The Beast : Clinging To The Process

I’ve seen several strange things in my years but I’m not sure anything could top what happened Friday night as Miami was losing to Boston College.

Miami is down ten in the 4th quarter, to a team they should have beat the you-know-what out of ,and all of a sudden my email box clicked.

I looked down and sure enough, Al Golden had signed on the dotted line and gotten a contract extension. Obviously, the original intention could not have been to release this information in the middle of the game, however, with the game in doubt, and the Penn State rumors heating up, the Miami PR machine did their own conga and got that release out.

It was like they were saying,” please pay no attention to the game in which our team is losing to an inferior opponent. Al is signed. Al is signed. Al is signed.” This was the same PR machine that allowed several players to address the media after the game with out prepping them by telling them coach had signed a contract and we might ask about it.

After the game, a few of us grabbed dinner, unable to determine if The U did the right thing or not. The next day, I sat on the couch all day watching college football, and I still couldn’t come to a conclusion. Sunday? More of the same. Monday? I still have no idea.

Like you, I’m clinging to Golden’s “Process.”

Yes, Jacory Harris got a lot better. Yes, the turnovers were cut in half. Yes, the penalties were down. I saw all that.

But I also saw a tight end position that didn’t develop at all. I saw offensive linemen continue to make the same mistakes, game after game after game. I saw a defense that looked lost at times, and dominant at others.

I know there were extreme circumstances going on, but the bottom line is the team was 6-6 and in many cases a 6-6 record gets you fired. In other cases, especially where it’s your first year as a coach, 6-6 gets you put on notice that next year better be a hell of a lot better.

At Miami, it just earned a head coach a contract extension.

Look, I understand that had Miami done it’s job in notifying Coach Golden about the pending NCAA investigation, they wouldn’t have had to offer him a contract longer than the one Urban Liar just signed in Columbus. I get that.

I was pushing for Al to get a new contract from day one. It was something that had to be done. That doesn’t mean I’m sold yet, though I love what I hear day after day. It all sounds good. “The Process”, “The Eight Pillars of Success”, “Deserve Victory”, “Core Values,” etc., etc., etc. It all sounds awe-inspiring.

As the legendary Don Soldinger once said about one of his running backs, “I’m like Missouri, you’re going to have to show me.”

If Miami had won eight games, I’d feel so much better about things over the long term. 6-6 though, that’s tough to handle. Randy Shannon was an absolute failure (which is why Golden is here in the first place) and he won seven games. How am I supposed to process that? I want to believe. I’m trying to believe. I’m trying to realize that my expectations have to be tempered, but I want to be really honest with you, I’m worried.

Miami has accomplished more than any other football program over the last thirty tears, but it’s been a decade since it’s last soiree with the big boys. A lot has changed in those ten years. A ton, actually.

Everyone is telling me to go back and look at how Miami overcame probation in 1997 by recruiting Santana Moss, Dan Morgan, Ed Reed and Reggie Wayne. I hate to tell you this, but those guys wouldn’t have been around for Miami to get in 2012.

Moss had to come to Miami on a track scholarship and these days he’d be snatched up by a West Virginia or a slew of other schools who would’ve been all over him. Same with Reed, who would’ve had a dozen other offers besides Tulane and Miami.

Butch Davis and Pete Garcia also wouldn’t have been the only ones to find a fullback-to-linebacker convert from Taravella in Morgan as a dozen other major programs would’ve been chasing his services, too.

With the amount of tape, online recruited services and other outlets, it’s much harder for kids to fly under the radar these days. The world has changed in every way, right down to the fact that South Florida, Florida International and Florida Atlantic didn’t even have football yet.

Despite Golden feeling good about Miami’s dealings with the NCAA, there’s going to be more punishment and I wouldn’t be shocked to see more scholarship limitations and another bowl ban. Unfortunately this thing could still get worse before it gets better.

I don’t say this to scare anyone, but with the current trend in college football between the haves and have-nots, Miami may never be what it was again. I look at teams that win titles these days and I see money, facilities and stadiums full of fans.

I see football factories, too. Alabama? Not a university, a football machine. LSU? Same thing. Auburn? Cash out the ying-yang. Think of all the major powers. Oklahoma? Ohio State? Michigan? Texas? Money, money, money, money. Even look at Oklahoma State, new to the party, but loaded up with that T. Boone Pickens money.

The Schwartz Center is going to be a great addition to the athletic facilities and UM fans nationwide should be thanking the Schwartz family (and all who donated) on a daily basis. That said, the Schwartz Center is scheduled to cost $13.6 million while Ohio State just resurrected on that cost $21.5 million. Texas A&M has one that cost $27 million and Florida’s cost a million more than that.

Any way you choose to look at it, Miami is falling behind the powers in college football. It’s much tougher today to make up those deficits than it was in the late nineties.

I believe in Coach Golden for the long haul, but my expectations might be slightly different than yours. I care about winning, but I’m also into the off-the-field behavior, graduation and character thing and Golden is ideal for that. I’m just not sold on the football part and in the end, that is why we’re here, aren’t we? Honestly, would you even be reading this piece if it was my take on the crew team? Didn’t think so.

