If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably heard by now that the Miami Hurricanes were picked at the ACC Media Days to win the Coastal Division. So, given that, one would figure that to be the case, a successful season would only include an ACC Coastal Division championship. But is that really true? (Note: if Miami does receive a bowl ban, expect the team to underachieve, but this article assumes it will not as it does not deserve another bowl ban in any way).
First, here’s the list of Miami opponents this season:
at South Florida
at Florida State
vs. Virginia Tech
On first glance, it doesn’t appear to be quite as difficult as last year’s schedule, primarily due to the fact that there’s only one monster non-conference game (Florida) as opposed to two (Notre Dame and Kansas St.).
Florida Atlantic and Savannah State are near-locks for Miami to win (OK, Savannah State is a stone cold lock). Wake Forest would be close to that point as well.
Beyond that, case can be made for Miami to win or lose any of the remaining games, so anything from 3-9 to gasp! 12-0 is possible, though not likely obviously. Realistically, if you’re going down this schedule, Miami only appears to be an underdog three times this season: vs. Florida, at North Carolina and at Florida State.
The issue is that, if they were to win all the games they were expected to and lose all the games they were expected to, they’d finish 9-3, which would be hailed as success, but they might not qualify for the ACC Championship Game with two losses (granted, Miami could have made it in with three last year, but on paper, UNC appears to have an easier time of it in the upcoming season, especially no longer facing a bowl ban).
It might also be good enough, but the point really is that whether or not UM makes the ACC Championship Game should not define its success in 2013 (again, assuming no bowl ban is levied against them once again). Rather, UM fans should focus on the total body of work as compared to last year given that it appears UM’s ACC road schedule is much more difficult than a year ago (and even in this regard, the Hurricanes are fortunate as only a scheduling quirk has prevented Miami from having to visit Blacksburg in addition to Chapel Hill and Tallahassee this fall as they normally have on “odd” years in recent times.
For more information, please visit: www.collegefootballnews.com, www.nationalchamps.net, www.collegefootballnews.com, and www.espn.com.