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Mark Richt must repair a fractured brand

After 4 straight losses, it is clear how large the challenge that Mark Richt has ahead of him is.

Miami v Virginia Tech Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

October was supposed to be the month “The U” came back.

After a 35-21 victory on the road at Georgia Tech and an undefeated start to Mark Richt’s first season, Miami had a sweep of momentum unlike anything in recent years.

Fast forward through “The Block at the Rock”, a turnover on the potential game-winning drive against UNC, a Thursday night 2nd half beatdown at Blacksburg, and a heartbreaking loss against Notre Dame, and all momentum seems to have vanished.

Miami has gone from undefeated to unranked, and fans are cringing at the phrase writers are pushing -- “trust the process”.

And after what the last decade has delivered for Hurricanes fans, who can blame them for their impatience?

They trusted the process with Randy Shannon only to see him limp to a 28-22 record as head coach, and they trusted the process with Al Golden only to witness the worst loss in school history against Clemson at home.

It has been 7 years since Miami called themselves kings against FSU, and over 13 years since they have called themselves outright champions of their conference.

Patience has become a decade-long practice for Miami fans, and after this recent skid, followers are left wondering where to turn from here.

The most gruesome part about this losing streak is not the box scores of each game, or the last second losses, but instead the fact that a simple reality has risen to the surface -- fans will have to practice patience once again.

It is not a reality anyone wanted to realize, and it is certainly not one that is easy to accept. But in a sport won often equated with a battle, Miami simply doesn’t have enough weaponry to succeed.

A decade of irrelevance has brought “The U” down to an unfamiliar point, and forced can’t-miss Miami talent such as Teddy Bridgewater, Amari Cooper, and Dalvin Cook elsewhere. Powerhouses such as Alabama and Ohio State are now reaching in for the next generation of talent such as Trevon Grimes and Jerry Jeudy, leaving Mark Richt at a disadvantage to start this regime.

Fans must simply give Mark Richt time to turn the program back around.

Patience will be tough for Miami fans to practice in the near-future, and frustration is most likely still ahead.

But in order to understand the challenge ahead you must realize all that Mark Richt has to fix.

He must find a broken identity, change a recent defeatist culture; and most importantly, repair a brand that has been severely fractured on the field and the recruiting trail.