Miami football program clearly second best in ACC


The Miami football program has made big strides in the two years under Mark Richt. They are clearly the second-best program in the ACC at this point. While other programs other than Clemson are on the decline, Miami Football is on the rise.

Throughout the spring and offseason, various publications have released predictions for the 2018 season and power rankings where each program stands. USA Today was the latest to come out with Power Rankings for the ACC in football. As to be expected the Miami football program is second in the conference.

With 15 returning starters, the nation’s eighth-best and ACC second-best recruiting class added to the roster this fall, the Hurricanes should quickly be back in the discussion among the nation’s elite teams.

Richt has built the Miami program back to prominence quickly with one of the nation’s best defenses. Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz has restored the Hurricanes defense to one that plays aggressively.

His predecessor Mark D’Onofrio’s philosophy was more of a read and react style. D’Onofrio was under constant criticism from the Miami fan base.

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  • The current Miami defense has at least four to five players that could be potential first round draft picks. Defensive end Joe Jackson, linebackers Shaq Quarterman and Michael Pinckney and defensive backs Jaquan Johnson and Michael Jackson could potentially be first-round NFL draft picks.

    Johnson and Michael Jackson are Seniors. Quarterman, Pinckney and Joe Jackson are Juniors. The latter three could potentially leave for the NFL after this season.

    Most sites expect Miami to repeat as Coastal Division Champions. The Hurricanes could still be a year or two away from being ready to challenge Clemson for an ACC Championship. USA Today expects Miami to repeat.

    "“Miami should be viewed as a heavy favorite to win the Coastal Division and earn a rematch with Clemson in early December to settle the conference championship.The Hurricanes’ biggest issue remains quarterback play, repeating a theme from the tail end of last season. There’s talent, if a little young in some spots, and there’s no question about the coaching along the sidelines.The question is whether Malik Rosier responds to adversity as a senior or if Mark Richt opts to go elsewhere under center. I think Miami is getting close.”"

    Miami’s biggest challenger to win the Coastal Division is likely to come from Virginia Tech. USA Today ranks the Hokies 18th in their post Spring football Top 25.

    The Hokies are fourth in the ACC Power rankings behind Clemson, the Hurricanes and Florida State. Miami has to travel to Blacksburg November 17. The game could decide the Coastal Division Title.

    Next: Two Miami football players named top 15, three top 100 nationally

    Clemson won’t get the challenge in the Atlantic Division it has in recent seasons. Louisville lost quarterback Lamar Jackson. Florida State lost Jimbo Fisher and replaced him with Oregon’s Wille Taggart. Taggart has a 47-50 career winning percentage in eight seasons.