Former GE CEO Jack Welch once said “change before you have to”.
Welp, too late for that shit.
What we saw last Saturday night was the culmination of everything we the fans have come to resent about the Miami Hurricanes and all saw coming as soon as Al Golden failed to get the open Penn State job last winter.
All the classic elements of an Al Golden game were there.
Team improperly motivated? Check.
Completely out-schemed by a half-wit coach? Check.
Team quitting when the adversity mounted? Check.
Lack of quality depth glaring through at the worst possible moments? Check.
Look, every loss this season up to this point had some sort of believable mitigating circumstance.
This one had nothing. We thought this program had turned the corner. We thought that the days of the bend-but-don’t-break, passive mentality were gone. We thought the young studs had finally been let off the leash.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
So, I post on a Canes message board A LOT. It is my own little corner of the internet. It is one of the funniest places in the world, and alternatively one of the most frustrating. But ultimately I keep going back in times like this because there is a select handful of fans that post there that I consider to be like me: smart, passionate fans of the TEAM. One of my favorite posters wrote this after the loss, and it should be read by all. Forgive me, because this is a little long, but do yourself a favor and stick with it.
In early 2012, I had a conversation with a former Miami staffer who landed at Alabama. I congratulated him on Alabama's championship and told him that it must be nice to coach so many studs. He looked at me and said, "Miami's good players are better than Alabama's good players."
I couldn't believe it. Alabama was the national champion. Miami was 6-6 and coming off an embarrassing home loss to BC. Alabama had multiple projected first round picks. Miami had a few mid and late-round guys. But he was insistent.
"Lamar Miller is better than Trent Richardson. Olivier Vernon is better than Courtney Upshaw. And is better than any lineman we've got. Watch them in the pros."
Now that we've seen those guys in the NFL, we know he was dead-on. Why were the programs so far apart on the field? The coach said it came down to football infrastructure (training table, strength and conditioning, medical staff) and depth. He left out coaching, for obvious reasons, but you can assume that's another factor. Once those guys get to the NFL, he said, all the external things will become equal and raw talent will prevail.
Golden has done a better job than Shannon in terms of player development; specifically, strength and conditioning. Perryman, Dorsett, Walford and Duke all got bigger and stronger without losing their speed. But why is a team with so many elite players struggling in a talentless Coastal division?
Coaching is an obvious factor that is being addressed in every other thread on this board. The other factor is depth. In my view, there are three reasons depth is not where it needs to be:
1- We cannot identify undervalued South Florida talent. We are the anti-Louisville in this regard. These South Florida three-stars should be the main source of depth for this team, along with blue-chip young players.
2- The camp has produced nothing. I've discussed this before, but it bears repeating: the camp is the biggest indictment of the Temple crew's talent evaluation skills. If Paul "Delaware" Williams offers a kid at the camp, I just assume it's a wasted scholarship.
3- The Temple coaches have a Northeastern, Parcells approach that does not work here. This relates to numbers 1 and 2. Golden says that you support the star players with "coal shovelers." His idea of a coal shoveler is a low-rated, low-maintenance guy who has ideal measurables to develop. That's crap.
The meat of this program should be South Florida ballers who may lack a measurable or two. The guys that go to Louisville and talk **** to our five-stars. Football players, not projects with good attitudes. If we had been stacking these guys for four years, this team would look much, much different.
Right now, our best players are better than anybody's best players. Anybody. Watch Perryman, Dorsett, Flowers, Duke and Walford in the pros. No other Power Five school can match those upperclassmen. Four years later, Miami is still undefeated on Sunday and .500 on Saturday.
There is nothing I could write that sums it all up better than that. And so, it is time to make a change. Miami had a chance to do this before they had to, and passed, and now it is time to pick up the pieces again.
This is by far the fastest I can ever remember a season going by. Seems like literally yesterday that I was having people over for a Labor Day BBQ and kicking them all out at 4 so I could be left alone for an hour before the game started.
Think about where this team was at the beginning of the season.
We had no clue if Brad Kaaya would be any good or not. Turns out he is the most promising thing to happen to this program in YEARS.
We thought Clive Walford was an inconsistent head case. We thought Phillip Dorsett was a one trick pony. We thought Stacey Coley was going to be the next big thing. We thought Duke Johnson was a really good back that couldn’t quiiittteee carry the full time load. We thought Denzel Perryman was a Butkus Award Contender.
Well, Walford is now statistically the best tight end in the history of “Tight End U”. Dorsett is all of a sudden one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft. Stacey Coley had an AWFUL sophomore slump. Duke Johnson became arguably the greatest player in the history of the program. And Denzel Perryman…well, we were right on that one.
I am going to, for the first time in a long time, legitimately miss this year’s senior class.
I do not feel like these guys were talent blockers…and it isn’t just the ones above.
Anthony Chickillo, Thurston Armbrister, LaDarius Gunter, Jon Feliciano, Shane McDermott…these are all guys that made major contributions to this team. They weren’t just the oldest guy at their position; they made shit happen, and more often than not were a credit to the program.
Senior Night sees them face off with Pitt.
I hate Pitt. Ever since I was young I remember playing them with their ugly ass uniforms and “historic legacy”. The most vocal part of that legacy is Mark May, so to that I say *armpit fart*.\
Really the most memorable Pitt moment of my lifetime is when they had Larry Fitzgerald, one of the all time greatest wide receivers, coming into the game with a twenty-something game streak having caught a touchdown.
Miami stuck their attack dog, Antrel Rolle, on him, and he didn’t register so much as a peep until late in the 4th quarter. Miami had pulled most of their starters and Fitz predictably caught a touchdown…and Pitt celebrated like they had just won the Super Bowl and the Stanley Cup at the same time.
F Pitt and f their “historic legacy”.
Here is how this game is gonna go. Their stud running back, James Conner, is going to run like 50 times for like 4.5 yard per carry. That doesn’t sound effective, but it means they will get a 1st down every 3rd time he touches the ball.
They will occasionally throw to their stud receiver, Tyler Boyd, and he is going to catch a couple of balls over our defensive backs who have not been trained to turn their head around and look for the ball. I know this is counter-intuitive, but that actually makes it harder to get an interception. Who knew?
Anyway, Pitt will probably win because Miami looks checked out for the season. Maybe Miami wins to preserve a 7-5 record and the Yankee Pinstripe Bowl instead of the Beef-a-roni Bowl. Either way Al Golden will say it was a tough game because…oh horror of horrors…the game was played at night. And we just played the always physically toll-taking Virginia Cavaliers. And blah blah blah blah.
I hope that the seniors get sent off with a win. And then I hope the administration does the thing that anyone with balls would surely do.
Fire Al Golden. He is a good dude, and I think he legitimately cares. I wish he would have worked out, because there are a lot of things about him I really enjoy.
But it has become clear that we have to change.
It is the only way to make sure that the NEXT group of seniors doesn’t get wasted like this one did.