Next up, another $7.99 plunked down on The Sporting News and their College Football 2010 breakdown. TSN has the Canes ranked No. 4 and here’s the UM-related juice from another preseason rag:
– The No. 4 ranking is too high for the unproven Miami Hurricanes, while Lindy’s No. 20 ranking was way too low. Where does The U belong? Probably somewhere in between. No. 9? No. 13? Sure.
That said, does it really matter? These are preseason rankings and they’re based on the opinions of writers. Once that ball is kicked off in September, all the chatter goes out the window and you have to deliver.
For those who say these rankings don’t matter, they’re wrong. Where you start the season goes a long way in determining where you wind up. How many times have teams gotten snubbed regarding a title shot? Some years things are clear cut and other times you see a logjam up at the top if there are a handful of undefeated or one-loss teams.
This ranking game is a lose-lose. The past few years Miami goes unranked and fans bitch about the lack of respect. This time around UM finally cracks the top five again and the consensus is that it’s undeserved, is way too high and that preseason rankings are a joke.
– The blurb going along with the No. 4 ranking; “A veteran Canes defense should be the program’s most dangerous since the 2000-02 teams, which won 32 straight games.” Of course any Cane worth their weight knows it was 34-straight and should’ve been 42 straight, ending with a November 1st loss at Virginia Tech instead of in the desert when Terry Porter threw that bogus flag.
– Unlike Lindy’s and Athlon, Sporting News is a legit publication with a slew of writers and more attention paid to each program. You can ready any preseason rag and tell within a few paragraphs if the writer knows the program he’s talking about, or if he’s just getting his info from a cheat sheet – not knowing the depth chart, not knowing who’s injured/healthy, going straight to an well-know go-to stat (re: “If UM will be successful this year, quarterback Jacory Harris will have to cut down on his ACC-worst 17 interceptions!” Duh.)
TSN hasn’t always gotten Miami’s back, but college football analysts like Matt Hayes definitely do a good job keeping up with all the major and minor programs out there. (To Hayes credit, he was one of few writers who had OSU beating UM in the ’03 F.)
– Only one Cane made the Top 25 Players list; cornerback Brandon Harris, who slid in at No. 25. Harris was the only Cane to make first team All America. Defensive lineman Allen Bailey made third team.
– Besides the No. 4 national rank, TSN has Miami No. 1 in the Coastal, winning the ACC and headed to the Orange Bowl for a BCS match up of last year’s Champs Sports Bowl; a rematch with Wisconsin.
– Bailey, Harris, Orlando Franklin and Matt Bosher all made ACC first team while Shannon was named the conference’s best recruiter.
– Miami was ranked second behind Florida State regarding February’s recruiting haul. This list came out after Latwan Anderson got on board, but before Seantrel Henderson made it official. TSN praised the addition of Anderson, as well as Eduardo Clements and Storm Johnson.
– Funny tidbit in the “Fearless Forecasts” as TSN talked about scouts heading to Chapel Hill to check out the Heels’ five potential first round defenders. It could also be noted that the NCAA is headed that way, as well, looking into improper contact between several of these players and sports agents.
– Florida State is picked to win the Atlantic, meaning TSN finally sees what the ACC was clamoring for when expanding the conference; a Canes vs. Noles conference title game. We’ll see. (FSU is predicted to reach the Chic-Fil-A Bowl, so UM is expected to win the ACC crown.)
– The “Game To Watch” for UM this year is obviously the 9/11 showdown at Ohio State. (“Miami travels to the Horseshoe in Columbus for a rematch of the unforgettable 2003 Fiesta Bowl. This might be the ACC’s biggest non-conference game of the season.”)
– The UM-themed “Bullet Points” state that Harris will emerge as a leader/playmaker, but he has to cut down on INTs (duh!) … staff continuity is praised, stating that year two for both Mark Whipple and John Lovett should “pay dividends” … Bosher is called a “special talent” and a “difference-maker”.
– Offensive line youth is pointed out, though focus remains on two starters instead of potential of newbies. (No talk of Malcolm Bunche coming from prep school instead of straight out of high school and obviously no talk of Henderson.)
– Defensive line is praised. Reading the names – Bailey, Adawale Ojomo, Josh Holmes, Andrew Smith, Marcus Robinson, Steven Wesley, Marcus Forston and Oliver Vernon – makes you feel good as a fan after seeing the lack of depth at this position the past few years. (Also, further proof that Shannon is channeling his inner Jimmy Johnson as dominant d-lines were a staple for JJ.)
For all the defensive line love, no talk about new coach Rick Petri and the fact that (1) his lines have thrived and (2) he’s a UM retread, having coached the position in the early and mid-90s.
– Hard to argue with The Sporting News’ overall outlook. Alabama, Ohio State, Boise State, Miami, Florida, TCU, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Texas and Oklahoma make up the top ten. For those who consider Miami too high, what about Boise State? Seems like a pity ranking after not getting enough love in years passed.
Does Florida deserve to be No. 5 when they lost half their squad? Is Oklahoma really top ten-worthy after their skid in 2009?
Again, who knows and who cares. Let things play out. Boise State gets an early test with Virginia Tech. Two top five teams, Miami and Ohio State square off week two. Florida and Alabama will battle it out during the regular season and could meet up again in Atlanta. Can TCU live up to last year’s hype, playing with a bulls eye on their chest? Can Nebraska survive a road game – and Big XII title game rematch – against Texas?
These magazines are released to drive revenue and drum up hype. Based on how the early part of this season looks, all that’s left are the aforementioned teams delivering.