ESPN CFB analyst names Mario Cristobal as coach with most to prove

Oct 15, 2022; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA;AC Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 15, 2022; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA;AC Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

ESPN college football writer David H. Hale although he said “ I think the answer is (Jimbo) Fisher, but there’s no lack of contenders for this honor” stated he would make the case for Miami head coach Mario Cristobal when asked during a round table with colleagues Who is the coach with the most to prove?.

Mario Cristobal and Fisher will be two of the coaches most scrutinized in 2023 after leading their teams to identical 5-7 records in 2022. Fisher led Texas A&M to a 17-9 win over Cristobal and Miami in College Station last season. Miami hosts Texas A&M in week two on September 9. Miami opens versus Miami (Ohio) on September 1.

Texas A&M begins the season at home versus New Mexico on September 2. Miami plays its first three weeks of the season at home before traveling to Temple week four on September 23. As Hale says in his response, Cristobal is not endangered of being fired, but Miami needs a good season to continue building momentum.

Cristobal has rebuilt the staff that was lauded when they were hired by Miami but ultimately underachieved and signed the seventh-best recruiting class in the country in 2023. Miami signed 25 players in the class of 2023 and added nine transfers. The Hurricanes need those players to help fuel a turnaround.

"“David M. Hale: “I’ll make the case for Miami’s Mario Cristobal. He’s in no danger of being fired if things don’t go well, but after an absolutely disastrous 2022, all that excitement and energy that surrounded his return to his alma mater could be completely wiped out with another down season.Cristobal did a lot of housecleaning this offseason, including an exodus of veterans into the portal and the departure of both coordinators (plus a host of other assistants).But he also brought in the ACC’s top recruiting class, landed some solid transfers, retained Tyler Van Dyke at QB and hired two intriguing coordinators in Shannon Dawson (offense) and Lance Guidry (defense), who promise to take both units in new directions.If 2023 goes well, Cristobal will be rightfully lauded for a quick rebuild and the “Miami is back” mantra will finally have some teeth to it. If not, the whole experiment could feel like it’s over just two years in.”"

Cristobal likely wanted to get his players on the roster. Almost 15 months after being hired, Mario Cristobal and the Miami football program will begin spring practice with over 50 percent of the Hurricanes roster added since the end of the 2021 season. Development will be critical for Miami in 2023.

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The Hurricanes have not been able to develop when they usually sign a top 20 class and frequently top 15. Under Cristobal, Miami has signed the 16th (2022) and seventh-best classes. Top 10 classes will be the expectation under Cristobal. Miami has to prove those rankings worthy beginning in 2023.