Where Mario Cristobal ranks among ACC Coaches

Where does Mario Cristobal rank among the ACC head coaches published by Jesse Simonton of On3 on Monday morning?

Nov 24, 2023; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal calls a
Nov 24, 2023; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal calls a / Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
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Mario Cristobal is sixth among ACC head coaches as published by Jesse Simonton of On3 on Monday. The ranking of Cristobal is complicated. Cristobal is arguably the best recruiter as a head coach in the ACC. On the field, the results have been a mediocre 12-13 in Cristobal's first two seasons with Miami.

The detractors of Cristobal will point to his 73-72 career record. It would be more accurate to point to his 47-26 record as a Power Conference head coach. Cristobal inherited a difficult situation at FIU. In six seasons at FIU Cristobal was 27–47, that included two bowl berths and winning the 2010 Little Ceaser's Bowl.

Cristobal was 35-13 in four-plus seasons at Oregon. That included a win in the 2019 Rose Bowl. Miami has fallen significantly short of expectations in two seasons under Cristobal on the field. Part of the reason Cristobal was hired was to improve recruiting. Miami has signed an elite class in each of the last two years.

Miami has built stability on the roster. The Hurricanes return their second leader rusher, top two receivers and three offensive linemen on offense. ACC Rookie of the Year Rueben Bain and middle linebacker Francisco Mauigoa return to set the foundation defensively.

"6. Mario Cristobal, Miami
Entering Year 3 in Coral Gables, Cristobal is bumping into ‘If not now, when?’ territory at his alma mater. It’s not to say the former ‘Canes OL can’t get over the hump, but Cristobal routinely seems to get in his own way on Saturdays in the fall.

The former Oregon head coach is elite when is comes to roster building and talent acquisition (back-to-back Top-5 recruiting classes), but the W/L record has been underwhelming (12-13 at Miami). He’s seen all sorts of staff turnover in the first two seasons, too. Cristobal was 35-13 at Oregon with two Pac-12 titles. "

Jesse Simonton, On3

The biggest criticism of Cristobal as a head coach has been on game days. Miami is 4-6 in one score games at Miami. The most notable of those losses was last season versus Georgia Tech when Miami lost a fumble instead of taking a knee to run out the clock. Georgia Tech subsequently scored the game-winning touchdown.

dark. Next. Mario Cristobal discusses Miami plan getting roster down to 85 scholarship players. Mario Cristobal discusses Miami plan getting roster down to 85 scholarship players

The Miami staff turnover Simonton referenced is more relevant to the 2023 offseason than 2024. Running backs coach Matt Merritt and secondary coach Chevis Jackson are the only new coaches on the Miami staff. Their predecessors left for new jobs. Cristobal will have to continue improving in 2024 to silence his detractors.