SI names Miami football one of 10 most desperate teams

Jul 21, 2022; Charlotte, NC, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 21, 2022; Charlotte, NC, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /

Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated included the Miami football program in his articleFor These 10 Teams, Desperate Times Call for Somewhat Desperate Measures.” Forde has 35 years of experience as a sports writer and has written for ESPN and Yahoo before being hired by Sports Illustrated in 2019.

The hiring of Mario Cristobal has increased the expectations of the fanbase of the Miami football program. Year one of a new regime can be difficult as coaches install new defensive and offensive systems and have to infuse their culture into a program. Cristobal is the latest prodigal son to return to the Miami football program

Miami enters 2021 as the favorite to win the ACC Coastal Division as chosen by the conference beat writers in July. Miami at Clemson on November 19 could be the marquee game in the ACC in 2022. Miami has had a fairly constant turnover of head coaches since their last national championship in 2001.

Larry Coker won that title in his first season and was fired following the 2006 season. Randy Shannon, Al Golden, Mark Richt and Manny Diaz all failed to last as long as Coker. Cristobal signed a 10-year contract reportedly worth $80 million in December. Forde summarized the outlook for the Miami football program.

"Miami (3)Few fan bases turn as abruptly on their coaches as this one. The last person to coach more than 57 games at The U was Larry Coker, who went 35-3 during his first three seasons, won a national title, never had a losing season and still was shown the door after six years on the job.Mario Cristobal arrives from Oregon as a big catch and fan favorite after playing during the Miami glory years, but he’ll face the same pressure as everyone who preceded him.Comeback moves: Fired Manny Diaz and hired Cristobal. Landed a commitment from four-star California QB Jaden Rashada for what was reputed to be a seven-figure NIL deal, part of what is the No. 11 recruiting class at the moment. NCAA Enforcement was sufficiently interested in booster John Ruiz’s “NIL” efforts that it interviewed him earlier this summer.How hungry are the fans? Susan Miller-Degnan, beat writer for the Miami Herald, answers: “Miami fans aren’t just hungry, they’re over-the-top hangry after being deprived of even a satisfying season the past several years. The five-time national champion Hurricanes…joined the ACC in 2004 and have never won a conference title.The Canes have lost 10 of their past 11 bowl games. And the one almost-great season they had in 2017, when they won their first 10 games and were ranked No. 2, collapsed with three consecutive losses. That season, UM advanced to their only ACC title game and lost 38-3 to Clemson.New coach Mario Cristobal has revived hope, but the hunger is deep.”Expectations for this season: “Because of Mario’s track record and history with the Hurricanes, fans won’t be flying ugly banner planes if the Canes go 8-4 in the regular season, though they definitely won’t be satisfied, and 6-2 in the ACC,” Miller-Degnan said. “But a nine-win regular season would probably placate most fans.A trip to the ACC title game is the expectation, and a win there would make fans gloriously happy. Bottom line: In Mario the fans trust.”"

In Cristobal’s first full season as head coach at Oregon in 2018, the Ducks finished 9-4 and defeated Michigan State 7-6 in the Red Box Bowl. A similar finish would be close to the expectations for Miami in 2022 from college football analysts. Many if not most Miami fans would be disappointed in a four-loss 2022 season.

Next. WR opportunities with potential George suspension. dark

How the season unfolds is as important as the final record. Miami has had too many unexplainable losses over the past 20 years. Seven of the 12 Miami football games in 2021 were decided by one score. Miami finished 4-3 in those games. The excitement is high entering Cristobal’s inaugural season.