Mario Cristobal is ranked near the bottom of the “New college football coaches September report cards” from The Sporting News posted on Friday morning. Cristobal was part of a group of high-profile coaches hired in new positions for the 2022 season. The Miami loss paused the honeymoon hire of the prodigal son.
Cristobal returning to Miami after four seasons as the Oregon head coach was lauded with the two-time national championship former offensive lineman returning home. The hiring of Cristobal by the Miami football program was deemed an ideal fit. Cristobal understood Miami and the culture of the city and the football program.
Cristobal is old school. The emphasis on being a more physical football team on both sides of the line of scrimmage has been set by Cristobal and his staff since spring practice began last March. Miami was able to be the more physical team in its first three games. Everything they accomplished was eroded last Saturday.
Miami was exposed in nearly every aspect in its 45-31 loss to Middle Tennessee State. Mario Cristobal was criticized throughout his tenure at Oregon for being too conservative offensively and stuck in his ways. Middle Tennessee State stacked the box and made Miami pass. Bill Trocchi of The Sporting news summarized Cristobal.
"Mario Cristobal, Miami (2-2)Wins: Bethune Cookman, Southern MissLosses: at No. 24 Texas A&M, Middle Tennessee StateRecruiting ranking for 2023: No. 10, 17 commitments“Assessment: Cristobal is living up to his reputation as an elite recruiter who sometimes doesn’t get everything he can out of his team on the field. The Southern Miss win was sluggish, the Canes didn’t make the plays when necessary to beat a vulnerable Texas A&M team and then it laid an egg against MTSU.The recruiting class, however, has five Top 100 players. At some point, the talent will take over.”Grade: C+"
Cristobal was one of 14 head coaches in new positions graded by Trocchi and The Sporting News. Brent Pry of Virginia Tech was the only other head coach to receive a C+. Virginia head coach Tony Elliott with a C- was the only head coach in a new position to receive a grade worse than the C+ Cristobal and Pry received.
Miami has to hope that Trocchi is prophetic about the incoming talent taking over in future seasons. Talent should not be the issue for Miami, especially in a game versus Middle Tennessee State. The 247 Sports team talent composite ranks Miami 13th nationally. Miami needs to be focused every week.