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Where Do the Miami Hurricanes Go From Here?

Where Do the Miami Hurricanes Go From Here?

Hurt. Upset. Embarrassed. Unsatisfied. Terrified. Scared. Shocked. Surprised.

What word do you use to describe the worst loss that the Miami Hurricanes have had in school history?

The Clemson Tigers came into Sun Life Stadium and had their way with the Hurricanes defeating them 58-0. Clemson put a hurt on Miami so bad that fans, alumni, and media personnel were calling for the jobs of not only head coach Al Golden, but also athletic director Blake James for holding on to Golden for so long. Now that the school has relieved Golden of his coaching duties, where do the Hurricanes go from this point? 

Everyone in Miami is fed up with the Hurricanes and they have every right. The football program was created on hard work, dedication, passion, tenacity, swagger, intelligence, confidence, and a willing to do whatever it takes attitude.

This program looks like it’s built on excuses, lack of trust, underdeveloped talent, and just getting by. That’s why it’s not a surprise that the Hurricanes program is mediocre. It’s only a surprise that it took so long for the people with enough power to change it. 

If you haven’t noticed, the glory days of this historic program are now gone. The alumni that won national championships for Miami are now looked at as legends because the program has dropped so far down that it seems like another decade will pass without Miami being good again.

We were in the fifth year of the Al Golden era and nothing changed. The defense still misses too many tackles and players are still being underdeveloped. 

Miami through the first seven games of the season allows 27.7 points per game which is good enough for 79th in the nation. They are ranked 64th in total defense in front of Georgia State and Tulane. They rank 75th in defensive efficiency right in front of Ohio and Southern Mississippi. Those aren’t schools that should be near us in any statistic. Players such as Allen Hurns, Olivier Vernon, Leonard Hankerson, Denzel Perryman, Ereck Flowers and Duke Johnson all have performed better on the NFL level than they have as Hurricanes and it was a huge statement by the lack of proper coaching.

Alumni are growing old of the program because they understand that there should be more expectations around this historically proud school. 

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Looking up at the school in Gainesville, the University of Florida, athletic director Jeremy Foley lives for sports because he understands what athletics does for the overall prestige of the university. Foley isn’t quick to fire someone, but he’s quick to make sure that he’s got the right person for the job. Last year Will Muschamp was terminated from his position as the head coach and Foley went all the way to lesser known Colorado State to find Jim McElwain to become head coach for the Florida Gators.

That was at the end of last year and in year one of the McElwain era, Florida’s been ranked as high as No. 8 and has a chance to win the SEC Championship. McElwain hasn’t even recruited most of the players on his team just yet and he’s playing with most of the talent that Muschamp recruited which goes to show it was a coaching problem all along.

Anytime there’s a coaching problem, though, it always comes down to a lack of motivation. When people show up for something, anything in life, it’s because it’s something they enjoy doing. People often get stagnant if they continue to do the same things day in and day out and that’s when teams look like they are going through the motion

Miami Hurricanes head coach Al Golden walks off field against Clemson.  -Shot by S.I.

Miami Hurricanes head coach Al Golden walks off field against Clemson.
-Shot by S.I.

It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact problem with this Miami team because it’s not effort. It’s like the team starts games knowing that they don’t have a chance to win and they just hope they can pull out a close game. Instead of feeling like that, though, this program was built on arrogance. It was built on the “I’m better than you, and there’s nothing you can do to win” attitude. Without that type of confidence behind the program, and without that type of confidence from the head coach it’s very difficult to get players motivated to play for one of the greatest college football programs assembled. 

It’s tough because Al Golden is such a likable person. He’s one of the most transparent people you’ll meet and he’s also one of the nicest. The media loves Golden, as do fans, coaches, and staff alike. But even Blake James acknowledged that it’s time for a change.

At the end of the day if something’s hasn’t changed in five years, why should someone wait around to see what to expect next? The Hurricanes have been moving in quicksand for the last eight years, and this has been a problem long before Al Golden arrived in Coral Gables.

Miami now needs to pony up money for a great head coach and start looking at other options to come and coach the team. Mario Cristobal, Sean Payton, and Justin Fuente all have a price. 

In his postgame conference, backup quarterback Malik Rosier said this…

“For this week, you just turn off social media. You don’t even go on it. Honestly, the only people we need are the people in our locker room. We can’t play people outside our locker room. It’s all about us.”

Hopefully, they can still salvage what’s left of the season.

D’Joumbarey A. Moreau covers sports in Miami-Dade & Broward County. You can follow him on Twitter @DJoumbarey.

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