We’re gonna take a bit of a different look at the polls this week...
Everyone said Miami would be upset, Georgia Tech fans said we’d have no home-field advantage, College Gameday, minus Desmond Howard, said Miami wouldn’t be able to focus, that they’d be tired and end up beaten...
Boy was that narrative wrong.
For the second consecutive week Miami pulled out a tough win at the end, and the heart and determination of this team showed once again. The Hurricanes would not be denied at the end of the game, and they used the energy of the crowd and the heroics of Darrell Langham to boost themselves on the field, and in the polls.
With their ranking at #8 in the AP Poll, and #7 in the Coaches Poll, Miami is ranked the highest they’ve ever been since 2013, and they find themselves in another new position, the only remaining undefeated team in the ACC. The Hurricanes face a challenge for the rest of the schedule. Next week’s opponent, Syracuse, knocked off then ranked #2 Clemson last week. After that Miami fortunately gets a bit of a break, facing a reeling North Carolina team that has gone 1-6 and has looked non-competitive in several games. The break in talent is short for Miami, as next week they face #14/14* Virginia Tech. After VT the hated rivals from South Bend, #13/16* Notre Dame, come to The Rock. A lot of us thought this stretch would be tough at the beginning of the season, especially the last two games, but we all assumed we’d get a break after UND, as Virginia came to town, it seemed like an easy win, but now Virginia is 5-1 and receiving votes in both polls.
Three of Miami’s next five opponents are at least receiving votes in both polls as of today, two of them are in the Top 15.
Miami has an opportunity in the remaining part of the season, on Halloween the College Football Playoff Committee will release its’ first poll of this season. In the first few years of this system we have seen, without doubt, that the playoff committee highly values strength of schedule. Miami’s strength of schedule now looks much more difficult than previously thought. The Hurricanes have a very real chance of making their first ever entrance into the College Football Playoff Rankings a Top 10 ranking. Things are going to become very difficult for the ‘Canes in the next few weeks, if these rankings can be trusted, and that gives Miami a huge opportunity. Polls are a means to an end in college football, and Miami is making big noise in them for the first time in a long time.
Miami looks to defend their spot and move up a few more as they take on Syracuse this weekend at 3:30 on ESPN...
*In the order of X/X = AP Poll/Coaches Poll