The offseason is trickling along and each of the State of the U contributors are trying to punch out as many articles as we can to keep you all, our awesome readers, satiated over this dry spell of college football. One idea I came up with and have been running with over the last month-plus is “Top 10 over 10 (years).” This is where I look back at a specific topic and give ratings from “honorable mention” to numbahhhh onnee. We’ve already covered awesome player names and best wins. Now it’s time to delve into most embarrassing/worst losses.
The way I break this down is really just by my memory. Sorry guys, my article, my selections. Essentially, I’m looking back through the schedules and perusing which losses stick out to me the most. Mainly I’m looking for huge blowouts or losses that there were no excuses for from an underdog opponent.
Before looking back at the last 10 years of schedules, let’s play a game (saw voice). I’ll put the over/under at 5 for the count on games Al Golden will be included in the list. Make a mental note for later! Lets get to it!
2013 @FSU, 41-14
This was the ultimate “poser” game of the Al Golden era. Both teams rolled into this contest at 7-0 and thus the game was played in primetime. Even though Miami had an undefeated record, they had escaped many of their contests leading up to this game by the skin of their teeth. A dominant Noles squad came to play and the Canes showed they weren’t up for the challenge on national TV.
2015 @Cincinnati, 34-23
Miami was 3-0 heading into this contest but the fan base was growing restless of Golden and his game management. Just the week before the Bearcats game the Canes barely squeaked out a victory against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on their home turf. Miami traveled to Cincinnati for a night game and the Miami fan base was expecting the worst: a letdown game on the road to an inferior opponent. An ominous sign before the game pointed to exactly that outcome when Al Golden’s pregame “pump up” speech included the phrase “don’t use your emotions, use your training.” The players came out of the locker room playing tight and lost on the road to a newly minted redshirt freshman quarterback.
2008 @Florida 26-3
Coach Shannon was starting his second year at the helm and he was throwing mostly freshmen, redshirt freshmen and sophomores out each week. That player usage proved disastrous when the Canes visited The Swamp and soundly got beaten by the Gators.
2016 @Notre Dame, 30-27
This game wasn’t a total beat down but it sure as heck was a letdown game. Miami was heading into this contest last season coming off of three straight losses and needed to shake off the losing form. Notre Dame looked to be the perfect opponent as they were skidding through their season with bickering throughout the locker room, firing their defensive coordinator and even the head coach throwing his own players under the bus. Unfortunately, Mark Richt and his coaching staff couldn’t out scheme the Irish and lost the contest in close fashion. Looking back at the end of the season, this was by far Richt’s “worst” loss as a Canes coach in year one as Notre Dame screeched to a 4-8 record.
2012 @Virginia, 41-40
This game doesn’t take a lot of space up in my memory banks but it was yet another defeat during the Golden era that was due to “playing down” to the competition and also mismanagement of the game clock. Miami was up by 10 points with 10 minutes left and allowed two scoring drives that resulted in two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The last end zone score occurred with just six second left in the game. Virginia heading into this game was 4-6 and was reeling coming off a run of losing six of their last seven contests.
Now we’re getting into the top ten worst losses in the last 10 years. Read on at your own peril.
#10 2011 @MD, 32-24
The first game in the Al Golden era was played ironically during a tropical storm/depression. I was actually at this game and I have to tell you, the weather was terrible. It literally rained from three hours before the game (when we were tail gating) until the end of the game with no letup. Miami was coming into this contest with a huge chunk of their starting players suspended due to the Nevin Shapiro allegations and the weather wasn’t helping the backups. After the season was over was perhaps what makes this contest live in Miami fandom lore (disdain?). Maryland went on to have a 2-10 season. Their other win was against FCS opponent Towson.
#9 2010 USF 23-20
The only real notable memory I have about this game was after the conclusion of the contest.. Miami fans had purchased the rights for a banner to be flown over the stadium and parking lots
asking demanding Randy Shannon be fired.
#8 2009 @VT 31-7
Ah, the “down pour game” my good friends who went to VT dubbed this game. Similar to the Maryland contest at number 10 on the list, there was a huge weather pattern that drenched southwestern Virginia on game day. Miami came out flat and turn over prone in this one and it really wasn’t even close from the get go.
#7 2015 @North Carolina, 59-21
Larry Scott makes an appearance on this list as the interim head coach for the Canes after Al Golden got fired (we’ll get to that subject, trust me). Miami had pumped out two victories under Scott before heading to Chapel Hill to take on the Tarheels and, to be honest, the Canes were feeling pretty good about themselves under his leadership. Well, the good vibes ended quickly and painfully on this Saturday afternoon. Don’t let the score fool you, this one was further apart in the scoring differential then just 38 points. Miami was down 45-0 before the Tarheels started resting starters and getting career backup seniors involved in the action.
#6 2012 @KSU, 52-13
Golden was in his second season at the helm and didn’t have “his guys.” That was the excuse for the poorly coached, poorly played game against a solidly coached Kansas State team.
#5 2007 @Oklahoma 51-13
This was another early season out of conference opponent that the Canes had to travel to in the Midwest and the results weren’t much better than what was seen in #6.
#4 2013 Louisville (BG), 36-9
This was an odd bowl selection for the two teams that I never quite understood. Louisville was to join the ACC the following year and also were going to play Miami the next season as well. The bowl selectors picked these two teams to play anyway and oddly enough the next year both teams would play each other in their season opener.
Anyways, Golden and his staff started developing a penchant for being out coached by better teams, specifically top 25 teams and this was another example of it at the end of the 2012-2013 season. Highly talented South Florida native Teddy Bridgewater led a dangerous Louisville team into the Russell Athletic Bowl game played in Orlando in front of a national audience and simply wiped the floor with the Canes. If I’m not mistaken, at one point Bridgewater gestured to the fans a throat slashing motion (I could be wrong on that) and then later an upside down “U” to the crowd after a big play through the air (DEFINITELY remember that). Even with the taunting of his former childhood team, the Canes couldn’t muster much of a defense and got trounced.
#3 2012 @Notre Dame, 41-3
I’ve really started to see a pattern in the Top 10 here.. if Miami is playing any sort of quality opponent on the road, especially during the Golden era, they were toast. Miami was only able to muster a field goal at the end of the first quarter and after that, the offense fell silent while Notre Dame’s marched up and down the field scoring at will. This was another high billed game as the “Notre Dame-Miami” rivalry was getting going again after many years being dormant. The Irish showed up ready to play, Miami seemed to be shocked by the cold weather in Chicago, Illinois.
#2 2015 Clemson, 58-0
This game was perhaps a blessing in disguise to Miami fans. The Al Golden-led Canes were a frustrating bunch. They’d play down to competition, mismanage the end of contests and overall the coaching staff had an air about them that they knew more than everyone else about football and if a person asked a question they didn’t like, that person got scoffed at and received a canned non-response. Suffice to say, the fan base had had enough of all those factors and when the Canes were thoroughly trounced by the Clemson Tigers infront of the home crowd; that was it. By Sunday evening, just one day after the beat down, Coach Golden was relieved of his duties and position coach Larry Scott was put in charge of the program on an interim basis.
#1 2007 UVA 48-0
Even though Miami got trounced at home in #2, there was kind of a silver lining after-the-fact with Golden getting unceremoniously fired. This contest, the #1 on the list, there was nothing good about this game. This was the last home game at the Orange Bowl which had been the home field for the Canes for decades. Miami used to have a tremendous home field advantage at “The OB” but unfortunately the last showing was a barn burning disaster.
What is the worst loss you remember as a Canes fan? Was it on the list? Let the community know in the comments section below!