Miami football legend Michael Irvin still confident in Hurricanes

Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

Is the U back? It is a perpetual question in college football. Appearing on ESPN’s First Take on Monday, Miami football legend Michael Irvin discussed if the Hurricanes can return to being a national power. Among topics discussed between Irvin and host Stephen A. Smith was the impact of being in a conference has.

Alabama has won 18 National Titles. All but three of Alabama’s National Championships have come while the Crimson Tide has been a member of the SEC. The Crimson Tide has won seven national titles since Miami won its first of five in 1983. Miami and Alabama each won one National Title against each other.

Miami defeated Alabama in the 1990 Sugar Bowl to win the 1989 National Championship. The Crimson Tide flipped the script three seasons later with a victory in New Orleans to win its first National Championship in 13 years. Irvin has confidence in the Miami football program and head coach Manny Diaz.

Irvin does not expect Miami to get back to the dynasty they created from 1983-1991 and 2000-2002. The playmaker does believe the Hurricanes can win 10 or 11 games per season and challenge for a College Football Playoff berth. In the video, Smith doubts Miami because of the differences between the conferences.

"“We always ask that question and we put that on Miami: Get back to this. That’s an incredible, incredible era…It’s an era that, obviously, what we’re watching right now, the domination that Alabama has had right now still hasn’t topped what we did. They still have not had 58 straight home victories.That’s what you’re saying: This Miami team, go do that. I don’t think they will ever reach that. It’s just so huge, what we did. But to get back to somewhere in this fight, somewhere in this game, go and win 10, 11 games, try to get back in these playoffs, yes, I do believe Miami and coach Manny Diaz can get back to that.What we’re talking about now, we’re in this Playoff era…There’s three or four teams that get in every year. When we came up, the three or four teams that were after Nebraska and Oklahoma, we would have killed them. So if we were in a playoff like that, a four-game playoff. We would have killed.We would have won 10 or 12 of them. I do believe that.”"

Irvin left Miami as the all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards and still holds the touchdown reception record. Having Irvin believe in Diaz helps the Miami football program. Diaz needs to keep the Hurricanes focused every week. The goal of winning the ACC Coastal Division is still within reach.

If Miami wins the Coastal they will have a good chance at a berth in a New Years Six Bowl Game. It would be a lot to ask for Miami to have to run the table the rest of the season and earn a College Football Playoff berth as Irvin stated. The winner of the wide-open Coastal will likely play Clemson in the ACC Championship Game.

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The Hurricanes host Appalachian State on Saturday and close out non-conference play with Michigan State and Central Connecticut State at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami plays at North Carolina on October 16 and hosts Virginia Tech on November 20. The Tar Heels and Hokies are both ranked this week.