In the process of returning Miami Hurricanes football back to the glory it once had, the program has fired the old regime and made two key decisions: Hiring Athletic Director Dan Radakovich and Head Coach Mario Cristobal. These two have the program heading in the right direction, but one more decision could alter the program and its trajectory for the foreseeable future. Leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference and attempting to join the Southeastern Conference would bring the program to a level we haven’t seen since 2004.
With the news coming out about USC and UCLA making the move to the Big Ten, Oklahoma and Texas recently moving to the SEC, and UCF and others moving to the Big 12, the time is now to initiate the process of moving conferences for Miami. As mentioned before, this move would do something for the program that nobody could’ve anticipated.
How would an SEC move elevate the ‘Canes?
A move to the SEC would have Miami playing Florida yearly, as well as playing some combination of Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Auburn. Ole Miss, Texas, Texas A&M and others. There is no way to become the best without playing consistently playing the best talent year-to-year, and this would create greatness in Miami. When it comes to recruits, the ‘Canes can offer a lot of things, but what’s the one thing that they can’t offer? SEC football.
Recruits want to play against the best talent because they know it will make them better, and most feel like the best place to develop is in the SEC. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the SEC is the pinnacle of college football. The SEC has won 12 of the last 16 national championships and dominates the modern era of college football. You know how many recruits Miami has missed out on because they simply want to play SEC football? If the ‘Canes make the move, expect the recruiting classes to be very, very dominant.
So why do elite South Florida recruits keep passing up their hometown ‘Canes to play for Alabama, Georgia and other SEC programs? Well, besides winning, its simple; the SEC produces NFL draft picks at a rate that other conferences can’t compete with. The SEC has had the most players drafted in each NFL Draft for the last 16 years. It makes sense for a recruit with an NFL dream to go a place where they know they have a better chance of being selected.
Stay in the ACC or Make the Move to the SEC?
This can go one of two ways; Miami can join the SEC, take a few years to get acclimated and then compete at the highest level OR Miami can stay in the ACC, dominate it with Clemson and the winner of the two could find a way in the College Football Playoff. In my opinion, I prefer Miami making the move to the SEC to truly challenge the best programs in the nation. It won’t be easy though. The ‘Canes are 0-4 since 2014 against the SEC, including an embarrassing beatdown by Alabama last season. But, if this happens, recruits will most likely stay home to play against the best talent and Miami will become the powerhouse of Florida. Only time will tell what decision the University of Miami will make, but hopefully the correct decision is made.