Miami Hurricanes CFP chance compared to other teams with 1st year coaches

Feb 2, 2022; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 2, 2022; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Chris Hummer 247 Sports examined the chances for the major hires ahead of the 2022 season to make the College Football Playoff. The chances are labeled as yes, no, or maybe. Only Marcus Freeman at Notre Dame, Brent Venables at Oklahoma and Lincoln Riley were given a better chance than the Miami Hurricanes Mario Cristobal.

Freeman will have the most seamless transition after being the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame last season. Venables who was previously the DC at Oklahoma from 1999 through 2011 is replacing Riley with the Sooners. Cristobal is similarly returning to Miami where played and was an assistant coach from 2004 to 2006.

Miami, Oklahoma and USC are all in conferences with achievable paths to the CFP. Notre Dame has its usual difficult schedule. The Fighting Irish open at Ohio State and host Clemson in November. The Miami Hurricanes play at Clemson in November and have a difficult trip to Texas A&M in September.

Hummer refers to Riley as the coach who has been to the CFP. Oklahoma lost in the semifinals following the 2017, ’18 and ’19 seasons. Cristobal and Freeman have coached in New Year’s Bowl games. Freeman began his tenure as the Notre Dame head coach in the Fiesta Bowl last season.

"“No coaches are likely to make the playoff, especially with Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia and Clemson still roaming the landscape. Yet several first-year head coaches have a chance, including one who’s accomplished the feat before.MARIO CRISTOBAL, MIAMI: MAYBE“Cristobal inherits a roster with a lot to like. The Hurricanes bring back the 45th-most production in the FBS, per ESPN, including a standout at quarterback (Tyler Van Dyke), three starters off an improving o-line and what should be one of the better secondaries in the ACC.Throw in a few talented high school players and some key instant-impact transfers (LB Mitchell Agude, CB Daryl Porter. RB Henry Parrish), and Miami has the talent to contend right away in the ACC Coastal, a division that is again wide open.As for what isn’t working in Miami’s favor, a schedule that includes trips to Texas A&M and Clemson likely means two losses. It’s also hard to know how Miami’s defense, one of the worst tackling units in the FBS last year, will look in 2022.Cristobal has shown the ability to rapidly improve rosters (he pulled FIU out of an 0-12 hole and boosted Oregon to nine wins in Year 1) but it will still be a challenge for this team to be in national contention this season.”"

The majority of the coaches at new schools this season are in their inaugural season as a college head coach. Napier is the major exception of the coaches who have not been named. In four seasons at Louisiana Napier was 40-12. Lanning is succeeding Cristobal at Oregon. Cristobal is one of four new ACC head coaches in 2022.


The listing by Hummer are coaches he thinks have a chance. As he stated he doesn’t think anyone will. Miami will have to at worst split their game at Clemson and Texas A&M and run the table through their other 11 games that would include an ACC Championship. Another possibility is an undefeated regular season.

If the Miami Hurricanes finish the regular season undefeated and lose the ACC Championship they would still have an excellent chance at making the playoff. The Miami Hurricanes would have to have everything go right in their inaugural season under Cristobal. That includes staying healthy throughout the 2022 season.

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Injuries hindered Miami in 2021. Cristobal is building depth for Miami by signing the 15th ranked class in 2022 and adding seven transfers. Mitchell Agude, the most recent transfer to Miami from UCLA is expected to start at defensive end. Cristobal will challenge to get Miami into the CFP, but in 2022 that will be a difficult task.