It’s Monday. Time again to hop on board the orange-and-green submarine and get to the bottom of the ocean of Miami Hurricanes-related tomfoolery sloshing around in my noggin....
1) I think Kirk Herbstreit’s comments from College Gameday are absolutely fair. This university seemingly has issues at the top. It may be that Julio Frenk, Blake James, and certain members of the Board of Trustees actually care about the successes of the sports programs, but the problem is Frenk and, more disconcertingly, James don’t adequately show it. And let’s not act like there haven’t been oodles and oodles of issues with the men’s sports programs to address. The basketball and baseball programs have fallen off a cliff, especially the hoops team. Hell, the latter could barely field a starting five after last year’s injuries and mass exodus. We lost our program player - Chris Lykes - to transfer. Crickets. The football programs have suffered disastrous losses over the past several years, with the FIU, Duke, La Tech disasters occurring on Diaz’s watch. Those losses are arguably excusable for Diaz, as ridiculously bad as they were, since they were in his first year. James, to his credit, thumbed out a tweet acknowledging the shortcomings after the 2019 FIU-Duke-La Tech trifecta. But there hasn’t been much since.
In fact, what we do hear from those in charge of the football program is beyond understanding at times. We hear things like - from Diaz on the Monday after the UNC mauling - that the team was emotionally exhausted. WHAT?! What coach have you ever seen make an excuse like that??? Find me an example.
The silence around the program is deafening to me. It’s time for leadership to lead, and leadership starts at the top. It’s time for a show of strength. Say SOMETHING. Show the fans, alums, and donors that you indeed actually give a crap. That you aren’t just banking eight-figure checks from the ACC and yawning in your offices. Because.....well, as far as we know, that’s what you all are doing. We don’t see you, and we don’t hear you. Change that immediately. You want us to shut up? Open your mouths. Now. Lead. Be public leaders that you should be.
And yes, I can hear some of you pounding your keyboards, saying it’s not their job to communicate with the fans. Miss me with those comments. It is. It’s their job to provide a winning program for the fans. It’s also their job to secure donations and contributions from the fans. Both involve communicating with said fan base.
2) On a less negative note, you have to love the passion these young players are flashing when they get a chance to hit the field. Romello Brinson’s catch is one of the flashiest I’ve seen in a long time. Brashard Smith started the game off with a bang. I like what I saw from Elijah Arroyo both as a blocker and a pass catcher. I want to see more of him in two tight end sets. James Williams is listed as the co-starter along with Gurvan Hall in this week’s depth chart, and realistically should be the one seeing the majority of the snaps. Chantz Williams should be starting over Zach McCloud at end, even though he was incredibly still listed as second string behind McCloud in the chart. Sign me up for the #FreeChantzWilliams fan club. Let the young fella eat, Manny.
Regarding playing the players who deserve it and accountability, Nick Saban said it best:
Nick Saban’s latest midweek rant— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) September 22, 2021
“Did any of you play sports? I mean, the coach is supposed to play the best players, right?!”
This absolutely isn’t rocket science. The young players deserve to be playing more than some of their more senior counterparts. I hope we will start to see that transition take place further in the coming weeks.
3) Also, hat tip to Cam Harris for his ridiculously-impressive performance last week. 10 carries, 100 yards, 2 touchdowns. He looked fast, decisive, and RB1 material regardless of the opponent. Hopefully that will help him build some confidence and momentum heading into ACC play. Respect, 23.
4) Virginia is very beatable, and I think Miami laying 3 points is too few. I think we’re going to see a Miami team come out and take a big first step forward in conference play. Charleston Rambo goes for over a hundred, Jaylan Knighton catches a pass and takes it to the house in his return, and the offense outscores UVa 33-27. Yes, these teams have played tight, low-scoring games over the past few years, but both teams have given up more points then they’re used to so far this year. That ends Thursday. Canes -3 is the play.
Get ‘er done, boys. Go Canes.