Why They Belong On the List
The Proper Coaching Mentality is Finally Present
Guess what guys? There's no more "process" or "trust the system" stale coaches speak anymore coming out of Coral Gables. Instead, Mark Richt and his staff are being relatively honest and straight forward with the media and are only accepting greatness from their players. See the below video for a small snippet of what we saw and heard throughout Miami's first spring workout session's under the new regime.
The key snippet for me in this whole video is the fact that Richt is not "accepting eight or nine wins." He's ready to compete and wants players not to loaf and accept mediocrity. Giddy up.
Richt has a Top Talent at Quarterback
I have to believe one of the big reasons Coach Richt decided to end his brief retirement (two days?) was because, in college football just like in the pros, if you have a star quarterback you're already amongst the cream of the crop for being setup for success. Coach Richt, when evaluating the team doesn't need to necessarily rebuild over the next three to five seasons. With Kaaya and the other high level talent littered on the offense, he can win now and the national media see's that too.
The Defensive Philosophy is Going Back to their Roots
With Manny Diaz at the helm, Miami is going back to the future in regards to a 43 style of defense that predicates team speed above all else. Just look at the defensive line scheme change, for example. No more needing voluminous plodders along the defensive line. Kool recruited average talent at Missouri and turned them into first round picks. You're now letting him teach pass rushing moves to former four and five star kids? Buddy....
Why They Don't Belong on the List
Overall Proven Depth Is Just Not There
Miami has above average talent at every starting position along both the offense and defense but after the starters? Not so much depth on the two deep. Miami will need a few players to really develop this season or come back from injury and show well. If not then they'll be a 7 or 8 win team.
Miami Plays 5 Games in October and Could Lose all of the Contests
If you're curious, here's the list:
Oct. 1st @ GT
Oct 8th FSU
Oct 15th UNC
Oct 20th @VT
Oct 29th @ND
This list doesn't include the game in Boone, North Carolina to face off against a sneaky good APP State team the week preceding the GT game. October will literally make or break Miami's season. Of the five opponents, three were ranked in the top 25 most of (if not throughout) last season and all five programs have been competitive over the last three or so seasons if you count the peaks and valleys of the Hokies and Rambling Wreck. The month comes to a close up in South Bend where Miami could be facing a top 10 team in the Fighting Irish. We'll have to see how this plays out but damn, Halloween may come early and often for the Canes.
The Coaches May have the Fight But Do the Players?
Ahh... The million dollar question.. The coaches are saying and seem to be doing all the right things when it comes to projecting a sense of urgency for the 2016-2017 season but do the players want and need that success too? After being selected by the former regime the current club may have a lot of "dead weight" when it comes to mental makeup to complete at the level Coach Richt and his staff expect their players to compete with. Throughout camp a few players were noted for their hustle and toughness but that's the point, only a few. Will the rest show up when the going gets tough? Or... well.. you know the rest.
Should Miami be ranked in the top 25 come next season? If so do you think they hold on to the ranking? Post your thoughts below!