CBS Sports: Mario Cristobal faces defining 2023 season

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 /

After CBS Sports proclaimed that the job security for Mario Cristobal is all good…for now, earlier this week, Chip Patterson wrote for the website that the Miami football boss is one of the College football coaches entering Year 2 who are facing defining campaigns in the 2023 season.”

Mario Cristobal was named one of “10 coaches (who) have pivotal years ahead in the 2023 college football season.” Cristobal was named as a coach who needs to show improvement in his second season with Billy Napier of Florida and Brent Venables of Oklahoma. Florida and Oklahoma both finished 6-7 in 2022.

The 5-7 2022 season for Miami was its worst since finishing with the same record in their first year under Randy Shannon in 2008. The baseline for Miami in 2023 will be at least making a bowl game. Miami has a favorable schedule to begin the season. The Hurricanes should be favored in four of its first five games in 2023.

Miami begins the 2023 season at home versus Miami (Ohio), Texas A&M and Bethune-Cookman before traveling to Temple in week four. After their bye week, Miami hosts Georgia Tech in week four. A difficult seven-game stretch to end the season begins with North Carolina on October 14.

"Mario Cristobal, Miami: The desire for Mario Cristobal to be successful with Miami is so strong that it’s easy to get excited in the offseason. Take for example last summer when the Hurricanes started No. 16 in the preseason AP Top 25 poll and were picked to win the ACC Coastal Division.Starting in the top 20 but finishing 5-7 goes down as a massive disappointment, but changes at both offensive and defensive coordinator — and a significant influx of transfer and true freshman talent — at least supports the narrative that a page has been turned.The clock is ticking for Cristobal to deliver results that suggest his grand visions are a possibility, as the first 12 games of his tenure left a lot to be desired."

The hiring of Shannon Dawson as offensive coordinator and Lance Guidry as defensive coordinator is expected to provide Miami with a more aggressive style of play in 2023. The influx of talent is led by five-star offensive tackles Francis Mauigoa and Samson Okunlola and transfer offensive linemen Javion Cohen and Matt Lee.

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Mauigoa and Okunlola were part of the 2023 Miami recruiting class that ranked seventh nationally. Cohen and Lee are the top two ranked players in the 2023 Miami transfer class that also ranks seventh nationally. The influx of talent and remade coaching staff will hope to set the foundation for future success at Miami.