This is the most important week for the Miami Hurricanes in the last 20 years. That’s not an over exaggeration or hyperbole. Miami is at the same place they were in 1979 when Howard Schnellenberger took over the program, and much like then the viability of Miami football is on the line.
Miami has the opportunity to prove that it is serious about athletics and most importantly the football program. Fail to make a smart move, the fan base will turn completely away. Make the proper moves, and watch the support return.
How Did We Get Here?
We all know how we got to this point. Multiple bad hires at Athletic Director, and at Head Coach. Miami has chosen to be cheap for the past 15 years, and it has eroded the football program to a shell of what it once was. The only chance to make it right is to reinvest in the program that put the school on the map. There has been a ton of talk about how much money Miami will add to the football program, with reports of upwards of 30 mil per year being tossed around. The only way to get back in the football business is to spend money on the football business. “Scared Money Don’t a make Money”
What Is Next?
So now what happens? The Canes have drug their feet for 2 plus weeks to replace Athletic Director Blake James. Other schools across the country are ponying up 10 year contracts with no regards for financials, yet the Canes program continues to have infighting with the Board of Trustees. A decision needs to be made. There needs to be a vision set in motion and not factions behind closed doors who each have their own agendas. This has been an ongoing problem in Coral Gables for years. The money people have all been pushing their own agendas, leaking stories to their hand picked media, and pushing narratives that benefit them. What happened to benefitting the school? What happened to doing what’s best for the football program? A solid leader needs to be chosen who can wrangle all of these egos and create a vision that will be followed to rebuild the brand of The U.
The problem seems to be once again that Miami is putting all of their eggs in a few reported baskets. We have all grown impatient with a process that has very little truths and a lot of political postering. Are Mario Cristobal or Lane Kiffin massive upgrades over Manny Diaz? That answer is an emphatic yes, so why if those guys are potentially interested is Manny Diaz still employed? There are reports of a financial advantage to keeping Manny Diaz for a few more days, but would they really trot him out for a 4th year? Judging the history of the school, they probably would. Al Golden was given a 5th year which was an unmitigated disaster. Giving Manny Diaz a 4th year would be most likely more of the same.
Does He Still Have Support?
The Manny supporters will point to a 5-1 close to the season to finish 7-5, but a closer examination realizes that there is more style than substance. Miami had two good wins against NC St and Pittsburgh. Miami had two wins over programs who won 3 games each(Duke and Georgia Tech) and one over Virginia Tech who fired their coach the week before they played Miami. Is it nice to win? Yes it is, but to celebrate a 5-1 finish when the one loss is to a 7 loss Florida State team seems foolish. Miami is the same team they’ve been ever since Manny took over in 2019. The defense is in shambles, the offense will now have to go to OC number three as Rhett Lashlee was hired at SMU and special teams has been pretty average over the years.
Patience Is Gone
What we are seeing across college football is that patience is thin. Dan Mullen went to 3 straight NY6 bowls and was fired. Ed Orgeron won a National Title just two years ago and was fired. Loyalty is out the window so why would the Canes be loyal to someone who is not producing? The only answer goes back to posturing and ego amongst the BOT members. This has to change immediately.
Michael Irvin famously said “the time is now” and for the Miami Hurricanes athletic department the time is absolutely now. The culture has to change. A new direction has to be established or the Canes will never, ever return to the top of college football. We have heard the lip service about more money. We have heard that they are serious about football. We have heard it all, but it is time to show us and not tell us. This is the breaking point for the Miami Hurricanes as we know them. If the school chooses to stay cheap and keep the status quo, the program is admitting to us that 7-5 and lower tier bowls are acceptable. If they choose to invest in the program, the sky is the limit and they will show that they once again are in the football business.
The choice is theirs. The time is now. We are all waiting.