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Monday Musings: game recognizes game; expectations for the season

We’re BAAAAAAAAA-aaaaaack!!!!!

Miami’s Brett Romberg SetNumber: X64083 TK1 R2 F28

What is up, everyone? WE MADE IT! The eternal offseason is finally over. There is real, live college football this weekend. It’s great to be back bringing you the random Canes-related tidbits bumping around in my brain.

With that said, let’s get to it...

1) I’ve recently gotten some negative reaction to a recent historical post that I wrote about Canes football. And to be honest, it’s not the first time I’ve seen that position. To that, I would like to say...

To a degree, I get the frustration. It’s been almost two decades since Miami was very good, with 2017 slightly excepted. What was once amazing is now very far in the rearview mirror. A new season is upon is, and there is a lot to talk about with the 2023 Miami Hurricanes. And we are, trust me.

But college football, perhaps more than any other American sport with the possible exception of Major League Baseball, is about tradition. History. That’s a big part of what makes this sport great. And I’m not ever going to stop acknowledging that and talking about it.

I always hope for the Canes to succeed. I will always watch them and root for them. I hope more than anything that they write a new great period under Mario Cristobal. And I’ll write a whole lot about it. I hope you all will continue to join me along the way as we talk about it.

And I will also always celebrate and write about everything Miami football has done that’s great up until now. Because the U has become a household brand that’s worth remembering and celebrating.

2) Speaking of history, one of the greatest linemen in UM history - Brett Romberg - had some pretty strong feelings about the current Miami Hurricanes that he let fly on Twitter over the weekend. And hey, they were actually positive!

Romberg fired off several tweets, drawing comparison to a very, very memorable time to UM’s past...

That’s a lot to take in there, but it looks like Romberg is high on the Canes’ near future as 2023 begins. He also provides a very interesting take on the Canes’ new center, Matt Lee, who transferred from UCF. Lee is a very experienced and well-regarded player who earned high Pro Football Focus grades last season (90.6 pass blocking, 80.6 run blocking). The fact that Romberg loves his game is a great sign for Lee’s prospects for 2023.

So, with that being said, do you agree with Romberg? Do you see the 2023 season being akin to a 1998-type of transition for the program?

3) Lastly, what do you think would make for a successful second season for Mario Cristobal? For me, the floor for a successful season as far as win total is eight. A three-win increase would serve as a substantial step forward. That’s especially so if the offensive philosophy appears competent, the offensive line shows signs of being a talented corps in the early stages of developing something special, a playmaker emerges on offense, and the defense gets back to better football fundamentally - understanding and executing assignments while tackling better. Signs of those things would give me substantial confidence that this team is indeed on a trajectory upwards like Romberg says.

4) So, I’ll call for UM to go 9-4 this year. An 8-4 regular season and a bowl win. I feel like that’s a very Kool-Aid-drinking view of things, which is kind of the opposite for this oft-Negative-Nancy that I am. Just calling it like I feel it. I’d also begrudgingly take 8-5 with a 7-5 regular season and a bowl win. Again, eight is the number that would be the bare minimum of an acceptable step forward.

So let’s hear it. What are your expectations for 2023?