10-3 was simply not meant to be and Miami took a season-ending thumping en route 9-4.

Wisconsin rolled south with a matching 9-3 record, also looking for a tenth win and jockeying for preseason position next fall. I thought Miami would come in healthy and equally as motivated, putting together a complete game and getting the ‘W’. I was wrong.

“Swagger” became the most overused word in the college game this fall. Miami may have invented it, but doesn’t own the patent. A lot of teams have swagger these days, whether UM fans want to hear it or not.

We saw ‘swagger’ on t-shirts, in haircuts and on display for two hours straight in Rakontur’s “The U” doc… but swagger never hopped on the Turnpike north, making its way to Orlando on Tuesday night.

The Herald’s Greg Cote chimed in on all things swagger the morning after, reminding us it’s “not a birthright or something inherited as easily as Daddy’s money.” Swagger has become a catchphrase; a slogan. Back in the day, it was a mindset; a toughness that couldn’t be fabricated.

I can’t tell you how tough these young Canes are or aren’t, but I can tell you they got pushed around last night by a Big Ten team they were expected to beat.

Miami was owned in the trenches; the place where we’re told from day one that football games are won or lost.

The loss of Jason Fox had a domino effect on the offensive line that never jelled. Coaches mixed and matched all night, but never found a group that could sustain the pressure or protect Jacory Harris - the heart and soul of Miami’s offense. As goes J12, so go the Canes.

ESPN’s Ivan Maisel agrees. Check this blurb from earlier today: “Remember the crisp, accurate, confident Jacory Harris that began the season for Miami? Yeah, neither do I. The Hurricane sophomore quarterback finished the season beat up, limping and largely ineffective in the Champs Sports Bowl against Wisconsin on Tuesday night. Until Miami coach Randy Shannon assembles a competent offensive line, Harris will remain a maddeningly inconsistent quarterback.”

Harris couldn’t get his footing and UM couldn’t run the ball against the eighth-ranked rushing defense in the nation. Wisconsin gives up just shy of a hundred yards a game. Miami ran for sixty-one and never when it counted. 2-of-11 on third down and 0-for-3 on fourth down.

All year, Harris’ success has been entirely dependent on the play of his line. 386 passing yards at Florida State was the result of the front four coming to play. Same to be said for wins against Georgia Tech and Oklahoma. The Canes showed some toughness early on, but faded at times down the stretch.

This wasn’t like losses to Clemson or North Carolina. Wisconsin was Virginia Tech-esque, pressuring Harris all night and taking him out of his game. What few opportunities there were, both Miami and their quarterback couldn’t get out of their own way.

Tied 7-7 and driving, Miami faced a 3rd-and-5 from the Wisconsin thirty-five. The line buys Harris some time, he fires for LaRon Byrd ten yards past the sticks. Instead, Thearon Collier laid out for his teammate’s pass. Even worse, he didn’t reel it in.

Matt Pipho can’t hold his block on 4th-and-5, Harris is rushed and sends a would-be first down pass a yard past Travis Benjamin. Turnover on downs. Momentum lost. A common theme as the evening rolled on.

Outside of an 86-yard Sam Shields kickoff return and 16-yard Graig Cooper touchdown run on the game’s first two plays, Miami never regained their mojo. The Canes were out of sync in every facet of the game, while the Badgers always seemed to find a way.

Whether it was another Brad Nortman punt pinning Miami deep or quarterback Scott Tolzien eluding a tackle, buying an extra second and picking up another third-and-long to a tight end, Wisconsin remained one step ahead of Miami.

John Clay received all the pre-game hype and proved his worth with a 52-yard run early in the second quarter. It broke the game open and gave the Badgers a lead they never relinquished. Somebody needed get a leg up early. Clay was the workhorse with 121 yards and two touchdowns on the day.

14-7 and Miami’s turn to make a statement. Harris sacked for a loss of five, followed by a five-yard illegal shift penalty. 2nd-and-20, Harris finds Collier for 12 yards. A play later, Jimmy Graham for ten.

Cooper picks up eight on back-to-back plays. 3rd-and-2, incomplete pass to Javarris James. Matt Bosher punt.

3:20 for Miami to move the ball 30 yards over six plays, all for naught. The Badgers owned the line and made the offense earn every yard it got.

Entering the game, every scouting report warned that Wisconsin would wear opponents down with Clay, opening up opportunities for Tolzien to find two highly-touted tight ends, Lance Kendricks and Garrett Graham.

Even with this knowledge, John Lovett and his defense couldn’t protect the middle of the field. 10 of Wisconsin’s 17 first downs were earned off passes to the tight end, most coming in third and long situations. Everyone in the stadium knew what plays was coming. Miami’s linebackers simply couldn’t win the match up, so that Badgers never let up.

Kendricks and Graham torched Miami 205 yards, splitting thirteen receptions. Wideout Nick Toon was the lone receiver Tolzien hit – twice for 26 yards. Four passes went to running backs, for a combined 29-yard gain. A safe, effective game plan which wouldn’t allow Tolzien to lose the game. High percentage passes. Confidence in the ground game. Aggressive defense. Stout special teams play.

Entering 2010, it’s not about preseason rankings. Top ten is a great place to start, but it’s about where you wind up. Miami was unranked at the start of the season and lept to No. 8 by week three. Win ball games and things work themselves out.

The Canes need to get tougher in the trenches. Miami’s best teams had an aggressive front seven and a hard-nosed offensive line that allowed skill players to shine, ensuring that speed killed.

A strong offensive line was a key component in Miami’s 2001 championship run. Conversely, a weaker front in 2002 was as big a downfall against Ohio State as Terry Porter’s bogus flag.

Fox. Pipho. A.J. Trump. All thought to be solid recruits a few years back, but none became that next-level guy. Same to be said for five-star Reggie Youngblood, a senior last season.

What Miami wouldn’t do for an Eric Winston or Chris Myers right now – guys merely considered ‘good’ at the time, but were though to be lesser than the Bryant McKinnie, Joaquin Gonzalez, Martin Bibla and Brett Romberg-led bunch of the early 00s.

For all the blame many are quick to lump on Randy Shannon, credit this man for doing his job addressing team needs on the recruiting front. Furthermore, give him the time to field a squad with some depth, experience and upperclassmen who came in on his watch.