I’m clinging to “The Process”. I’m just hoping “The Process” can overcome the mountain of obstacles in our way.

Toto, we’re not in 1997 anymore.



15 thoughts on “The Beast : Clinging To The Process

  1. I have faith in Golden because clearly, he’s a freaking genius. Only man in the world that could blow all the way to 6-6 and get a raise and contract extension. God, I hope he’s worth it…

  2. Damn chicken little! I will never lower my expectations nor should you! Miami never had all the money and facilities ect. Once the baseball team leaves and sun life builds seats closer to the field and tweaks the stadium. The game day experience will be better!!!! Canes can do it!!!!

  3. 1. Is it a contract extension only (additional years added to the original 5 year term) or a modification of the existing contract to increase the yearly pay plus an extension? If it is only an extension, it has no real value other than a marketing ploy to show (but not really mean) long-term commitment. If it is only an extension, then there is no marginal benefit to Golden during the remaining 4 years of the original term to compensate him for UM not informing him of the Shapiro investigation or for doing a good job( 6-6?). Can he terminate the existing contract and the extension at any time and coach elsewhere?

    2. If Golden did not know of the Shapiro issue before coming to Miami, then it his fault in part (although UM did have a moral, not legal duty to tell him about it). The first reports about Shapiro broke in March 2011 and a simple google search would have found them.

    1. RSA, the first Shapiro reports I saw were back in August of 2010 when the Herald and Barry Jackson did a piece about the rogue booster, rotting in jail and threatening to write a tell-all book. There is no way Al Golden, Brett Senior and his attorney didn’t do their due diligence and at least have this on their radar before Golden signed. I don’t buy it in the least. Everyone knew something was going down on some level.

  4. Wow! Your piece was spot on! Any Cane fan who doesn’t acknowledge these facts are in denial and lying to themselves! We as fans can’t be blinded by our love for The U and not be realistic! Our facilities are so far behind the other major programs around the country and we can’t keep living in the past and off our previous accomplishments. Our stud alumni in the NFL are getting older and won’t be playing much longer to carry on The U name as evident by our NFL scoring streak ending. Also, the high school kids we are recruiting are getting older and don’t know anything about the glory days and now these kids don’t grow up watching Cane football dominate like we all did. I put my faith in Golden and hope he can bring us back to respectability and hope that local talent stays home. That’s our only hope to right this ship that’s been headed in the wrong direction the last 7 years!

  5. I agree with you to a certain extent. Golden should have had to earn his raise, not bluff his way into it, but I guess I can’t blame him. If I were in his position I probably would have done the same thing. Its all business.

    As far as Miami not ever getting back to what it was, I think there is some validity to that. What Miami did was super special, and probably will not ever be duplicated again. They won a lot of championships, lost a few and was cheated out of a few. Miami has never really had the best facilities or had a ton of money to throw at the football program. What they had was a ton of talent. Their players were always better than yours, they knew it and played like it. Now you can’t stockpile talent because all schools across the country come here and you have 50 Florida directional schools competing also. Miami is a product of its own success. Everybody wants to copy the Miami formula and now they have to compete with that. Couple that with higher admission standards and you have issues. I doubt it will ever be the U it once was.

  6. blah, blah, blah! Look at offseason workouts and you’ll see the difference between UM and Alabama and LSU. Look at coaching, motivation, and time and you’ll see the difference. Anybody remember what Saban’s record was his 1st year? ANybody remember what Tressell’s or Pete Carroll’s record was their first year? Or how about Big Game Bob Stoops? Back up off the negativity or UM may never be what they were or “i’m clinging to the process”. Enough!!!!!!! The man had one year with players that weren’t his recruits. Look at the 2 standouts on D; Chick and Perryman…..Both Al’s recruits. We’ll see improvement from Randys players during their 2nd year in the new system. It’s two totally different styles, coaches and intelligence levels you’re talking about here. The diet, the workouts, the study, the simple fact of coaching players. People expected Golden to fly with Eagles when all Randy left was buzzards. Am I the only one to see the Shapiro class was full of players who didn’t grow into college players? THey were the same size as they were in HS for Pete’s sake! Backup, let Al do what he’s got to do and sit back and enjoy. We will be fine!

    1. … good points, BBurg. I brought up Saban / Stoops / Carroll in a recent piece and talked about a lot of 6-6 and 7-6 type seasons with all those guys.

      Miami will never be what Miami was, but news flash, no one will be. That era is over and both Miami and Southern Cal were the last true dynasties, chock full of future NFL talent and looking like the men against the boys when the lined up. There’s money and parity in the game like never before and UM doesn’t need to aspire to be a dynasty. It needs to play to its strengths, keep local talent home and get back to that stronger, tougher, faster mentality.

      There’s no reason Miami isn’t in the ACC mix every year, like a less talented / more disciplined Virginia Tech team always seems to be. Get to a point where you own the conference and are getting in the mix for title games again.

