a sledgehammer to that freaky fountain and shatters it into a million pieces while laughing in the lightning’s face. It ends a 6 game losing streak with a loud and boisterous declaration:

“Hi we’re Miami football. We beat Rivals. We’re back.”

Thanks again to Roman for sharing his thoughts. You can share yours in the comments section below.

Go Canes