Miami’s weakest position received a tremendous upgrade last last week when St. Thomas Aquinas offensive linemen Brandon Linder and Jermaine Barton pledged their allegiance to The U. Malcolm Bunche went the prep school route and is on board next year, as are freshmen Shane McDermott and Johnathan Feliciano. Depth is returning.

These five will mesh with last year’s class, which not only included the highly-touted Washington, but Ben Jones, Harland Gunn, Cory White, Jared Wheeler and Jermaine Johnson.

Miami’s offensive line will get better and absolutely must if Harris is going to live up to the hype. Look no further that Ken Dorsey for proof. With time, No. 11 could pick you apart. When rattled, a completely different player.

Even more puzzling than the inability to field a top-flight offensive line, Miami’s linebackers – once the program’s strength – have become a liability. How else do you explain the Canes’ inability to shut down the tight end, be it against a Wisconsin, a Virginia or a slew of others who exploited the weakness over the years?

The Canes haven’t been strong at linebacker since Jon Vilma and DJ Williams left town after the ’03 season. A baller here or there – Jon Beason, Rocky McIntosh – solid guys without surrounding talent.

Since then, a run of guys like Romeo Davis, Glenn Cook and now, Darryl Sharpton – better than the last two, but not Vilma-esque. That’s not a knock on the aforementioned guys. Not everyone can be Ray Lewis or Jessie Armstead. Meanwhile, the Canes are losing football games.

Colin McCarthy plays hard, but he’s not the next Dan Morgan. The uber-hyped Arthur Brown? Looking more like the next Willie Williams (regarding playing time) than the next Barrow or Darrin Smith.

Miami linebackers used to dictate games and the Canes always had some headhunters back there. With former linebackers Shannon and Barrow both coaching and recruiting, there’s truly no excuse for the lack of production at the position.

From “Linebacker U” to “Linebacker Who” thanks to a few rough recruiting years.

The Canes brought in some guys who are definitely next in line – Ramon Buchanan, Jordan Futch, Shayon Green, C.J. Holton – not to mention, Sean Spence, due for a breakout junior season after being banged up for most of ’09.

Four-star Javarie Johnson will sign in February and is slated to enroll early. Three-stars Kevin Nelson and Tyrone Cornelius are Miami-bound as well. Nelson hails from Gator country and Cornelius should’ve been a Georgia Bulldog. Shannon and staff plucked both out of tough regions and made them Canes.

Entering the Champs Sports Bowl, all the talk was about both Miami and Wisconsin being primed for big time runs in 2010. Some said you could see a rematch between the two in a BCS game this time next year.

Two teams on the cusp, the Badgers have won nine-plus games five of the past six seasons. Bret Bielema has been at the helm one year longer than Shannon and is also a former defensive coordinator, first-time head coach. He inherited a better Wisconsin team that Shannon did his Miami bunch.

The Canes played arguably their worst game of the season and still had the ball and a fighting chance in the waning moments. A late scoring drive and the recovery of an onside kick an had Miami fifty-nine yards away from a comeback, with a minute and a half remaining.

A defense that gave up 17 in the first half, held Wisconsin to a lone field goal the rest of the way and when the Badgers looked ready to take one in, a defensive strip gave the Canes the ball back and kept them in the game.

Miami may have been ‘off’, but they never gave up – creating plays and fighting down the stretch. The ten-play, 79-yard touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter – the 2006 through 2008 Canes would’ve already mailed it in.

We won’t know until next year, but should the Badgers be a force in the Big Ten, a six-point loss on an ‘off’ night won’t look as bad as most are seeing it today.

This notion that Miami would kill ‘em with Southern speed while Wisconsin was a slow, physical bunch of Midwesterners – it’s played out. There’s much more parity in the game today and the Big Ten recruits players from all over the country, not just their backyard.

Two Florida kids play linebacker for the Badgers, two Texas natives and a Missouri product are in the secondary. Sounds more like a SEC defense than your stereotypical Big Ten. Only place Wisconsin kept it cornfed was on the defensive line, heavy with experienced upperclassmen and anchored by O’Brien Schofield, who was as good as advertised.

Experience is Miami’s biggest hang up and that will be fixed in time. The Canes may have twenty-one seniors departing, but the proof will come in April when there’s not another first-rounder drafted. It might be the fourth round before the first UM senior is off the board.

Compare that to an Alabama, Florida or Texas, all heavy with upperclassmen winning post-season awards and getting ready to tear up the NFL. Miami’s lone star came via second-year cornerback Brandon Harris, who reeled in All-America honors.

A year ago, Harris was a green, mistake prone freshmen. Next year he’ll be on the Jim Thorpe watch list. Further proof that high school hype only means so much. Big game experience two years in the weight room turn boys into football players.

The twenty-one departing seniors are from Larry Coker’s final recruiting class (2006) and the addition of two dozen more players by fall ensures that the ’10 Canes will truly be Shannon’s first team, full of “his” guys. Starting with some upperclassmen choosing to return.

Juniors Leonard Hankerson and Allen Bailey have both stated that they’ll return for their senior years. It’s not quite McKinnie and Ed Reed returning for a title run in ’01, but it’s a trait that old school teams embodied – kids not making a jump for the money if they’re not ready. Both would benefit from another year at the collegiate level and Miami needs the experience both bring to the table.

Many will continue to debate the point, but this is a five-year rebuild. Even with some improved talent next season, the schedule doesn’t set up nicely for a run.

Early out of conference road games at Ohio State and Pittsburgh. Season finale against South Florida at home. On the road in conference for Clemson and Georgia Tech. Home games against Florida State, North Carolina and Virginia Tech. Get through all that and there’s an ACC title game in Charlotte.

Miami didn’t exactly go to the Florida Gators school o’ scheduling.

From 5-7 to 7-6 to 9-4 – that’s improvement and that’s where the logically-minded fan needs to keep his or her head. Don’t play the “what if” game. Clemson and North Carolina were as winnable as Florida State, Oklahoma and Wake Forest were lose-able.

Judge the improvement. Respect the fact this team isn’t rolling over. Have faith in another solid recruiting class and a long off-season in the weight room. Cross your fingers that Shannon and Kirby Hocutt sit down in the coming weeks to make some personnel changes.

Specials Teams. Offensive line. Linebackers. No position coach is safe. Everyone deserves to be re-evaluated.

