So, just a couple minutes ago, ESPN Nation College Football Reporter Joe Schad posted tweets of his Spring Top 25
Spring 2016 Preseason Top 25: 1) Ala 2) FSU 3) Clem 4) LSU 5) OU 6) Ohio St 7) ND 8) Mich 9) Tenn 10) Stanf 11) Ole Miss 12) UGA 13) Miami…— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) April 1, 2016
14) USC 15) UF 16) Texas 17) Baylor 18) Okl St 19) TCU 20) Iowa 21) A&M 22) Mich. St. 23) UNC 24) UCLA 25) Houston— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) April 1, 2016
What caught my, and many others' eye, IS THE FACT THAT SHAD HAS MIAMI AT 13TH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I mean, I respect Joe Schad. And I think he does good work. But this is absolutely insane. There's no way, NO WAY, to reasonably justify picking Miami at 13th as of today.
Mark Richt has been the coach for a couple months. Miami has had a total of 8 practices with him at the helm. Both the offense and defense are still installing the systems they will use. 2 top OL, Nick Linder and Sunny Odogwu, are out for the spring. And, the majority of the ready-to-play players in the 2016 recruiting class, namely WRs Sam Bruce, Dionte Mullins, and Ahmmon Richards, have yet to set foot on campus or participate in a single practice (yanno, cuz they're still in high school).
Now, that's not to say Miami doesn't have talent. Brad Kaaya is an elite QB. The quartet of Joseph Yearby, Mark Walton, Gus Edwards, and Trayone Gray is a GREAT group at RB. Stacy Coley and David Njoku are potential All-American talents at receiver. DEs Chad Thomas and Al-Quadin Muhammad are physical freaks. DT Gerald Willis III has 5-star pedigree. CB Corn Elder is dynamic on defense and in the return game. S Jamal Carter looks like an action figure with his buff and chiseled physique.
And there's more where that comes from.
The main thing with Schad ranking Miami so highly is the new coaching staff. This staff has upgrades at every single coaching position over the former regime. Let that sink in for a minute. Every. Single. Coach. Is. An. Upgrade. Wow.
Mark Richt's 15 year coaching career speaks for itself. As does the work that every assistant on staff has done. Richt and his crew have a clear idea what they want to do, and how they want to do it. And, with focused work and elite performance from the players who, again, have talent, Miami should be able to get back to the level of winning that has eluded us for more than a decade.
But that day isn't today, April 1st, 2016. There's much work to be done. There's a long way to go to get to the level of talent and performance to which we greatly aspire. Is it possible that Miami ends the year at 13 (or higher)? Sure. It's possible. But putting the Canes in that spot AS OF TODAY is foolish and speculative.
Mark Richt and company have the pedigree, knowledge, and talent at their disposal to get Miami back into the top tier of FBS programs. But even they would tell you that it's going to take time to get there.
Maybe somebody should let Joe Schad in on that secret.