Miami football has to beat teams they should before 2020 season expectations

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 19: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 19: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Before any discussion about what the record should be for the Miami football team in 2020, the Hurricanes have to win the games they are expected to.

The Miami football team enters the 2020 season with two-game losing streaks to Duke and Georgia Tech. That might happen with one of those programs occasionally. It should not happen with the Blue Devils and Yellow Jackets simultaneously. Winning games they are expected to is a good place to start for Miami in 2020.

The Miami football program has spent most of the last 14 seasons mired in mediocrity. Expectations with several offseason changes are high in Coral Gables for the second straight season. Before predictions about how many wins Miami will or should have in 2020 are made Miami needs win games they are expected to win.

Losses to Florida International and Louisiana Tech in 2019 were inexcusable. Miami should win games against Power Five programs as close to 100 percent of the time as possible. Losses are going to happen occasionally. Every Power Five program is going to lose games to Group of Five schools.

Duke and Georgia Tech were the sixth and seventh place teams in the ACC Coastal Division in 2019. If Miami wins those games last season the Hurricanes would have tied Virginia for the Coastal title. The Hurricanes owned the tiebreakers with the Cavaliers and thus would have played Clemson in the ACC Championship game.

A similar scenario occurred for Miami in 2018. Duke finished sixth in the Coastal in 2018. Georgia Tech was second with a 5-3 conference record. Pittsburgh won the Coastal with a 6-2 record. Miami was 4-4 in the conference in 2018.

Wins over the Blue Devils and Yellow Jackets would have put Miami at 6-2 and tied with the Panthers for first place. Miami defeated Pittsburgh in 2018 and thus would have owned the tiebreaker to go to the conference title game.

Taking care of the games they are supposed to win in 2020 could be the difference between sitting at home in early December or playing in their second ACC Championship game in four years. Losses to the teams ranked near the top of the standings and programs like FSU and Virginia Tech in a given year are understandable.

Losing two years in a row to the sixth-place team and last season to the last-place team in the Coastal are games that derail goals set at the beginning of the season. Before setting a threshold of how many wins Miami will or should win in 2020, the Hurricanes need to start with winning the games they are supposed to win.

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The toughest games for Miami in 2020 should be at Michigan State and Virginia Tech and home against FSU and North Carolina. Losing those games would be acceptable. Splitting those four games should be the minimum goal at the beginning of the season. Winning games they are expected to will create more consistency.