Great teams take time to come together. Recruiting. Development of players. Staying injury-free. Scheduling. Chemistry. Timing. Fate.

There’s a reason Florida went 9-4 in 2007, with a Heisman winner, and followed up with a 13-1 season and national championship in 2008. There’s a reason LSU won it all in 2007 but stumbled and went 8-5 in 2008. Each team is in someway different than the next, as are the circumstances.

Twenty-five years ago Miami faithful were ready to run Jimmy Johnson out of town after 8-5, a year after Howard Schnellenberger earned the Canes their first ring. Since then, what’s changed?

A four-game swing for Shannon in two years after inheriting the worst Miami squad in thirty years and it’s not enough. A nine-win season when many predicted a losing record (based on the schedule), yet the bitch-fest continues. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

10-3 was the goal and the Canes fell 59 yards short, despite playing one of their worst games of the season. Miami now has eight months to toughen up. Get in the weight room, put on some man weight, get healthy and get mentally prepared for a run in 2010, be it in the ACC or nationally.

That’s the truth, people. If it’s too much to handle, turn off your TV and computer until 2011, because your ‘title game or bust’ expectations won’t be met. Save yourself the headache and learn to see things as they are.

Randy Shannon has two more years to fix things, whether you’re on board or not.

68 thoughts on “Game Thirteen : Wisconsin 20, Miami 14

  1. Good wrap-up, allCanes. I'd love to be winning championships, but that's a bit away. In the meantime, we just need to chip away at it. I'm glad you pointed out how people wanted to can JJ after 85. For the life of me I have no idea what the fire-Shannon-now contingent expects. Actually, they haven't really thought it through. See everyone next year.

  2. This wasn't arguably the worst game of the season. VT was. I'm starting to rethink my faith in Randy. How long are we gonna keep giving him?

  3. We all agree that at least some coaching changes need to be made. As far as Randy Shannon, I don't know yet.

    I do wish he could show a little emotion once in a while, though. Does this guy ever get pissed?

    And, the 'Canes need to stop calling time outs like they've got a dozen of them. It's like any little thing that happens and there it is, "Time out, Miami".

    Everyone on the team should be in the weight room, no exceptions. That means kickers and everyone. Probably Jacory Harris needs it the most. I thought that Wisconsin's D was going to snap him in half.

    Miami's schedule looks brutal. Who comes up with this shit? And UF gets another easy schedule, with only a couple of teams that are challenges. Maybe the idea is to try and keep Miami down.

  4. Good piece!

    My cousin. A FSU fan. Pointed out. Wisconsin is a old school team. And the reason why they did so good last year is cause Mickey Andrews is a old school coach. Couldn't Shannon and Lovett see that all they do is run and throw to the TE's and run the rock in the film room. Take that away and they have nothing. Make them throw and create havoc. and they didnt do that. Credit their defense for playing lights out! They were on the running game making #99 and #50 look like all stars. I cant wait til next year. I didnt like Pipho or Fig at RG,RT all year. I would have replaced him at the V-Tech game(pipho). I didnt like Whipples gameplan either.. If our line would have did better then yes Jacory would have been way better. But even after that OLB blitzed and had a obvious cheapshot on Jacory, he looked at the line and said "come on". The defense wasn't their all game. They didnt break. But the big gains… Sending Spence on just blitzing assignments was just crazy to me. We barely lost this game. But we got the L. No pass rush either. That just got to me. We were breathing on the back of his neck and stood tall like Tom Brady in the pocket. Spring practice should be something. Returning Forston and Ajomo and Dye. With Bailey coming back and Healthy Spence. On Arthur Brown does something. Cause now that Sharpton is gone their is no excuses,he should be the MLB next year hands down. Follow Lovett and Shannon. Ask questions. Pay attention. Study!! Work out and Change your damn number! I hate #11 on him. I am a canesfan. And i support this team. But i just wanna see them do better cause they are a better team than the one that played on the 29th.

    (ZaroKoN)

  5. We are gonna give Randy as long as it takes to get a ring. The guy deserves it and will get us there. Just sit down, shut up and strap in for the ride.

    Nice write up 305. Again. Quick note tho, the ACC title game will now be moving to Charlotte, NC for the forseeable future. This was the last year the game would be held in Tampa.

  6. You pretty much called it exactly how I saw it. We were manhandled on both lines of scrimmage and looked to be “out-prepared” as far as a coaching staff went. It looked for a few minutes that we adjusted defensively after the half, but that too faded quickly.

    A rough night all in all. Left Tampa at 3:30 so we could stop and have a nice meal in Orlando, but a bad accident near Kissimmee regulated us to move 3 miles in just under 2 hours. Very much like Miami’s offense the entire night. Took over four hours to make a 90 minute trip.

    Sitting dead in the middle of Badger fans was icing on the cake. Lol

    Anyhow I am not gloom and doom. Harris needs to get his thumb fixed, whatever that takes, and there needs to be a wall of offensive linemen built around him.

    We saw steps forward with this program in 2009. That’s all anyone can ask.

    Have a Great/Safe New Year.

    Jack M. Greene, P.S.M.
    Tampa, Florida

  7. LOL.. 5 year rebuilding job, what a joke.

    I know you're on the randy bandwagon, but I'm positive you're not blind. This " john lovett" defense looks exactly like randy shannon defenses of always, minus the future pro bowlers of course.

    Also, randy inherited a 7-6 team, just because he led the team to two less wins in his first year it doesn't make 9-4 some magical improvement.. imagine if he would have gone 1-11 his first year.. we'd act like 9-4 is amazing..8 MORE WINS! while forgetting he took over a 7 win team to begin with. He made the team worse in his first year, and now he should be applauded for "improving" from 5-7 to 9-4, laughable. He's had 3 full years and it's lead to a 2 game improvement from the team he took over. Not to mention that we were 2 or 3 lucky bounces away from being 7-6. But let's not get tangled up in facts.

    Maybe you'll have an excuse for this as well, but I have a question for you. How long has randy shannon been here? Why is the defensive side of the ball still not great? I mean he's a great DC right? He's been recruiting that side of the ball for how many years? Surely we can't still be blaming coker for the defense? can we?

    it's been 3 full years and we still haven't won our DIVISION..have we even been second yet? We haven't gotten to the acc champ game. and we can't win a bowl game… shoot, coker was able to take "the worst miami squad in thirty years" and win a bowl game, with KIRBY FREEMAN starting at QB to boot, yes 1-14 kirby freeman.

