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Will Miami Win At Least Nine Games?

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Miami’s Over/Under for wins in 2017 has been set at 8.5. I break down the schedule and make a prediction.

Pittsburgh v Miami Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Las Vegas sportsbook operator CG Technology released college football season win totals for most Power 5 teams last week. Miami is listed at O/U 8.5 wins.

Here is Miami’s 2017 schedule. I listed the win totals that are currently available. Syracuse and Virginia were not given, probably because the lowest total released so far is 5.5 wins.

September 2 – Home vs Bethune Cookman

September 9 – Away at Arkansas State

September 16 – Away at Florida State (9.5 Wins O/U)

Florida State has beaten Miami seven straight times, with close wins the past three years. Deondre Francois will clearly be the best quarterback Miami will face all season. The Noles are loaded and could be national title contenders. Miami certainly has the talent to win in Tallahassee, but this will be the toughest challenge of the season, especially with the Canes starting an inexperienced quarterback.

September 23 – Home vs Toledo

Toledo QB Logan Woodside is back for his senior season after throwing for 45 touchdowns in 2016. The Rockets went 9-4 last year, losing to Appalachian State in a bowl game.

September 29 – Away at Duke (5.5 Wins O/U)

Miami and Duke have met each of the last 12 seasons, with Duke winning just once (2013 in Durham). Duke QB Daniel Jones played well against the Canes last season, but the Blue Devils won’t be able to slow down Miami’s offense.

October 12 – Home vs Georgia Tech (6.5 wins O/U)

Miami has beaten Georgia Tech four straight times at home and has won seven of the last eight meetings overall. Defensive line and linebackers will be the strength of Miami’s team in 2017. Manny Diaz’s unit made a huge statistical jump in 2016. A continued emphasis on tackles for loss should help the Canes control this matchup once again. Georgia Tech will be replacing QB Justin Thomas and several key players on defense.

October 21 – Home vs Syracuse

Syracuse QB Eric Dungey should have a big year in Dino Babers’ offense, but the Orange will still struggle on defense. Syracuse allowed 45 or more points in six games last season. Miami will be a double-digit favorite at home.

October 28 – Away at North Carolina (7 wins O/U)

North Carolina has beaten Miami twice in a row, but the Tar Heels lost every playmaker on offense to the NFL last month (Trubisky, Hood, Hollins, Howard, Switzer). Former LSU QB Brandon Harris has joined the Tar Heels as a grad transfer and has a chance to win the starting job.

November 4 – Home vs Virginia Tech (9 wins O/U)

Virginia Tech has a wide open race at quarterback this offseason after Jerod Evans made the poor decision to enter the NFL Draft early. Miami lost badly in Blacksburg in 2016 and won at home in 2015. Virginia Tech has the second highest win total on Miami’s schedule, behind only Florida State. The Canes would be small favorites at home if the game was played at the start of the season.

November 11 – Home vs Notre Dame

Notre Dame edged out Miami in South Bend but finished with a dreadful 4-8 record in 2016. Brandon Wimbush takes over at QB with high expectations. Brian Kelly made changes with new coordinators on both sides of the ball. Like the matchup with Virginia Tech, the Canes would currently be a small favorite at home.

November 18 – Home vs Virginia

Virginia finished 2-10 in 2016 and is undergoing a significant period of rebuilding. Mike London’s tenure left the Cavs with a talent gap and 2017 will likely be another long season in Charlottesville.

November 24 – Away at Pittsburgh (7.5 wins O/U)

Pittsburgh might end up being Miami’s biggest competition in the Coastal Division. USC transfer QB Max Browne has talent surrounding him at the skill positions, led by speedy WR Quadree Henderson. This game could be played with a trip to Charlotte on the line the following week. Miami has won four of its last five games against the Panthers.

Miami will win at least nine games. I fully recognize that my past predictions have been about as trustworthy as Michael Flynn, but I'm not pleading the 5th. In 2017, a relatively easy schedule and the quality of Miami’s roster is increasing my level of confidence. If the Canes get at least average quarterback play, this could be a special year.

I feel comfortable giving the Canes wins against Bethune Cookman, Arkansas State, Toledo, Virginia, and Syracuse. It’s college football and anything can happen, but a loss in any of those five games would be considered a significant upset.

To reach nine or more wins, the Canes would then have to go at least 4-3 in the following seven games: Away vs FSU, Pitt, UNC & Duke, Home vs Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, & Georgia Tech. Miami will be an underdog at FSU, but could end up being favored in the other six games. At worst, expect Miami to be a small underdog at Pitt and UNC. The schedule plays out perfectly for a team that will be relying on a young, unproven quarterback. The toughest Coastal division games are all at the end of the year. If the Canes win at Duke and beat Georgia Tech at home, it’s likely Miami would enter the last five games of the season with confidence at 6-1, highly ranked in the polls.

What do you think? Over 8.5? Under 8.5? We’ll all find out together when the Canes kick off the season in 101 days.

Poll

Miami Hurricanes = Over/Under 8.5 wins. What you got?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Way over (11+)
    (191 votes)
  • 74%
    Over
    (938 votes)
  • 8%
    Under
    (109 votes)
  • 1%
    Way under (7 or less)
    (21 votes)
1259 votes total Vote Now