Instead, the Miami Hurricanes are headed to San Francisco for the Emerald Bowl against Pac-10 representative, Cal.
Saturday December 27th, a nationally televised ESPN audience and a chance to represent on the west coast – fertile recruiting ground for an Miami program in repair and needing and influx of talent.
With Miami mathematically in the ACC title hunt a few weeks back, many are reeling from back-to-back losses and haven’t yet come to terms with how the 2008 season played out.
Those choosing to employ some logic realize 7-5 and a mid-level bowl game is a vast improvement from last year’s 5-7 campaign. It’s even better than 7-6 in 2006, considering that squad boasted four future first-round draft picks. These Canes are looking at 7-6 or 8-5 and did it with 31 inexperienced freshman.
The Emerald Bowl won’t be confused with the Orange anytime soon, but it’s a step in the right direction. Especially after no bowl last season and some Blue Turf action the year before, this is Miami’s biggest post-season event since getting rolled by LSU in the 2005 Peach Bowl.
Randy Shannon has a busy month ahead. Less than three weeks to get his Canes ready for a cross country trek and bowl game against the Bears, he has to recruit his guts out and contemplate some staff changes by the New Year. Decisions which will shape the direction of this program, as well as his overall legacy as a first-time head coach.
While all that unfolds, appreciate the fact that Miami is bowl-bound and it’s shaking down on grass, instead of blue turf.