Miami is not a football school. It needs to be one or it will never be competitive

There are enough articles here bashing Manny and the coaching staff. Most of it is justified, but there needs to be more Blake James, Jennifer Strawley, Julio Frenk, and University of Miami bashing and we cannot let them get a pass by making Manny the prime scapegoat for their failures. I want there to be a coaching change along with most folks here, but I'm having such a hard time getting excited about anyone we'd realistically be able to hire. I'm also very down on the entire program, more than I ever have been. Here's how I imagine the rest of the season plays out:

We go 6-6 or 6-7 and Manny gets fired. Blake James does it to pretend like he cares about football while facing 0 consequences himself. He replaces Manny with someone underwhelming and unproven because they won't spend money on someone better, nor do they possess the knowledge to find a diamond in the rough. We hire another Al Golden type guy who made a G5 program somewhat competitive. Nothing else changes. We begin the cycle of hype articles giving everyone false hope once again and the cycle continues. We'll be calling for the next coaches head in 2024.It's not going to be good enough. Even if we landed a highly respectable coach like Cristobal, it's likely not going to bring us back to relevancy.

What needs to change in order to make us competitive again? The entire program and approach the schools takes towards football and athletics. People say we're not a football school. Some people say we never were, although I'll say we used to be more of a football school back in our glory days. If we're not a football school in 2021, nobody should expect us to field a competitive football team. No one should expect top football recruits to flock to Miami, nor should they expect top tier coaches to want to come here. Put yourself in the shoes of a 5 star recruit. There's Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, and pretty much every SEC and BIG 10 school playing big time games in front of big crowds with big implications on National TV almost every week. Their facilities are 50x better than anything Miami has. The game day experience is electric. The coaches at these places are better. They get paid a lot more. For a recruit, the decision almost seems like a no brainer. Same goes for a potential coach at one of these places.

What advantage does Miami have? Campus is 15 miles away from the beach. There are a lot of cool places to go out at night. The weather is beautiful. Some guys might be local and want to stay home for family reasons. Notice how none of these advantages have anything to do with FOOTBALL? Yes, we get some good recruits, but part of me believes they come here because of the location, not the football program and that matters if we expect guys to win football games. If football isn't the reason why they came here, then it's reasonable to believe winning football games might not be a priority. Not all, but some. I think this is part of the culture problem we always hear about.

How does Miami become a football school and attract top football recruits (notice how I keep saying football) to buy into a winning football program? So much needs to be done and a lot is likely not in the realm of possibilities. First off, they need to spend money, a lot of it. Money on facilities and top tier coaches. Part of this includes improving the game day experience for students and fans because let me tell you something, it's worse now than it's ever been. I've been a season ticket holder for over 15 years and that includes 2 seasons at the Orange Bowl. The current state of Hard Rock Stadium is an absolute mess. Parking spaces have been taken away due to new Dolphins practice facilities and an Indy Car race track being built around the venue. Getting into the stadium for someone like me who lives 7 miles away has been a complete shit show and takes over an hour since I've had to park 1.5 miles away and walk. Students who already had to take a bus 45 minutes to get to Hard Rock now have to deal with all this other shit and it's completely unfair to those students who pay a crap ton of money to go to this school.

Attendance and support at home games is the worst I've ever seen it and it's not even close. Take a look at your TV screens next time you're watching a home game and you'll see nothing but teal seats. Don't give me the "it's because we're not winning" spiel because although that's part of it, it's not all of it. COVID-19 might also play a bit of a role as well but I don't think it's so significant right now. Attendance numbers listed online are inflated and don't represent actual asses in seats, only ticket sales. Lots of fans and students are staying home not just because we're not winning, but because it's a logistical nightmare to attend a game anymore. No top program, or really ANY program, has to deal with such shit to attend a game. It's pathetic and it needs to change. It matters to recruits. Why would anyone think a top recruit would want to play in an empty stadium in front of nobody against nobody programs like Duke, Virginia, and Georgia Tech? You can laugh at me, tell me I'm delusional, or how it's impossible to fix our obvious stadium conundrum, but it needs to be addressed if we want to be a football school where top football players want to play at. Period.

Another thing Miami has to do in order to become a football school, find a way to strengthen our schedule. The day is going to come when FSU and Clemson bolt for the SEC. Oklahoma and Texas have started a trend. They decided they wanted to play in the best football league while wanting a piece of the SEC TV contract money. Others are going to follow. When the time comes, Miami needs to join up and play with the big boys. The ACC Network is a joke. Most locals can't even watch our games on basic cable. Again, things like this matter. Exposure matters. We talk about how we need to recruit South Florida but 2 of our 8 games this year (25%) haven't been shown on basic cable in our area. You know who's on TV down here every week no matter who they play or what their record is? Florida. I've caught nearly every UCF game, too.

Miami needs to make itself a football school in order to be competitive in football folks. That's the bottom line. I don't care if Urban Meyer was our coach. I don't think he'd be able to win us a championship if he had to deal with the current situation the football program faces with the severe lack of resources to work with. I know people are going to try and tell me how Miami wasn't a football school 20+ years ago but still managed to win championships. 35 years is a long time. 20 years is a long time. 15 years is a long time. CFB has adapted and changed drastically over that time period. UCF, FIU, USF, and FAU didn't play D1 ball 25 years ago. They're growing. SEC coaches didn't get paid 5 times more than everyone else 15 years ago. Larry Coker was one of the highest paid CFB coaches in 2005 not far behind Nick Saban who was the highest. Manny has one of the lowest salaries in the ACC, and somewhere in the 60/70's out of 130 programs. It's easier for the big programs to out-recruit us in our own back yard. So much has changed since 2001, I could go on for hours. Those who think we can compete without prioritizing football like the winning programs are either living in the past or lying to themselves.

So yeah, I want a coaching change but I'm not really excited about it either because I know what problems the next guy is going to deal with. The culture of The U itself. Blake James and Julio Frenk will have their scapegoat in Manny, fire him, and hire another figurehead we can all hate on over the next 3 years while UCF and FAU get better and the SEC money machine keeps a' rollin' strong. If things don't seriously change and get better for this program, I could see us being a G5 program in 20+ years.

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