      And yes, as for Golden, he deserves several years to bring in more of his kids like a Perryman or Chickillo, as well as to keep changing a truly awful culture.

  7. If ten years ago you had told me Miami would be struggling to make it in the top 25 and Boise and TCU were in the hunt for the NC I as well as the rest of the country would have called you crazy. TCU is in the same situation as Miami. Small private school with a small student body in the middle of a state that has numerous schools they must contend with in terms of money and recruits. Texas, Texas tech, Baylor, Texas a&m, Houston, rice and I can name more d1 and d2 schools. I believe Miami is in the same boat it always has been as are all of the other successful schools that dont have money. The problem over the last decade has been poor coaching, poor recruiting and poor development. But the money and facilities have never been there and yet we still won. Will Miami ever dominate like it did in the past? Not to the same degree.. The only thing keeping LSU and bama consistent is coaching stability. UF is the perfect example of a successful program falling off due to coaching changes. All the top recruiting and money hasn’t kept UF from stinking it up over the last 2 years. It’s not all about the money as TCU, Boise and other schools have proven. It’s about great coaches with a vision that can recruit and build a program when no one thinks it’s possible. Will it take a while? Yep. Is a NC guaranteed? Nope but we will be in the conversation again. And we will be graduating our players which is more important than anything else. Giving these young men the tools to be successful after college is done is what college is all about. It’s sad to see schools in the sec and others recruit kids use them for a few years and throw them in the trash bin. I wouldn’t be surprised if they leave college having learned nothing during their whole stint. It’s one of the many blemishes on college sports. At least we graduate our players, so that when recruits hear about the U family it isn’t some BS slogan for recruiting. The coaches actually care for your well being and your future as a member of society. That kind of school will rise to prominence again and will dominate the ACC and college football once more.
    Oh and coach L will take Miami hoops to great heights. His work at GMU is equivalent to what golden did at temple if not greater. He took a nothing in basketball school and built it gpfrom the ground up in the backyard of Georgetown and Maryland with players that were no names.

    1. Good points, VA, but not quite ready to crown Boise State and Texas Christian as anything other than big fish in little ponds. Beating up on the Mountain West doesn’t say much.

      Both teams have lost this year — Boise State to TCU and TCU to Southern Methodist and Baylor.

      When you have wins over Air Force, Louisiana-Monroe, Portland State, San Diego State, New Mexico, BYU, Wyoming, Colorado State, Toledo, Tulsa and Nevada, no one is impressed but your own fans.

      Get out there and do it nationally and on a weekly basis. There’s a reason we look across the college football landscape every week and there are head-scratching losses. There’s so much parity in the game and if you play in a real conference – even the ol’ ACC – there’s that “any given week” mentality.

      It’s how a Maryland beats a Miami, how a NC State beats a Clemson and how a Florida State falls to Wake Forest and Virginia, despite being a top five team in the preseason.

      Boise State is going up against a 1-10 New Mexico squad this week while TCU takes on 2-9 UNLV and voters are supposed to be impressed?

      The system is a joke on SO many levels, but you have to add this imbalance to the mix, too — smaller tier schools who win a lot of games and play nobody outside of a mid-tier season opener (that they have all summer to prep for) and a bowl game (that they have a month to prep for).

      If TCU or BSU played a real schedule, both are losing a few games annually and are never sniffing the BCS. Seriously.

  8. CB, can you or the Beast inquire further into whether there was a renegotiation of the existing contract or whether there was merely an extension to the term. Does the additional term have more money?

    This is a subtle, but very important point, in my opinion.

    1. RSA – As you know, UM is a private school and doesn’t divulge that type of information. The going RUMOR and ASSUMPTION is that it’s more money, but no one really knows.

      1. Yes, i know that information is private, but that does not mean that it cannot be obtained (lawfully) by good reporters.

        1. … then I’ll save that for the good reporters, RSA. Personally, no interest and don’t care the details of the contract. I’m glad Golden is staying and I want to see Miami get back to winning ways. Only way the contract turns into a problem is if Golden fails and needs to be fired and again, should it come to that, my personal concern will be who UM gets to replace him, not what they wind up having to pay him.

          UM obviously did what it felt it had to do after back-to-back lame duck coaches and a program that wouldn’t have been an easy sell to a new guy in December 2011, with a 41-36 record the past six seasons.

          I’m a fan that writes about his team. I have no aspirations to be the next Manny Navarro, Susan Miller Degnan or Jorge Milian. I’ll leave it to the pros to uncover that story, should they choose. – C.B.

  9. Great article, I thoroughly enjoyed the read. I’m an FSU fan born-and-raised in Tallahassee but I also lived a few years in Miami. I respect what the Canes were and their legacy. As a fan of Florida State they will always scare me b/c of that past and as a fan of Florida football I’ll be pulling for Miami to get back to national prominence.

    Nothing was more exciting than FSU vs. Miami and I hope both programs will be back in the top 10 sooner rather than later.

    Good luck Canes!

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