Miami is currently ranked No. 10 in the AP Poll while supporting a perfect 5-0 record. This is the first time Miami has been ranked in the top 10 since 2009, but I am not totally sold on the Hurricanes being “back.” That term gets thrown around too frequently, resulting in fan bases overreacting when their team finally loses.
I do not think that Miami is back for a few reasons. The first reason being is that Miami was completely dominant in the 1980s and even a few years in the 1990s and early 2000s. The caliber of players that Miami had during those great runs was just astounding. Miami always had a quarterback that could make every big play. The Canes had Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde, Steve Walsh, Gino Torretta and Ken Dorsey. These players were national championship-caliber quarterbacks and all of them at some point in their careers were called upon to go win a football game for their team.
Current Miami quarterback Stephen Morris is a solid player, but I have not seen him go out and win a big-time football game for his team yet. Is he really a quarterback that can lead his team back from a fourth-quarter deficit in a rivalry game or a BCS Bowl game?
Another reason why Miami is not “back” is because their defense is no where near what it used to be. Miami had once in a lifetime type talent on the defensive side of the ball. Hurricane legends like Jerome Brown, Bennie Blades, Maurice Crum, Ray Lewis, Warren Sapp, Dan Morgan, Ed Reed, Sean Taylor and Antrel Rolle were players who turned that program into one of the most hard-hitting and respected defenses in the country. Miami does have talent on the defense this year, but they do not have the same attitude that the former greats had. There was something special about the former defensive greats and every one of these players raised their game to another level when they played Notre Dame, Florida or Florida State.
This current Miami team has not played a very strong schedule thus far, which is why it is hard for me to crown them as “back.” Miami has beaten Florida Atlantic and Savannah State. They have also beaten a 2-4 South Florida team, as well as a 3-3 Georgia Tech team that just got embarrassed by BYU. Now everyone is going to point to their win against Florida, but Florida turned he ball over five times during that game which helped Miami escape with a victory. Also, Florida’s offense is an absolute train wreck as they rank 93rd in the country in total offense, and 102nd in scoring offense. It should also be noted that Miami only gained 212 total yards in their win against the Gators, which further demonstrates how Florida’s turnovers changed the course of that game.
Miami plays a 1-4 North Carolina team this Thursday night, so we will still not know much about the Hurricanes come this time next week, but on Nov. 2 they play at Florida State. They will follow up the trip to Tallahassee with a home game against Virginia Tech the following week. It is a shame that their schedule does not allow the country to see what kind of team that they are so far this year. We will have to wait until November to find out if Miami is for real and is indeed “back” or if their record was just a result of their soft schedule.
Travis Patterson, Writer For ACC Rantsports.com. Follow @tpat20.