Georgia was the best program not to win the College Football Playoff before hoisting the trophy at Lucas Oil Stadium on Monday night following its championship game victory over Alabama. Which programs are situated to become the next on that list to win a title. The Miami football program was ranked fourth by Rivals.Com.
Mike Farrell of Rivals listed five college football teams as “The next programs to break through with a playoff title.” The Miami football program is expected to significantly upgrade the talent on its roster and become a far greater presence in recruiting with Mario Cristobal as the head coach.
With Tyler Van Dyke at quarterback, Miami has a foundation to build on for at least the 2022 season. Cristobal has quickly made an impact with Miami adding three top 100 players in the Class of 2022 since he was hired last month. The Miami football team should be expected to add some impact transfers during the 2022 offseason.
Georgia built a roster over the past few recruiting cycles by continually adding top classes during the Kirby Smart era. After losing to Alabama in the National Championship Game following the 2017 season, Georgia won its first title in 41 years on Monday. Farrell profiled the Miami football program’s chances.
THE NEXT PROGRAMS TO BREAK THROUGH WITH A PLAYOFF TITLE
Who’s next? Georgia is the latest first-time winner of the CFB Playoff. Which program will be the next to break through? Here are my five best guesses.
4. Miami — Mario Cristobal will recruit like crazy at Miami and the roster will have as much talent as it has had since Larry Coker was handed the keys. And let’s remember how bad the ACC is and how a good run can get you into the playoff.
Farrell listed Texas A&M, USC and Michigan ahead of Miami with Oklahoma State fifth on the list of programs that are next to break through and win a Playoff title. Jimbo Fisher is stacking similar signing classes at Texas A&M to what Smart has done at Georgia. Miami plays in College Station on September 17.
USC just hired Lincoln Riley away from Oklahoma. No college football program mirrors Miami more than USC. The Trojans have an extensive history, play in a major metropolitan era and one of the best recruiting grounds in the country within a reasonable drive from its campus. Riley is also one of the best offensive minds.
Michigan seems a bit more of a challenge. The Wolverines will be behind the recruiting juggernaut that is Ohio State in the Big 10 East every year. James Franklin at Penn State and Mel Tucker at Michigan State are also building excellent programs in one of the toughest divisions in college football.
Miami lost 37-34 to Oklahoma State and Mike Gundy in the 2020 Cheez-It Bowl. Farrell likes the future for the Cowboys with Riley leaving the Sooners half of bedlam and Oklahoma and Texas headed for the SEC in the next three years. Farrell believes that Oklahoma State can become the dominant team in the Big XII.
Miami has a chance to become the dominant team in the ACC Coastal with Cristobal recruiting. Oregon won the Pac 12 in 2019 and 2022 and their third straight North Division title this season. Miami can easily make that type of run in the ACC. The biggest albatross for Miami will be a Clemson program in transition.
Dabo Swinney had constantly praised the stability his program has had during his tenure. Clemson lost both coordinators following the 2021 season. Former Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables is succeeding Riley at Oklahoma. After a tumultuous season for Clemson, it will be interesting to see how they adapt in 2022.
Miami returns 14 starters in 2022. This fall will likely be one for Cristobal to implement his systems and cultures and for the team to grow. Smart was almost miraculously able to get Georgia within an overtime stop of winning the National Championship in his second season. Cristobal will likely need more time than that.