Miami Hurricanes athletic director Dan Radakovich was quoted on Tuesday by the Clemson Insider as saying the Tigers are the program ACC football programs aspire to be. Clemson dominated the ACC from 2015 through 2020. The Tigers were 79-6 overall and 51-1 in the ACC winning two National Championships from 2015-2020.
Miami played Clemson three times between 2015 and 2020. The Tigers won at Miami 58-0 in 2015 in the game that precipitated the firing of former head coach Al Golden. Clemson defeated the Miami Hurricanes 38-3 in the 2017 ACC Championship. Miami lost 42-17 at Clemson during the 2020 season.
Catching up to Clemson is obvious for every ACC Football program. Miami won 38-34 at 2021 ACC Champion Pittsburgh. The Hurricanes have not lost to the ACC Coastal Division champion since 2016. With the ACC on the verge of eliminating divisions competing with all 13 other programs will become more important.
Clemson finished 10-3 in 2021, 6-2 in the ACC. The Tigers missed the College Football Playoff for the first time since 2014. The Tigers won National Championships following the 2016 and ’18 seasons. Clemson was the National Runner-up in 2015 and 2019. Miami has not yet qualified for the playoff.
“Miami football right now is not at that level from a talent perspective and certainly a number of perspectives, but we aspire to that…It’s wonderful that Clemson is that bellwether for everyone in the league to look at (and say) we need to get like that.
And I think, inside that room, there’s a lot of athletic directors who’ve said that and continue to say that.”
The 2017 Hurricanes who won the ACC Coastal Division were close to the College Football Playoff. Miami entered the final week of the regular season second in the College Football Playoff poll behind eventual National Champion Alabama. Miami has not been close to the CFP since the 2017 season.
Clemson had the fourth most talented roster in college football during the 2021 season according to the 247 composite rankings. Miami had the 13th most talented roster last season. The Hurricanes have upgraded its roster with 11 transfers added since the end of the 2021 season. Several transfers are expected to start in 2022.
Under Mario Cristobal, Miami is expected to sign higher-ranked freshmen classes. The Hurricanes signed the 12th-ranked class in 2021 and were ranked in the 70s when Cristobal was hired in December. Miami finished with the 16th ranked 2022 Class. The Hurricanes should be close to closing the talent gap.