    And stop with this "title game or bust" expectation nonsense. There are maybe 3 people that think that. But coastal division champs by year 3 was certainly a reasonable expectation..

    Also, don't compare our 9-4 season to the 8-5 season LSU had and the 9-4 season UF had AFTER they had won a title and lost a bunch of good players.. that's nonsense, unless we won the MNC last year and I wasn't aware of it.

    I don't know what your relation to Randy is or if you get slipped a check from him every 2 weeks, but at some point you have to stop making excuses for the man.

    We've (and by we've I don't mean myself or all of the other fans that have a clue) turned a 7-6 larry coker team into a 1-11 Temple team.. Randy shannon inherited the WORST 7-6 football team in the HISTORY of college football.

    Just as a reference, nick saban inherited a 6-7 team, bo pelini? a 5-7 team. I know, nick and bo just happened to inherit the most loaded 6-7 team and 5-7 team in all of the land, WAY better than that 7-6 team randy inherited..other fun fact? year 2 for saban? 12-2, 6 better than what he took over.. year 2 for pelini? 10 wins, 5 more wins than the team he got.. but we should throw a parade because randy has managed 2 more wins than the team he was handed, in year 3 ..again, laughable.

    it's not so bad though, some clown on the radio said this was a 6-10 year rebuilding job, at least you haven't gotten that far, yet.

    L

  8. It's not even the loss that bothers me, moreso the way they loss. We just came out flat, unprepared, and soft(having heaters on the sidelines in FL? The entire country laughed at us). What's worse is that the coaches seemed to not make any halftime adjustments. Yes the D only gave up 3 points in the second half, but that was mainly because they shot themselves in the foot on a couple of occasions. The score couldve easily been 30-14. Good/Great coaches know how or at least find a way to overcome inadequacies. THE BETTER COACHED TEAM WON LAST NIGHT..NOT THE MOST TALENTED. I am sorry but despite UW having a few players from Florida, Texas, Missouri etc, i still believe we have better talent top to bottom. Why does Whipple continue to pass on 1st down, especially with J12 banged up? Ok we have our offensive line issues but we have 2 quality backs(I say 2 bc Javarris James blows and I am glad to see him go..he should be ashamed to disrespect Edge and the #5 jersey) and we only rush the ball a combined 13 times? C'Mon Son!! Why are we not running DB more often, he is clearly our best back? He broke a 20 yard run before getting injured, where was that the first half? If the O-line is having problems why not have J.Harris run bootlegs or move the pocket? I'm no football coach but even I couldve made adjustments in that game. I put this game squarely on the coaches bc it looked as if we did not prepare for Wisconsin at all. Players take on the character of the coaches and RS just looked emotionless and w/o fire/passion on the sideline..spare me the Jacory is 'Cool as ice' crap. If he is the leader of the team how about he helps get people fired up. Did we have to lose to a Big10 team? Really Guys? (sidenote, if i hear one more wisconsin fan say some idiotic sh*t like 'its all about the double U again im going to vomit). Shannon is a great recruiter/mentor/father figure to these kids, but dammit I don't think he has what it takes as a coach to get us to the next level. Remember he got the job bc no one else wanted it. YOU HAVE ONE MORE YEAR SHANNON…GET IT RIGHT OR GET PACKING!!

  9. Randy has 2010, then I'll pass judgement. However, I have my doubts. My expectation for 2010 is to WIN the ACC. We've been there since 2004 and have BLOWN several opportunities to close it out. Enough is enough.

    Personally, I don't think we have the talent/depth to win the ACC next year. I don't think Shannon is going to do what he needs to do personnel wise (i.e. get rid of coaches like Swasey and Panz) to have a good run next year.

    I hope I'm wrong.

  10. The Canes got whipped, no doubt about it. Very disappointing that it was the second disappointing bowl performance in a row. However, something needs to be said about the condition of that field. The horrible turf conditions caused slips all night and the worst part was that Coop blew out his knee and now might miss all of 2010. The bowls rake in so much money, this bowl alone sold 58,000 tickets not to mention the TV money, and they cannot have a proper field there in time? What a joke, the field conditions were as bad as UM's line play.

  11. Motivation to be a CHAMPION. Hard work, prepare mentally and physically to climb the mountain and return to the promised land, with Queen's we are the champions playing in the background. The potential is there. What will be done with it.The canes best teams of the past are history, how bright does this team of today want to shine. I can't wait to find out.

  12. Good post…until the rant about the fans. This team looks incompetent. What happened @ the end of the 4th quarter when Miami is yelling about the clock when it was supposed to be running because there was more than 2minutes on the ticker? I'm really really really tired of the bad technique, especially the poor tackling. I'm further irritated with Whipple. If he wasn't so obsessed with throwing the long ball, Miami could have made the game more competitive. Instead of the constant 5-7 step drops, merely moving to Shotgun Spread would have taken more advantage of the speed of the WR's and allowed more time for Jacory Harris to see the pass rush. If not the spread, how about a 3 step drop to a WR on an slant?

    If I can see it, so can the coaches. Its stubbornness that's holding the team back. I'm beyond frustrated with this team. Its easy to say, "hey they won 9 games," but they shouldn't have beaten Wake Forest and they were down 16-13 against DUKE!!!

    If it was the case that Miami was in each game and @ the end and it was a small mistake that cost them games, or even if it was a good play by their opponent, I'd understand that. I'd welcome their heart and effort. These are 19 and 20 year olds, after all. Just don't embarrass yourself or my alma mater out there. I won't forget for the rest of my life during loss to Clemson the image of two DB's running into each other. I won't forget for the rest of my life the image of Thearon Collier trying to steal a completion from Laron Byrd against Wisconsin. Its wicked embarrassing.

    But yeah, its the fans that are unreasonable and they're the problem. I was at the Champs Sports Bowl. It was filled with Canes fans, from the very young to the very old. We cheered in the cold (without heaters mind you). So I don't want to hear or read anymore about this crap that Miami's fans are unreasonable. Maybe they wouldn't be so angry if this team didn't look like dummies out there.

