Welcome back to Debates on Greentree. As the season creeps closer to reality we are looking more and more at preseason thoughts and getting opinions on our squad. With the amount of previews hitting publish, I wanted to take a look at a how the Canes are being viewed industry wide.
“Is it Fair For Most of the Industry to Hype JUST the Offense or Defense, rather than touting Miami as a Full Package?”
I have to take this question off the cuff, because, it is one that is very hard to understand from far away. Within the circle of Miami fans, we understand that there is a different energy about the team and the staff. Last season it felt as though all parties included assumed that we would have a repeat of the 2017 season, and decided to crown ourselves kings before we hit the field. There were boats, high profile events, new graphics, a hashtag, and more gifs than any realized that Giphy had.
We all know the end result, Enos, Florida, Central Michigan, FIU, LA Tech, Jarren, Zion, blah, blah, blah.
Fast forward to now and the approach is different, its quiet, workmen like and almost no hype going inside out from the Hecht Center. I doubt it would have been any livelier with out the current events stilling the world. It feels like the business approach you get around, Oregon, or Alabama, or Clemson. Shut up and work.
But these aren’t things that national outlets and writers honestly have time to focus on. After going through ESPN, CBSSports, Sports Illustrated, 247 Sports, Athlon and Pro Football Focus ad nauseam, the script is the same.
D’Eriq is nice. Lashlee has a great resume. Miami messed up last year. Rousseau is a beast.
But without understanding the change of work ethic, no one can bring themselves to trust the Canes.
After a season full of falling flat after an offseason that was over hyped and bit the national media in the behind, the approach is cautious when previewing Canes football.
I would honestly be fine with this on its face if I didn’t look at what UNC was getting nationally. Which is? Coastal favorite across the board. First thought for the casual fan? Oh that makes sense! They have a great quarterback (true), and a coach who has a ring and can recruit (true again). It is due to UNC’s disruptive rise on the shoulders of Sam Howell that Miami’s glow from last preseason is now shining squarely on Tobacco Road.
So why do I pause? Well, because UNC has more question marks in important areas than Miami does.
A while back I did a piece on the top 5 positions in football. To the surprise of no one, they were, in order as follows:
QB. Pass Rusher, Offensive Tackle. DB. Wide Receiver.
And what would probably surprise most casual fans, Miami is either neck or infront on all fronts.
Head to head, QB is a push with Miami taking the QB room as a whole with experience through the depth chart. Pass Rusher is quick and easy. Miami. Chaz Surratt will face doubles all year and lost big timer Jason Strowbridge to the Miami Dolphins.
Surprisingly, Miami is at a strong advantage on the Offensive Line, as Miami welcomes Jarrid Williams, while UNC loses its top tackle in blinsider lineman Charlie Heck and center Nick Polino. Miami again takes the defensive back position, led by Al Blades and Bubba Bolden. Miami’s talent is wide spread with defensive backs, while UNC is stable if nothing else with good experience under Storm Duck and company.
So looking at everything we know about the true strengths, and the national opinion about Miami, this version is rightfully recognized, as individual parts.
Everyone Loves D’Eriq King and the new offense.
The OLine is now lauded with the additions made and returning experience.
Miami’s defensive Line is arguably considered the nations top group.
The defensive backs are recognized for their immense talent on the back end and leadership (notably Al Blades), on the edges.
Even the special teams, though not mentioned above, frequently gets mentioned.
But the issue is not the talent. Not anymore. All the pieces are here. No one seems to trust Miami’s ability to act as a team and peak together as a unit. It is Miami’s history, for once, that is the reason more love is not coming our way.
Ultimately, the final word usually is with Vegas, which is the only location you can find Miami favored as the better team in the Coastal. Currently, Miami holds the best odds to win the Coastal and finish runner up to Clemson in the ACC at +600 odds to win the ACC championship.
While national media takes the easy way out and goes with the darling, my money is on Miami to be the talk of the ACC by seasons end.