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Storm Center, October 11th: Canes open as underdogs to Carolina; TV slot likely chosen

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The bye week is over. Time to talk about the Tar Heels

NCAA Football: Virginia at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, Canes fam! The Bye Week is over. Let’s hop byke into the season, shall we?

Miami Hurricanes open as Underdogs to the North Carolina Tar Heels

After the bye week for the Canes, and after another instance of Mack Brown being unable to beat Florida State, the opening line for Miami-Carolina was announced on Sunday. Here’s the line, from our partners at DraftKings Sportsbook:

Miami comes in at just under a touchdown underdogs at open. We’ll track that line this week and see where it goes. And, oh wait. Just checked it again. Line has already moved to Carolina -6.5, so another half point added to Miami’s underdog status since I started writing this piece at 11:55pm.

The Canes would be elated to keep the game within that margin this year, after giving up yards — rushing particularly — and points by the boatload last year. If you’ve forgotten, and I don’t know how you could have since the game was so important and so bad from a Miami perspective, Carolina came into Hard Rock Stadium and ran for 558 yards and demolished the Canes 62-26 last season. That game was a play-in game for the Orange Bowl, and Miami got their doors blown off REAL BAD. So keeping things to within a touchdown would be nice. And hey, going to Chapel Hill and winning would be even nicer.

So let’s go win.

Likely TV slot unveiled, to be confirmed today

As a well-practiced internet sleuth, I went looking for the finalized TV coverage slot for Miami-North Carolina. As announced last week, this game was going to be placed on ESPN, ESPN2, or ACC Network.

After some searching on the ESPN website, here’s what I found:

  • 5-1 BYU and 5-1 Baylor has been placed on ESPN for the 3:30pm block
  • 4-1 Pitt and 3-2 Virginia Tech (fresh off a last second loss to Notre Dame) has been placed on ESPN2
  • Which means, 2-3 Miami at 3-3 North Carolina (fresh off a loss to Florida State) has been relegated to the ACC Network.

All of those games are listed with that TV coverage on the ESPN website as of late Sunday night, and I fully expect that to be made official when the ACC announces the TV slots for this week’s games on Monday morning/afternoon.

If you want the biggest stage to play on (the national TV station instead of the conference-specific channel that has WAY less distribution), you have to win games. Neither Miami nor Carolina has done a great job of that this year, and when you compare their record — an aggregate 5-6 on the year — to the others in this window — 7-3 for Pitt-VT and 10-2 for BYU-Baylor —, it stands to reason that Canes-Tar Heels would be at the bottom of the totem pole.

Oh well. Go win.

Frustration. All the Frustration

When teams start losing, frustration builds. Such was the case for our beloved Canes this past week, when there was a report from The Miami Herald of a fight at practice. That report was confirmed by The Athletic through a Miami staffer, who also shared there was a players-only meeting after the practice that featured the fight, so that “things could get worked out, as happens with brothers sometimes.”

Look, I get it. I’m pissed, this season is not going the way I predicted either. And, even in my fledgling athletic career that peaked in high school, we had fights in practice sometimes. So I’m not going to go all holier than thou here. I’ve been there. I get it.

The thing that I will say, however, is that the fight that was apparently shown in practice last week is the energy I need to see from the team when they’re playing SOMEONE ELSE. Far too often, Manny Diaz’s teams have been beaten badly and not shown a single bit of the fire that was reportedly displayed in practice. Think back to last year’s Carolina beatdown. Where was any semblance of someone who cared to compete? Where was anyone playing for pride (because, let’s be honest, pride was all there was to play for from about the middle of the 2nd quarter on to the end of the game)?

Players, coaches, and even the Athletic Director have all the energy in the world to come at fans on social media, or work the clearly coordinated public relations campaign to mitigate the (true and correct) narrative that this season is going to hell in a handbasket at break-neck speeds. But when it comes to actually doing something about it, performing at a high level against another team on the field, there’s precious little to be seen.

So the fight at practice was a thing to note, sure. But unless/until the Canes show that same kind of fight on the field against another team, it doesn’t mean squat. In my humble opinion.

Blips on the Radar

Let’s catch up on some of the great content on SOTU you may have missed last week:

That’s it for today. Plenty to talk about to get your day, and week, started.

Be great out there, everybody.

Go Canes