So, hell hasn’t risen from underneath the grounds at Coral Gables. Oh, right, the NCAA is too busy being … the NCAA.
When we rolled out this series a year ago, the entire staff here — and the nation — wondered if the Miami Hurricanes would soak in all of the sun South Florida has before Mark Emmert and company channeled their inner Les Grossman. Somehow, someway (and probably thanks to some kid in College Station), the NCAA put the alarm on snooze for the past year.
And for now, the boys play on.
Outside of the even more serious rebuilding job Bill O’Brien as done for Penn State, Al Golden (a Penn State alumnus) has done wonders for a program in a bizarre limbo. Not only have the ‘Canes played inspired, us-against-the-world football on most days, but they’ve recruited well enough to start curtailing players away from Gainesville (Florida) and Tallahassee (Florida State) again.
As correctly predicted last year, Miami finished 7-5 (5-3 record in the ACC), and the self-imposed postseason ban kept the Hurricanes out of bowl season. That was pretty simple considering that the cupboard wasn’t completely bare and the ACC isn’t exactly challenging the SEC or even the Pac-12 for supremacy.
Now comes the fun – or hard – part. Can The U win the Coastal Division as predicted? Can it make a run for a BCS bowl for the first time in 10 years? And most of all, can they stay outside and play before the NCAA gets a clue?