The 2022 college football season came to an end and UGA put a stamp on another great season with back-to-back National Championships. Miami saw their season end almost 2 months ago, and after watching the bowls and the playoffs, the Canes weren’t in the same stratosphere of any good football teams. 2023 brings about a new year and new change. There is a ton of positivity surrounding recruiting, and with the transfer portal the ability to become good can happen at a very rapid pace. TCU made the national championship game after a 5-7 season, and USC went from 4-8 to the Cotton Bowl, and may have made the playoffs if Caleb Williams wasn’t hurt in the PAC-12 Championship game. Mario Cristobal got a pass (sort of) in year 1, but patience is already wearing thin amongst Cane fans.
Here are my Cane resolutions for 2023.
1. Find an Offense - The numbers in 2022 were downright embarrassing no matter how much spin or excuses were made. Nine quarters without a TD. 8 yards of offense in a half and less than 100 yards total vs Clemson. 9 points against a mediocre Texas A&M team. The list could go on and on with the failures of 1st year offensive coordinator Josh Gattis. Tyler Van Dyke regressed, and the offense seemed to be stuck in the 1950s. Protection was terrible, yet Gattis continued to run slow, long developing plays that had zero chance of success. Miami couldn’t run the ball, and after Middle Tennessee St exposed that the Canes also couldn’t handle the blitz, everyone used the same strategy, which destroyed the offense. The former Broyles winner made very few adjustments until the season came to an end. The pace of play is painfully slow, and the antiquated check with me system never seemed to work. If Gattis stays (which at this point he’s still employed) then Coach Cristobal is telling everyone that he is happy with this style of play. A huge talent upgrade will help, but a coaching and style change would help more.
2. Stop the Excuses - “Get back to work” was uttered approximately 19 thousand times this past football season after every mind-numbing loss. I get it, the only way out of this malaise will be through hard work, but 5-7 in today's day and age of instant success is a complete failure. 2022 was the worst Miami team since the Canes became a national power, which is shocking given the number of resources that were poured into the program. Coach Cristobal told us it was going to take time and that he will build it the right way, but 5-7 will only be tolerated once. This year's roster will be majority players brought in by this staff, or kids that wanted to be a part of the rebuild. No excuses in a terrible ACC to be as awful as the Canes were. No more excuses about talent, culture, bus rides, attendance or anything, just win some damn games.
3.Change Seating at Hard Rock Stadium - As a season ticket holder for almost 20 seasons, the crowd has become increasingly more whack as the program has declined into the abyss. 2022 The U capitalized on the Cristobal hire by jacking up ticket prices across the board. Not a bad move, except the team sucked worse than the home schedule and by the Pitt game you could count fans on one hand in certain sections. Go back to general admission in certain lower levels, and unless the stadium is close to sold out (insert laughing emoji here) allow everyone to sit lower level at kickoff. It’s beyond embarrassing and not defendable to see 36k spaced-out all-over HRS. Heck at this point, tarp off the upper deck until the program is good enough to attract fans to games. While they’re at it, lower the price to park our cars and tailgate, which is usually the highlight of gameday. Make the games more of a party atmosphere too, because the game day entertainment at HRS has become quite boring.
4. Stop Comparisons - This is more of a social media issue, but every year I see the stupid comparisons of Canes teams gone by. Such and such are just like 1999 and we should be like ….stop it please! Those great teams gone by aren’t coming back, and the quicker these teams start having their own winning identity the sooner we stop comparing them to our previous teams. This isn’t Butch Davis probation teams. These aren’t Larry Coker’s teams, and they aren’t even Al Golden’s teams. Mario has to put his imprint and justifying his bad year saying “well in 1997 Butch did this” changes nothing.
5. Win Some Damn Games - Its simple, everything stated above will be a moot point if Miami wins again. Mario is on the clock, and there is no reason to be a sub .500 team.