The history of the Miami Hurricanes program is one that is certainly unique. For decades, the program once known as Sun Tan U was an afterthought in the college football world. It was where schools like Notre Dame and other powers came to vacation and get an easy win before heading back home.
Then, in 1979, Howard Schnellenberger began a transformation that turned a bottom feeder into a national powerhouse in less than five years. National champions in 1983, 1987, 1989, and 1991 was a run unlike any other. Shots at the national title were had in several other seasons. The Canes topped the polls again after the 2001 season and were robbed of doing it again in 2002. Make that robbed in 2000 as well.
Then, the slide to mediocrity began for Miami starting in 2003 and hasn’t stopped since. It was, effectively, a run of mostly excellence that lasted a little over two decades.
And yet, that was still enough for Miami to rank among the best programs in the history of the final AP Poll. According to College Football News, Miami is #16 on the list of all teams based on their finish in the final AP Poll throughout the poll’s history.
The formula that College Football News came up with for the list is pretty simple and sensible. A school gets 25 points for a #1 final ranking, 24 points for #2, 23 points for #3, and so on and so on. Miami checked in at #16 with 534 points, sitting between Florida and UCLA.
That’s honestly a pretty remarkable accomplishment, given the relatively small window of success the program has had in its lengthy existence. It speaks to just how dominant in the polls the Canes were for two-plus glorious decades while the U was becoming a household brand.
Miami is way overdue to add to that total, but if Tyler Van Dyke and the offense can take a big step forward this fall, perhaps they can tack on a few points when January arrives.