Miami football fans versus national media expectations are clashing

CORAL GABLES, FL - JANUARY 02: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
CORAL GABLES, FL - JANUARY 02: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

A fanbase for any sports team is usually going to have higher expectations that what the more objective media is going to have. The excitement that The New Miami Football head coach Manny Diaz has created has whipped Hurricanes fans into a frenzy.

Early odds for the 2019 College Football season has the Miami football team’s over/under on wins set at 8.5. Las Vegas oddsmakers have more insight than anyone else in sports. That number seems more than fair for the Hurricanes. One Miami fan wrote to The Athletic College Football writer Stewart Mandel.

Tim Webber of Fleming Island, Florida disputed Mandel’s take on what the Miami football team can do in Manny Diaz’s first season. The Hurricanes still have a lot of limitations. Miami needs better play from the offensive line, quarterback and wide receiver and more consistency from the run defense.

The 2019 Miami football schedule works in the Hurricanes favor. The U has a five-game homestand in September and October. Miami gets a rebuilding Louisville team at home in their other ACC crossover game and is in a very weak ACC Coastal Division. Winning the Coastal is an achievable goal in Diaz’s first season.

Webber wrote to Mandel opposing his view that the Miami football team will not win ten games this season. Clearly, the Las Vegas oddsmakers believe that’s a stretch. The opening game against Florida will be a difficult one for Diaz’s inaugural game as the Hurricanes head coach. Winning ten out of 12 games in 2019 is a lot to ask.

Webber’s biggest gripe with Mandel is not having Miami among his top 25 teams that were posted earlier this week. Clemson at number one and Syracuse at 22 are the only ranked teams in the ACC. The rankings are meaningless less than four months before the Hurricanes and Gators take the field in Orlando.

The rankings are used as a gauge where the media thinks teams will be in August. Fans love the rankings and will debate that their team should be ranked if they are even close. The Hurricanes are certainly on the cusp. After a 7-6 2018 season and the debacle in the Pinstripe Bowl, it’s better Miami earns a ranking on the field.

"“Did you see any Miami Hurricanes games last year? Our D was stellar and we had some decent talent on the offensive side of the ball. Horrendous play-calling and a lack of leadership at QB completely doomed us.Do you not think the energy that Manny Diaz brings and the leadership and acumen of Dan Enos is enough to turn our ship around? Look at our schedule and tell me you don’t see 10 wins. Ten wins doesn’t get us in your preseason Top 25?Tim Webber, Fleming Island, Fla.I do not look at your schedule and see 10 wins, no. Not because of the opponents themselves, mind you, but because of Miami.No question, Diaz has done a great job so far creating buzz and reigniting enthusiasm for that program. He’s been able to tap into The Portal to plug some holes on the roster.But I did watch some Miami Hurricanes games last year, and they were pretty painful for the exact reason you just kind of glossed over — quarterback. I would agree that Enos’ hire was big. He obviously did great work last year at Alabama with Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts.But I regret to inform you that none of the quarterbacks on Miami’s roster are those guys. Nothing about the way this spring transpired gives me any confidence we’re going to suddenly see a drastic upgrade at that position.The fact that ballyhooed transfer Tate Martell was running with the third team at one point does not scream to me… “TEN-WIN TEAM, BABY.” It’s starting to look like N’Kosi Perry or bust, and Perry last season had a QB rating (114.9) that ranked exactly 100th nationally. Yep, 100th…So, in conclusion, I love the enthusiasm and optimism, but I do have to wonder if we are actually talking about the same football team."

Mandel makes some excellent points. His conclusion that its “N’Kosi Perry or bust is off. Diaz and Enos have stated they will not make a decision on the starting QB until training camp.

Webber’s question and answer were posted in Mandel’s Mailbag on May 3. Mandel should know that Martell looked greatly improved in UM’s spring game.

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Mandel also omitted Jarren Williams who is still competing with Perry and Martell to be the starting QB on August 24. Miami needs more than exceptional QB play to get to 10 wins in 2019. The debate on where the Hurricanes belong nationally is going to drone on until they take the field in Orlando.