  13. What are your thoughts on the supposed 4 year extension? I can see maybe a two year extension, but 4 seems very high. Who exactly is after Shannon, and seeing as there probably isn't any team out there seeking him as a HC, why overextend him? Hopefully they have a very low buyout included in the contract to avoid Coker part 2.

  14. I totally agree allCanes. The ones who bitch after every loss really need to get a reality check. Going into the season I thought 9-3 would've been a HUGE step forward for this program and after this loss I still feel the same way. I'm proud of these players for not giving up and having a chance to win it. All of the Shannon Haters need to get a life and realize this program isn't going to become a National Championship team over night. Look at how long it took Butch Davis to turn things around. 5 YEARS.

    Next year we won't will the National Title and I'm not going to lose sleep over that or this bowl loss. Neither should U. Be proud of the job these kids have done to turn this program around like they all vowed to do. The 2008 recruiting class won't have the same amount of Wins as the 2001 class but they'll be just as important as any class in turning this program back into a winning one.

  15. Good Post, you hit the nail on the head. You stated the facts and didn't appear too emotional. Rudy (ITU)did made some valid points I agree with, but he often appears to have a grudge against Shannon.

  16. Randy deserves 5 years.

    Shoot for Coastal next year and 10 wins in the regular season.

    Then shoot to be in the running after 2011.

    That's not what anyone wants to hear. Hell, even I don't want to hear it, but that's where we are.

    This team hasn't given up. If they take that attitude into the off-season, after tasting so many heartbreaking losses, we'll be a different team come September.

  17. This piece really helped me to calm down a bit, so thanks. I want to support Shannon, honestly I do, but I've got my dad constantly chirping in my ear how Butch Davis put the program back together under NCAA sanctions, without all the scholarships. And I know Whipple seems to be a skilled coach, but Miami has never been a gimmick offense and some of his play calling borders on the ridiculous. The flea-flicker on 2nd and short of the second possession MIA own 20 yardline or so, 7-0 lead. Right there the Canes have a chance to grab the game by the throat and for me that play set the tone for the night. End Rant.

  18. They are going to give him plenty of time. Shannon and this team is going to rewrite the history books.All Canes is dead on. The better talent is the younger guys who got playing time this year. We had a new OC and DC. Jacory passed for over 3,000 yards with a sorry line, wait until they get more experience in the offense and the defense once guys fully understand what they are doing. Just be patient and we will be there, back on top where we belong.

  19. FCUK THAT…FIRE RANDY!!!!!!!
    IM TIRED OF ALL THE EXCUSES!!!
    WE NEED TO WIN THE ACC!!!
    WE NEED TO BEAT CLEMSON AT HOME!!!!!
    WE NEED TO BEAT BUTCH!!!!
    WE CAN NOT LOSE TO THE FCUKING BADGERS!!!!

    WE ARE "THE U"!!!!!
    NO—MORE—EXCUSES!!!!!!

    COME ON 305!!!

    WE SUUUUCKED ASS ON TUESDAY NIGHT!!!!!!

    9-4 IS WHATS IN UR NEWBORNS DIAPERS (CACA!!!!!)…LOL

    MIAMI IS NOT BACK!!!!!

  20. Shannon has been a savior to this program. He's pulling guys that Coker would never have gotten. And you can see on the sideline that the players respect him. I always enjoy watching Shannon's reaction when a player makes a stupid play and heads to the sideline. Randy just has to give him that look, and the guy knows he's sitting out for a little. What I am real curious is about this Arthur Brown? What is the deal? I think he should go- he's a diva.

    Shannon deserves another three years at minimum.

    Oh, and can we get an update on Cooper? That was painful to watch.

  21. The game was glaring evidence of the cliche: "Football games are won in the trenches". If we can't protect Jacory, I don't care who we have at wideout or running back, we won't be successful. Likewise, if we can't get to the opposing team's quarterback, our linebackers and secondary won't look good as well. That's the reality of the situation. We were banged up all season on the d-line. Injuries are part of the game, and you have to have players that are going to step up and fill-in for injured players. We'll have depth at d-line next season. As for the o-line, I think Coach Shannon realizes that he has to focus on that every recruiting cycle. I'm of the opinion that, if you want skill players, you recruit Florida – which Shannon is showing he can do. But if you want some big time offensive lineman, you should go to the midwest. That's the only gripe on the recruiting front that I have with Coach Shannon. I don't think we have that much talented o-linemen in Florida. I believe it's hit or miss on o-linemen in Florida. I believe if some big, mammoth sized o-lineman from Wisconsin, Nebraska, etc. is offered a scholarship to the University of Miami, where you can go to school in shorts every day and be a part of a premier college football program that produces NFL talent, it'll be difficult to pass up. If you think about it, if UM and Wisconsin offered an o-lineman from the midwest or an other area the regularly produces great offensive linemen I think he'd pick The U 9/10. That's my only suggestion on the recruiting front.

    Another thing, I have a problem with Canes fans that think Shannon is a bad coach. This guy has shown that he's improving. 5 wins to 7 wins to 9 wins. If I'm correct, that's a two win improvement each year. Look, I want a championship too. It's been a long time. But you have to keep it in perspective. I mean come on guys! Yesterday, I was listening to the Dan Le Batard Show, and Luther Campbell is saying Whipple doesn't know how to utilize Jacory's and other skill players' talent. He says, the way to utilize their talent is to go to a Spread Offense. Look, I'm sorry, but Spread Offense doesn't equal greatness in the NFL. Graham Harrell, who passed for a gazillion yards in Texas Tech's spread offense, wasn't drafted. All those Hawaii QBs that averaged 300-400 yards a game aren't starters in the NFL. And I don't even have to talk about that glorified left-handed fullback masquerading as a quarterback at Florida. Randy Shannon doesn't want a gimmicky offense. He wants an offense that will help his players succeed in the NFL. USC has a pro-style offense, and their players, for the most part, are drafted high because they translate well into NFL offenses. Now is not the time to panic and come up with crazy "solutions". We'll be fine. No one was calling for Whipple to go to a spread offense when he was calling those great plays and we were 3-1 early on during "murderers row". Losing makes mountains out of molehills. We just have to keep things in perspective. We, as fans, are better than this. It's about time we started acting like it.

