Miami football is still a top 25 program and rising

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 06: The student section of the Miami Hurricanes cheers in the second half against the Florida State Seminoles at Hard Rock Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 06: The student section of the Miami Hurricanes cheers in the second half against the Florida State Seminoles at Hard Rock Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Is the U back? That is the eternal question about Miami football. Regardless of the answer, the Miami football program is still a top 25 program for many reasons.

Athlon Sports recently published an article ranking the best places to coach in FBS from 1-130. Many recent upgrades to the Miami football program have the Hurricanes on the rise nationally. Manny Diaz has the right disposition to make other coaches envious of working in paradise.

The Miami football program was ranked the 21st best place to coach in the nation according to Athlon. Miami came in third in the ACC and in the state of Florida. Clemson is ranked seventh overall, Florida State ninth as the ACC teams ranked ahead of the Hurricanes. Florida is fifth to rank ahead of Miami with FSU in-state.

There is no reason that Miami can’t rise on this list. Howard Schnellenberger set the standard for the entire state of Florida. Without Miami, under Dennis Erickson, Butch Davis and Larry Coker the now-defunct Big East Football conference and the American Athletic Conference wouldn’t have thrived and been created.

So many schools owe part of their success to Miami. Bobby Bowden wasn’t able to win a national championship at Florida State until the Pell Grant scandal in the 1990s crippled the Miami football program.

In the present Mark Richt set the foundation for the Miami football program to be able to compete at an elite level nationally again. The building of the Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility is a game changer. The Camping World Bowl Victory in 2016 and 2017 ACC Coastal Division titles prove Miami can have success in this era.

Athlon still believes Miami can still have success on the Gridiron. The fertile recruiting area makes the head coaches job at Miami attractive. Hurricanes recruiting coordinator Andy Vaughn spoke about the advantage Miami has in recruiting earlier this spring.

"“Not many places I’ve been are you going to have multiple five-star [recruits] just pop in every day for practice. Everywhere else I’ve been, you’ve got to find those guys and then talk them into coming to campus.You know, you could probably walk out here on the street, throw a rock and hit a couple of them. So that’s the best thing about this place or one of the best things about this place — just the quality of talent that’s nearby, it’s in this area. That makes it a little bit easier.”"

Manny Diaz stated in February the importance of recruiting well in South Florida or the State of Miami as dubbed by Schnellenberger.  Securing recruits in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties are a priority for Diaz and his staff.

"“We are the University of Miami so, our recruiting will always start in the city of Miami and then push out into Broward and Palm Beach County and then the state of Miami … We know in the long term at this school, we’ll be judged by how we recruit the tri-county area and then pushing out.”"

Athlon praised Miami as being a destination job due to the access of exceptional talent in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties. The knock on the Miami football program is the nearly 20 years it’s been since a national championship, the fickle fanbase and nearly 20-mile distance from Coral Gables to Hard Rock Stadium.

"21. MiamiWe’re almost two decades removed from the last great Miami team, but this is a highly desirable job due largely to its location in the middle of one of the most fertile recruiting areas in the nation. There are some drawbacks — no on-campus stadium, fickle fan support — but Miami is still a destination job."

The criticisms of the Hard Rock Stadium and a fickle fan base are not entirely fair. Hard Rock Stadium is one of the most modern in college football. The enrollment at Miami is just over 17,000. With a smaller student body compared to most of its rivals, an on-campus stadium is not as critical.

The fickle fan base can be blamed on a variety of factors. When Miami is winning it is a special place to play, especially at night. ESPN lead College Football analyst Kirk Herbstreit said there is no place like Miami at night.

Next. Miami football 2019 national predictions vary greatly. dark

Herbstreit compared the Hurricanes home games against Virginia Tech and Notre Dame in 2017 to the atmosphere at the Orange Bowl. With Manny Diaz leading the Hurricanes expect Miami to rise on the list of the best places to coach college football in the future.