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How Storm 18 Doesn’t Become a Category One Hurricane

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All Miami needs to do is win win win no matter what

NCAA Football: Florida Atlantic at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a storm brewing in the 305.

As long as you haven’t been living under a rock, this isn’t breaking news (even for FSU fans).

While Mark Richt and his staff have been landing top recruit after top recruit, it’s a long way till February 7, 2018 (295 days to be exact).

Although many have hopped on the hype train for #Storm18, the Miami Hurricanes can’t just fast forward to 2018.

Like I said, it’s a long time till National Signing Day 2018. The Hurricanes still need to find Brad Kaaya’s successor, wrap up spring practice, welcome the rest of the class of 2017, and nail everything down in order for week one.

While many people have preconceived notions on how recruiting works, and assume at least three recruits will decommit then recommit and then finally decommit (aka an Anthony McFarland), these 295 days are crucial for Miami if they want to retain the pieces for that number one recruiting class.

So, let’s peg the question: what does Miami need to do in order to keep their elite recruiting class for 2018?

1. ACC Coastal

Obviously a goal for Miami every season, but something the Hurricanes haven’t achieved since joining the ACC in 2004. Just like many years, the Coastal is WIDE, WIDE open. North Carolina will go from being top contenders to the lower half of the division with the departures of Mitch Trubisky and RB Elijah Hood. The 2016 Coastal winners, Virginia Tech, loses QB Jerod Evans, TE Bucky Hodges and WR Isaiah Ford. But don’t forget, Miami just lost Brad Kaaya, David Njoku and notable members of their secondary. The Coastal is up for grabs. However, if Miami can get a steady hand under center, let their tenacious defense harass opposition, the Hurricanes could win the Coastal and solidify their 2018 recruiting class.

2. Double-digit victories

If you win, they will come. Miami has one of the weakest schedules in the ACC. The Hurricanes’ hardest game, like every season, is against Florida State. The Canes will travel to Tallahassee week three with an inexperienced quarterback, a game that will prove to be extremely tough for Miami. Other than that, the Hurricanes don’t have too many daunting opponents. I wouldn’t be surprised if Miami dropped a close game in the fourth quarter against a team like Virginia Tech or Notre Dame, but the Hurricanes should go at least 10-2 during the regular season. Then throw in a possible appearance in the ACC Championship plus the bowl game, and Miami should easily secure 10+ wins.

3. Top tier bowl game

Lastly, if Miami can reach a bowl like the Orange Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, etc the top talent will continue to flock to Coral Gables. Recruits love the tradition of the U and want to bring Miami back to national stardom (and in the future National Championship contention). Richt and his staff have a lot of work cut out if they want to make it this far, but it is definitely not out of the question.

So, in order for Miami to make sure this storm doesn’t turn into Hurricane Matthew, the Canes need to plow through their schedule winning double-digit games, lock up the Coastal and play around New Year’s Day. If they do this, Miami should stay near the top of the recruiting rankings.