While most people are quick to point out that the ACC is a two-team race this season between Florida State and Clemson, they’ll generally also express their interest in the resurgent Miami Hurricanes making a tad bit of noise this season.
Coming off a 2012 campaign that would have landed them in the conference’s championship game had it not been for a self-imposed postseason ban, and with 19 starters returning, it’s impossible not to give a long, hard look at the ‘Canes doing some damage this season.
The only thing is, it seems as if the coaches around the country deemed it unnecessary to share the same sentiment as the folks who have high hopes for a return to prominence for the Hurricanes in 2013.
With the release of the 2013 USA TODAY Coaches Poll this morning, I couldn’t help but notice the glaring absence of Miami from the others listed. Again, not to sound redundant, this is a team with 19 starters returning including a top-tier QB in Stephen Morris, a sophomore running back whose name has been whispered within some Heisman conversations in Duke Johnson, an offensive line many consider the best in the ACC and a defense that is expected to be much improved.
Now I wasn’t able to cast a ballot for this as I’m obviously not a BCS-level head coach (nor one that just has an assistant fill out the ballot for me as is the way most of these are done anyway), but this seems like a no-brainer to me.
Far-and-away the Miami Hurricanes are one of the 25 best teams in the country and this was a clear, concise snub. Preseason polls are based off of last year’s accomplishments, amount of pieces returning and expectations for this year. All of these criteria validate the Hurricanes being on this list.
But something tells me that Al Golden and the Hurricanes are quite alright with being left on the outside, looking in.
What today’s snub basically did was put a chip on the shoulder of a team that, as said before, a lot of people were already looking at to potentially capture the conference crown that eluded them last season–and that’s a dangerous thing. A football team can do amazing things when they come together as one after they felt they’ve been disrespected. They’ll relish every opportunity they get, early and often, to prove everyone wrong.
With that being said, and speaking of making a statement early, I hope the Florida Gators–the 10th-ranked team in this morning’s poll– realize that on Sep. 7 they’re walking into SunLife Stadium to face a team that will be looking to make an example out of them.
Jack is the ACC College Football Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackJ14RS