Can Mario Cristobal make Miami Hurricanes immediate contender?

Nov 20, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Nick Kosko of 247 Sports asked are the Miami Hurricanes a contender right away under Mario Cristobal” as part of an examination of “ACC football: 10 biggest storylines heading into 2022 season.” The question about if Miami is a contender in the inaugural season under Cristobal was the second-ranked 2022 storyline.

The only question in the 10 ACC storylines for 2022 that ranked higher was if Clemson is back to normal. Cristobal has created a lot of buzz around the Miami Hurricanes since being hired in December. Miami will play at Clemson on November 19. The Hurricanes also have a marquee game at Texas A&M on September 17.

Cristobal will match up against two national championship coaches when Miami plays at Clemson and Texas A&M. Dabo Swinney won titles with Clemson in 2016 and 2017. Jimbo Fisher won the national championship at Florida State in 2014 before being hired away by Texas A&M at the end of the 2017 season.

In the only game of his career against a national championship-winning coach, Alabama and Nick Saban beat Cristobal and FIU 40-14 in 2009. Cristobal eventually worked for Saban at Alabama from 2013 through 2016 after getting fired by FIU. Twice Cristobal coached versus coaches who reached the title game.

"2. MIAMI HURRICANES A CONTENDER RIGHT AWAY UNDER MARIO CRISTOBAL?“There are a lot of expectations for Miami once again. The Hurricanes hired Cristobal away from Oregon to become a contender. Perhaps they can contend right away with quarterback Tyler Van Dyke under center.The ACC is considered open once again, and it’s pretty much a “why not us” mentality for Miami. While winning the conference is a lot of pressure, at the very least Miami can serve as a dark horse based on Cristobal’s success with the Ducks. The head coach did win two Pac-12 titles after all.The playoff might be out of reach, and it might take a recruiting class or two to become the class of the ACC, but Miami is a team to watch out for.”"

Oregon lost to Auburn and Gus Malzahn in 2019 and won at Ohio State versus Ryan Day and the Buckeyes last season. Cristobal was hired by Miami after leading Oregon to appearances in three straight Pac 12 title games. The Miami games against Clemson and Texas A&M this season receive national attention.

dark. Next. Miami at Texas A&M named must see week 3 game

Playing Clemson is a tough schedule draw for Cristobal in his first season. If Miami is going to contend in the ACC Coastal if they lose to Clemson they would likely be able to afford only one other loss to win the division. With Van Dyke as their 2022 foundation, Miami should be in every game.