Spring is over. The pads have been put away until late July. The competition for playing time and starting positions has now been reduced to weight room, film study and individual workouts. A question must be asked: What is a reasonable expectation for Manny Diaz in year 1?
When Manny Diaz was hired a few short months ago to replace Mark Richt, and excitement permeated throughout South Florida, most of us had visions of great football to be played soon. Coach Diaz had restored the defense to Miami standards. The Turnover Chain became all the rage in college football, and even a slight uptick on offense would surely put Miami back in the ACC Championship game, wouldn’t it?
What is realistic in year 1?
The roster is still short in a few areas, namely offensive line, depth at linebacker, an unsettled QB room, and unproven (albeit talented) guys in the secondary. The schedule on the other hand is relatively manageable, and with a new OC in Dan Enos the offense should be better.
Being reasonable in Miami is different than a lot of other college football towns. Heck, Miami isn’t your traditional college football town. It’s an event town, one that shows up when you are winning, and one that does other things when you aren’t. The honeymoon period moves along very quickly in Miami, just ask Mark Richt.
Can Manny afford to do what other Miami coaches did in year 1?
Mark Richt 2016: 9-4 including a Bowl Win. 4 losses to Notre Dame, FSU, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina.
Al Golden 2011: 6-6 Losses to Maryland, Kansas St, Virginia Tech, Virginia, FSU, and Boston College.
Randy Shannon 2007: 5-7 Losses to Oklahoma, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, NC St, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Boston College.
Larry Coker 2001: 12-0 National Championship win over Nebraska.
Butch Davis 1995: 8-3 Losses to UCLA, Virginia Tech and FSU.
That’s an 8-4 record on average for the last 5 coaching hires at Miami.
Mark Richt was cleaning up the mess that Al Golden and his buddies had made. Al Golden had the “cloud” hanging over him, and a horrible defensive scheme and overall fit. Randy Shannon was tasked with changing the attitude of the program, but wasn’t given the resources to succeed. Larry Coker was handed a Bentley and told not to crash it. Finally, Butch Davis had to deal with scholarship reductions and probation.
The argument can be made that the program is in better shape today than at any point over the last 15 years. Manny Diaz is inheriting a program with more of a chance at success than any of his predecessors not named Larry Coker. Mark Richt left the program in better shape than he found it, and Coach Diaz should be able to knock it out of the park.
8-4 would be a failure in year 1!
The schedule is set up for a run to Charlotte (ACC Title Game), and a win vs Florida in the opener will give Miami a dare to dream scenario much like 2017’s 10-0 start. Reasonable would be somewhere in between 8-4 and 12-0. Is it fair to expect that much in year 1? For Miami and Manny Diaz, it absolutely is.
What win total is a reasonable expectation year 1 for Coach Diaz?
This poll is closed
11 or more
9-10 Play in ACC Title Game
9-10 Don’t play in ACC Title Game
7-8 Go to Bowl
Doesn’t Matter, It’s Year 1