2011 to 2015 were strange and headache times for the University of Miami. Not only did the Canes face looming NCAA allegations, but also, the team wasn’t very good.
The head coach at that time, Al Golden, gets thrown in the fire a lot, and rightfully so. A 9-4 campaign in 2013 was the highlight of his tenure. Though everyone remembers the 58-0 loss to Clemson, where Golden was fired immediately after.
Today, in a moment of reflection, I want to take a look at Golden’s best, and worst moments at Miami.
Sprinkled throughout Golden’s five years as head coach of this program, are wins that seemed to have the U primed to be back. Some of those wins are Ohio State in 2011, and also against Florida in 2013. However, that Ohio State win is something I don’t remember as well, because in Golden’s first game as head coach, the Canes lost.......to Maryland.
Big ACC wins were something that Miami got under Golden as well. You remember the overtime-thriller in Atlanta against Georgia Tech in 2012, or a shocking 30-6 win over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg in 2014.
However, when Miami was looking for that big time moment, in a big game, they fell short.
2012, in Chicago against Notre Dame. I was there, cold. An extremely overrated Notre Dame team comes in, and Miami is nowhere near as talented as they are now, but I think it could be close. 41-3, we get embarrassed.
2013, in Tally. The rivalry is renewed with FSU, as the Noles are ranked third, and Miami ranked seventh, both undefeated. In a game where Miami looked as though they were in it, they get steamrolled 41-14.
The very next week at home against Virginia Tech, in a game where Miami owned their destiny in the ACC Coastal Division. The Canes lay an egg, losing 42-24.
To make matters worst, here are some other disturbing numbers from the Golden years. 0-2 in bowl games, and 0-5 against Florida State.
That being said, lets take a look at some of the things, positive things that came out of the Golden era.
Well really, there’s only one, and thats recruiting. Through the losses, Golden was able to recruit some players that have been able to bring Miami back to prominence.
Players like Braxton Berrios, Malik Rosier, Joe Jackson, Mark Walton, Jaquan Johnson, Kendrick Norton, R.J. McIntosh, Ahmmon Richards and many others, all of them were recruited by Al Golden.
Also, its pretty hard to win when you’re being investigated by the NCAA, for something you weren’t even there for, and have allegations over your head.
So before you go right into destroying Golden and those painful five years, you have to at least thank him partly for where Miami is right now.
However, its the last game Golden ever coached at Miami that fans think of first when his name is brought up. An-under-renovation Hard Rock Stadium, nobody left in the stands except Tiger fans, and a program that had hit bottom.
CLEMSON: 58 MIAMI: 0