Mario Cristobal named 4th most likely coach to win first national championship

Nov 27, 2021; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 27, 2021; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports /

Brad Crawford of 247 Sports named Miami head coach Mario Cristobal fourth in his “College football’s likeliest coaches to win first national championship, ranked.” Cristobal has been close to reaching the College Football Playoff during his tenure at Oregon. Oregon finished sixth in the final 2019 College Football Playoff rankings.

Mario Cristobal has transformed the Miami football roster in just over six months since being hired. Miami signed a top 15 2022 freshman class and added a top 10 group of 11 transfers. The Hurricanes have only challenged for a College Football Playoff berth once since it was instituted for the 2014 season.

Miami was second in the College Football Playoff rankings heading into the final week of the 2017 regular season. Loses to Pittsburgh in the final regular-season game and Clemson in the ACC Championship cost Miami any chance at a CFP berth. Cristobal has improved the talent on the Miami football roster.

Cristobal and his staff have emphasized improving the talent on the line of scrimmage. Miami signed two offensive linemen and added two more as transfers. The Hurricanes signed three defensive linemen and added five transfers upfront. Most of the transfer DL will compete to be in the Miami rotation.

"4. MARIO CRISTOBAL, MIAMI“The U will be back very soon as a threat in the national championship picture. An ace recruiter and developer of talent, especially in the trenches, Mario Cristobal brings tenacity back to the Hurricanes.Considering the unpredictability year to year in the ACC Coastal, a division now with four first-year coaches, there’s immense opportunity for Cristobal to take advantage with a far better roster than most and high ceiling for talent acquisition.Cristobal has an elite staff is in place and battling a couple nationally-ranked opponents every year is more advantageous than being in the SEC or Big Ten when the playoff conversation surfaces.”"

Cristobal is the only one of the four new head coaches in the ACC Coastal Divison with prior experience leading a program. Miami has a Power Five program on its non-conference schedule through the 2032 season. Winning those games will be critical for any playoff run Miami makes.

From 2013 through 2019 all seven teams in the ACC Coastal Division won titles. No one other than Clemson or Florida State has appeared in the ACC Championship game from the Atlantic since Boston College in 2008. Under Cristobal, Miami has a chance to become the dominant program in the Coastal Division.

Next. Can Mario Cristobal make Miami immediate contender?. dark

Playing in the Coastal should give Miami an advantage. North Carolina and Virginia Tech are realistically the only other programs in the Coastal that have historically shown the ability to compete for a CFP berth. Georgia Tech has a national championship, but that was in 1999. They have had sustainability with their program.