Major media outlet ranks Miami football 12th in early 2021 projections

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Miami football program is ranked 12th in the early top 25 rankings by 247 Sports.

Following an 8-3 season, the Miami football program is ranked 12th in 2021 early season rankings by 247Sports.Com. Miami is tied with USC in the initial 2021 rankings by the national media outlet who primarily focuses on college sports. The Hurricanes are coming off their best season since 2017.

Miami finished 10-3 and won their only ACC Coastal Division Title in 2017. The Miami football team finished 7-3 in the ACC this past season behind College Football Playoff participants Clemson and Notre Dame. The Tigers defeated the Fighting Irish in the ACC Championship game after losing to them earlier this season.

Miami had losses to Clemson and North Carolina this season. The Hurricanes ended the season with losses to the Tar Heels in the regular season finale and to Oklahoma State in the Cheez-it Bowl. Despite the loss to North Carolina, the Hurricanes finished ahead of the Tar Heels in the 2020 ACC Standings.

North Carolina finished 8-4 following a loss to Texas A&M in the Orange Bowl. The Tar Heels are ranked fifth by 247 in their 2021 early rankings. Miami is the third-highest ranked ACC team behind third ranked Clemson and North Carolina. Notre Dame who is expected to return to being an independent is tied for eighth.

"T-12. MIAMIMiami is another team looking to shake off a rough finish to a season that had plenty of bright spots. The Hurricanes end the year with losses against North Carolina and Oklahoma State. Heading into 2021, the focus falls upon quarterback D’Eriq King and his recovery from injury.Shortly after King passed on the NFL Draft for a 2021 run at Miami, he tore his ACL in the bowl game."

How well Miami plays in 2021 will likely depend on the health of quarterback D’Eriq King. The successful rehabilitation of King from the ACL tear is critical for the Hurricanes fortunes this fall. After allowing 99 points in their final two games, improvement from the defense will also be important for Miami in 2021.

The Hurricanes have already had multiple changes on their defensive coaching staff. Co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Ephraim Banda left to run his own defense at North Carolina State. Miami replaced cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph with Tavaris Robinson who was named the defensive backs coach on Saturday.

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Defensive line coach Todd Stroud is also expected to step aside for health reasons. Some speculation has been that defensive coordinator Blake Baker could be replaced. Miami will have to replace the defensive end duo of Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche as part of rebuilding the staff and the talent on that side of the ball.