  22. umm excuse me allcanes about the bitch fest in the fan base but..He took over 7-6 from Coker, took it to 5-7, then back to 7-6. This is the only year he's actually improved on Coker's worst year. For two years his record was as bad or worse. But it's true that he's managed to get the "I took over a 5-7 team" meme into the general consciousness, certainly outside of Miami.
    ase..well

  23. I know you're on the randy bandwagon, but I'm positive you're not blind. This " john lovett" defense looks exactly like randy shannon defenses of always, minus the future pro bowlers of course.

    … it's not that I'm on some Randy bandwagon. (1) I'm accepting the fact that he's here, he's not going anywhere and he was the only guy who wanted the job as well as (2) the fact that the program was a mess when he took over.

    As for the defense Lovett runs, that's why Randy hired him. No one ever accused John of being some schematic, Xs and Os genius.

    I don't get the conspiracy theory that Randy hires some guy and then just runs the defense behind the scenes. If he wanted to run the defense, he'd run the defense. He wouldn't create some ruse for the sake of making some fans happy.

    He made the team worse in his first year, and now he should be applauded for "improving" from 5-7 to 9-4, laughable.

    … you really think Shannon made Miami "worse" in 2007? You really don't put that on the team that Coker had been letting fall apart? Where do you REALLY think Miami was headed in 2007 if Coker was at the helm?

    Coker's teams were getting progressively worse – 11-2, 9-3, 9-3 and 7-6. Rather lame to put 5-7 on Randy's shoulders, as if he "worsened" a team that was already on the decline and hadn't bottomed out on the old coach's watch.

    Why does Whipple continue to pass on 1st down, especially with J12 banged up? Ok we have our offensive line issues but we have 2 quality backs(I say 2 bc Javarris James blows and I am glad to see him go..he should be ashamed to disrespect Edge and the #5 jersey) and we only rush the ball a combined 13 times? C'Mon Son!! Why are we not running DB more often, he is clearly our best back?

    … I'd agree with the Berry statement the last few games, but Edgerrin James was going to struggle with that line play on Tuesday night…. so JJ, Coop and Berry weren't going to do any better.

    The running game was non-existent against Wisconsin, as it was again Virginia Tech. Simply put, you're not winning games if you can't run the damn ball.

    WE ARE "THE U"!!!!! NO—MORE—EXCUSES!!!!!!

    … honestly, that statement is as tired as the media's use of "swagger". What does that even mean, "we are The U"? What, a program that went 19-19 the past few years?

    All this "The U" crap – might've been the case 1983-1991 and 2000-2003, but a lot of years in between and since where Miami has just looked like an average team.

    Coker killed this team talent-wise. You don't simply get good again because you have great history and you are "The U".

    You can rant all day about what this team NEEDS to do, but until the talent and depth are in place, it's falling on deaf ears.

    Miami's offensive line play has been an absolute joke at times this year. Until the Canes get tougher an win in the trenches, none of what you're wishing for is going to happen.

    Jacory passed for over 3,000 yards with a sorry line, wait until they get more experience in the offense and the defense once guys fully understand what they are doing.

    … agreed. Funny to me that some can't accept that Harris overachieved this year as a first-time starter. Hot out the gate (as no one knew Whipple's offense yet) and stumbled a little down the stretch. It is what it is. Let's see how this kid looks next year with one full year of experience under his belt.

  24. We'll be fine. No one was calling for Whipple to go to a spread offense when he was calling those great plays and we were 3-1 early on during "murderers row". Losing makes mountains out of molehills. We just have to keep things in perspective. We, as fans, are better than this. It's about time we started acting like it.

    Well put. I alluded to that in my piece. Had Miami scored late and gone ahead 21-20, nobody is bitching today. A late 59-yard drive would've shut everyone up and 10-3 would be the focus. It would've negated all the poor play we saw for the other 58 minutes.

    Everyone was praising the heart after the Wake Forest comeback, but that game should've been a loss and there were issues we saw there which went ignored because Miami found a way to win.

    Losing makes a mountain out of a molehill the same way winning simply makes everything alright, even though there are glaring issues.

    People need to STFU and take things in stride.

    What are your thoughts on the supposed 4 year extension? I can see maybe a two year extension, but 4 seems very high. Who exactly is after Shannon, and seeing as there probably isn't any team out there seeking him as a HC, why overextend him? Hopefully they have a very low buyout included in the contract to avoid Coker part 2.

    I'm not against a four-year if that's the route Hocutt goes, but I'd prefer a two-year extension.

    I think 2010 will have its challenges, due to the schedule… but I think 2011 sets up nicely for a good run.

    Miami has a tough OOC run next year, but needs to to better in conference. No excuse to not step up in the ACC.

    Randy deserves 5 years. Shoot for Coastal next year and 10 wins in the regular season. Then shoot to be in the running after 2011. That's not what anyone wants to hear. Hell, even I don't want to hear it, but that's where we are.

    Well put. Agreed, it's not what we want to hear…. but the truth hurts. You want to point the finger of blame, point it at Coker for the recruiting classes he brought in from 2003-2006. Deplorable.

    You don't screw up on the recruiting trail for FOUR seasons and just snap your fingers if you're the new coach. It takes YEARS to rebuild depth and to get the right kids on board. Even when you bring in talented freshmen — THEY'RE STILL FRESHMEN.

    As good as Brandon Washington might've looked against South Florida, he got worked by veteran Wisconsin linemen. It happens.

    By the time Randy's first class are seniors (2011), Miami will be back. The 2010 seniors will be kids that Shannon helped recruit when Coker was canned and he had to save the class.

  25. To all CANE fans and supporters, is a 21-17 record considered improvement? What scale are you using? This coaching staff has been a YO-YO (BEAT USF, lose to the BADGERS 23 days LATER) outfit all season LONG. THE entire staff needs to be reviewed. If the "U" doesn't play for the ACC title, what happens to this coaching STAFF at the end of the college football season (2010)?

  26. To all CANE fans and supporters, is a 21-17 record considered improvement? What scale are you using? This coaching staff has been a YO-YO (BEAT USF, lose to the BADGERS 23 days LATER) outfit all season LONG. THE entire staff needs to be reviewed. If the "U" doesn't play for the ACC title, what happens to this coaching STAFF at the end of the college football season (2010)?

    I'm sorry, but your "logic" is flawed.

