Miami football 14th most stable team entering 2021 per ESPN metrics

Dec 5, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports /

ESPN college football metrics guru Bill Connelly has ranked the Miami football team the 14th most stable entering the 2021 season. Connelly, the creator of the college football metric SP+ rated teams entering the 2021 season based on coaching, roster and performances stability. Miami earned a score of 37.7.

Teams were graded based on a possible score of 20 for coaching and roster stability and 10 for performance. Miami received scores of 11.0 for coach stability, 18.1 for roster stability and 8.6 for performance stability. The Hurricanes are third in roster stability. Miami returns 19 starters from their 2020 team

Miami returns 10 starters on offense led by quarterback D’Eriq King. The Hurricanes defense returns nine starters led by safety Bubba Bolden. Bolden has been named to multiple preseason awards watch lists. Miami drew the low score in coaching stability after Manny Diaz remade most of the defensive coaching staff during the offseason.

Jess Simpson returned as the Miami defensive line coach after two years with the Atlanta Falcons. Miami also hired strikers coach Ishmael Aristide, defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson and promoted De Marcus Van Dyke from the recruiting staff to cornerbacks coach. Jonathan Patke moved from coaching strikers to linebackers.

"14. Miami: 37.7 (11.0 coach stability, 18.1 roster stability, 8.6 performance stability)“Stable” and “Miami” really haven’t gone together that much over the past 20 years, but Manny Diaz brings back…quarterback D’Eriq King, and the Hurricanes’ five-year SP+ average is ranked 17th and climbing.”"

Another significant change for 2021 is Diaz resuming control calling the Miami defense. Co-defensive coordinator Ephraim Banda left for Utah State and Blake Baker was hired as the linebackers coach at LSU after losing play-calling duties with Miami. Patke will remain special teams coordinator in addition to the LB coach.

The Miami football team has to replace Brevin Jordan at TE and defensive ends Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche. Will Mallory should be able to replace the numbers Jordan produced in 2020. Replacing Phillips and Roche is more tenuous. DeAndre Johnson and Zach McCloud project as the starting DEs.

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Johnson is a transfer from Tennessee who was an edge rusher at outside LB in the Volunteers 3-4 defense. Phillips was a second-team All-American with 45 tackles, 15.5 sacks and eight tackles for loss last season. Roche equaled Phillips with 45 tackles, 14.5 TFLs and 4.5 sacks. Stability and experience should help Miami in 2021.