    First off, you don't just progress by the overall body of work. That first 5-7 season was a result of the players that Larry Coker recruited and the team he handed over. To arbitrarily say that 21-17 isn't good – it's unfair.

    The clock doesn't really start ticking for Shannon until next year and this isn't really HIS team until 2011, when every recruit here is his. (Next year's seniors are from the 2007 class which he had to save after Coker's firing. Still not really his class.)

    As for your "beat USF" and "lost to Wisconsin" mentality, it makes no sense. The Badgers were a ranked 9-3 bunch that like Miami, was one game from a much bigger bowl and is expected to be a force next year, with talk of a BCS berth.

    USF is nobody. A middle of the road Big East team that can't win their conference and thinks they're hot shit because they took a recruit or two from UM.

    You make it sound like Miami beat the "better" team and lost to the "worse" one. Wisky is better than South Florida by a mile. Please.

    As for the staff being a yo-yo, I disagree. The losses to Clemson and North Carolina weren't coaching issues — outside of Whipple forcing too many deep balls with an injured quarterback.

    SEVEN interceptions in those two losses and three pick-sixes. How is that on COACHING?

    Have you seen the 2010 schedule? Brutal. Road games at Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Clemson and Georgia Tech. Home stand against Florida State, Virginia Tech, South Florida and North Carolina.

    All this "we need to win the ACC next year because we're Miami… blah, blah, blah" – it's crap.

    This team is rebuilding and will be doing so for two more years.

    The Canes will be a better unit in 2010 — with 21 of Coker's seniors leaving and two dozen of Randy's recruits getting on board in February — but the schedule won't be forgiving. Deal with it now, there are going to be some pitfalls.

    You don't base your review of these coaches solely based on wins and losses. It's about improvement, development of players and the direction things are going.

    9-3 could've been 11-1 if Harris isn't so turnover prone.

    Conversely, 9-3 could've been 7-5 if Ponder doesn't throw so low and Skinner isn't knocked out of the game late.

    Take it in stride, bro. Seriously.

  27. For most programs in college football, twenty-three (23) days is a enough time to PREPARE for the last game of the season. So why didn't Coach Shannon and staff have these young CANES ready for the LAST GAME OF THE SEASON! No one is trying to be the town CRYIER, but this coaching staff has not given the fans and supporters any consistency.

  28. For most programs in college football, twenty-three (23) days is a enough time to PREPARE for the last game of the season. So why didn't Coach Shannon and staff have these young CANES ready for the LAST GAME OF THE SEASON! No one is trying to be the town CRYIER, but this coaching staff has not given the fans and supporters any consistency.

    HardCane, sometimes it's not about being "ready" and it's about facing facts — Miami simply got whipped in the trenches.

    You're a coach… you practice… you run plays… your team looks good. What else are you supposed to do?

    The Canes couldn't run the ball and Jacory didn't have time to throw. The offensive line fell apart without Jason Fox in the mix and every look they tried was eaten up by Wisconsin's front seven. (Hell, their front four were getting past five Canes at times — they weren't even blitzing.)

    All this "Miami wasn't ready" stuff – it's a crock. You lose the battle at the line of scrimmage and you're unable to run the football and news flash, you're gonna lose the football game.

    As bad as it all was, Miami only lost 20-14 and had a shot to drive the field and win the game in the waning moments. Not that much solace should be taken from that, but some of you are acting like the Canes were schooled 70-7.

    I saw a post online comparing this one to the 40-3 Peach Bowl loss of 2005 — as if there's ANY comparison to that ass beating. Please.

  29. Chris, this was a great piece that you wrote! Nicely said! It provided with a lot of optimism for next season. Although I'm a little bit upset from the game, I see that there will be a pretty decent season next year. Go Canes!

  30. Way to look at the bright side Canes305. Love your blogs after being on message boards and reading all the negative this has given me some much needed optimism.You always have the best perspective on things. Go Canes. Happy New Year everybody. God Bless.

  31. How soon will the 2010 football schedule be posted for fans and supporters? Do you have the 2010 schedule or is there a website that fans can view. Thank you for your time with this matter!!!

  32. How soon will the 2010 football schedule be posted for fans and supporters? Do you have the 2010 schedule or is there a website that fans can view. Thank you for your time with this matter!!!

    Google it. It's available. Only dates in stone are FAMU, Ohio State, Pitt and USF (season finale), ACC dates won't be solidified for a few more months.

  33. umm excuse me allcanes about the bitch fest in the fan base but..He took over 7-6 from Coker, took it to 5-7, then back to 7-6. This is the only year he's actually improved on Coker's worst year. For two years his record was as bad or worse. But it's true that he's managed to get the "I took over a 5-7 team" meme into the general consciousness, certainly outside of Miami.
    ase..well

    CaneCaliber – You're simplifying things and you're assuming.

    The 2006 team had more talent than the 2008 team. Much more. Kirk Herbstreit picked the '06 Canes to go to the title game against ND.

    By '08 this program was depleted. 2007 was rock bottom – due to Coker's recruiting – and a year later, it was so freshman-heavy it was a joke.

    You simply can't compare apples to oranges. "Larry went 7-6 in '06 and Randy went 7-6 in '08 and that's not improvement".

    Miami played with heart this year and never gave up. The Canes lost some games when depth and turnovers took their toll, but also won some games that recent teams wouldn't have.

    You really think a Coker-led bunch was beating Florida State, Georgia Tech or Oklahoma out the gate? Please.

    Go back and check the 2006-2007 media guides. Look at some of the team leaders and talent on the team.

    Go back to a day when Lance Leggett was your top receiver and a back up punter (Brian Monroe) was listed at third string on the wideout depth chart.

    THAT'S HOW BAD IT WAS when Shannon took over.

    He's reeled in two full classes and deserves two more before the critics run him out of town. End of story.

  34. Simply put, you are either with Shannon or you are against Miami. All you fake ass, fair weather "we are the U" shouting fans just need to sit the hell down. You are just making yourself look stupid. Like I said before, sit down, shut up and strap in for the ride. Don't feel like waiting, get the hell off the bus.

  35. I was looking at the upcoming schedules and 2010's games against Pitt and Ohio State are both away games. Isn't that nice? Either one of these would be a huge win.

    Down the road are a couple of games against Nebraska (one home and one away). Just like old times. One good thing is that Ndamukong Suh will be long gone.

    The game against UF in 2013 is a Miami home game. It will be really interesting to see where these 2 programs are when that game finally comes.

    Can't change anything about the Wisconsin game. It's history. 2010 is all that matters now.

    …and fixing that offensive line.

    …AND GETTING JACORY INTO THE WEIGHT ROOM!!!

  36. I love the recruiting that RS does. Fanatic dont understand that if we dont have this recruiting we would be a lot worse. Chuck Amato left FSU and because of that Bowden is leaving FSU.Players win the game!! Miami needs to follow our old blueprint and Sabans blueprint today. Build both lines to the max. Urban Meyer was a demigod till Saban came too town now he wants to bail out. As I wear out my Dvr watching "The U" we owned both sides of the line. With pressure up front DVD and Harris would be that much better. I can live with 3 and 4 star players at cb and safety but not on the off and def line. Tebow was a bum in the SEC champ. game because he had no time. I think if Taylor Cook was still at Miami we would be 11-1. J12 had free reign to screw up this year because of no backup. I need a 4 star Qb from Texas or California next year.

  37. Even though there's a lot of bitching and moaning here, I look at that fact that there are 37 comments on this post and chalk that up to the fact that Cane fans DO care. If there was nothing, then I'd be worried about the fans. Even though some are a little more anti-everything at Miami right now, at least they care.

    My expectations are anything less than winning the Coastal Division is a failure. It's hard for me to expect a NC when we have yet to even make the ACC Championship. I think if we don't get there next year, the heat on Coach Shannon will go to high. We all know contracts in college ball don't mean anything, and I don't have an issue with a four year extension. If the administration has a change of heart in two or three years, they will make a change. Of course the Canes could take the next step and Shannon stays for the full extension and beyond. It's on Shannon. He's been the right man for the rebuilding job. I have no doubt about that. Is he the right man to bring us "back" and become a consistent players nationally again? That remains to be seen. We'll see.

    Both lines are the keystones to this and all programs. If your line is weak, then your whole offensive and defensive schemes won't mean sh*t. The screws need to tighten on the respective coaches of these groups. It's time to focus on player development because I don't see much progression – or passion of the bigs. They set the tone for every game. Play the best players. I don't care what year they are, and I hope these guys coming in push the older guys.

    -Columbus Cane

  38. Simply put, you are either with Shannon or you are against Miami. All you fake ass, fair weather "we are the U" shouting fans just need to sit the hell down. You are just making yourself look stupid. Like I said before, sit down, shut up and strap in for the ride. Don't feel like waiting, get the hell off the bus.

    … well put, 47.

    Funny how if you choose to support the current state of the program, you're a "homer".

    I'm not in Randy's camp and I'm not against him, either. I'm a Miami fan, he's the coach, he's working his ass off and he's not going anywhere anytime soon… so what's the point of the daily bitchfest regarding the coaching situation?

    I bitched about Coker as the talent dropped off every year he remained on board. We knew a rebuild was coming as he continued to pull in bad class after bad class – never addressing needs or stockpiling players. (Seriously, failed miserably at recruiting quarterback, wide receiver, linebacker, etc.)

    Shannon haters should take some solace in the fact that IF he doesn't get it done and is fired in two years, at least the cupboard will be full – a la Ron Zook stockpiling at UF for Meyer to take over.

    Miami needs to follow our old blueprint and Sabans blueprint today. Build both lines to the max. Urban Meyer was a demigod till Saban came too town now he wants to bail out. As I wear out my Dvr watching "The U" we owned both sides of the line. With pressure up front DVD and Harris would be that much better. I can live with 3 and 4 star players at cb and safety but not on the off and def line.

    …. great points about beefing up the lines and getting tougher. Absolutely.

    Miami's secondary struggled the last two years BECAUSE the front seven fails to get pressure. Miami needs a tougher line, as well as some talent and depth at linebacker. The Cook, Davis, Sharpton types need to go. Bring in the studs again.

    Not sure how I feel about the Taylor Cook comment. Do you really think he beats Florida State, Georgia Tech and Oklahoma? So many of Miami's wins came when Harris was on and the losses, a direct result of him being off.

    The Canes went as far as Harris took them and I think it's a HUGE 'what if' to say that if Cook were still here, he'd have gone 11-1. I don't buy that at all. Harris at least had big game experience from last year and played high school ball at the highest level. I think Cook would've been way too green in anything but mop up duty this year.

    Wish he had stuck around so we had some depth, but I don't think he'd have been some savior.

  39. I am on board bro! Season ticket holder since 2007!

    CANES WILL GO BCS BOWLING IN 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. "Conversely, 9-3 could've been 7-5 if Ponder doesn't throw so low and Skinner isn't knocked out of the game late."

    Nailed it on the head…that says it all. I've been a Canes fan since 85'(oddly i'm an Ohio State alumn).

    Patience..Canes fans..Patience. I predicted 10-3 this season..i was close. I predict 10 wins again next season, and a very special 2011 campaign.

    Another comment that sticks out is the fact that we need to go after our offensive line recruits in the midwest…period. The rest of the positions can be Florida.

  41. Aside from what I've been saying about JH needing to hit the weights, I want to point out something.

    Most of us agree that the O line was the biggest problem in the game against Wisconsin. Those who see #12 as the problem are completely missing that.

    People say that he looked rattled, lost, unsure of himself, whatever.

    Realize this…

    If you watch the NFL and you look at Peyton Manning, you know he is as great a QB as there is.

    I've seen games in the past where his O line wasn't stopping anybody and he's getting sacked, throwing picks, completely falling apart.

    I don't care if you're Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. If your O line isn't stopping anyone, you're going to look like shit.

    Fix the O line and JH is a Heisman candidate.

  42. Just a few quick points about the game, not the season.

    1) The team looked embarrasing huddled around the heater in 48 degree temps. That's manning up? That's swagger?

    2) Going for it on those 2 4th downs, and eschewing 2 52 yard field goals will an all-acc kicker is puzzling. (If he hit's em both, we're tied) If he hits 1, we driving down for a tying field goal and dont need a TD

    3) the play calls on those 2 plays were AWFUL! what happened to J12 rolling out, w/ TE for easy complete?

    4) How do you beat that pressure/blitz? SCREENS …. how many screens did with throw to slow them down up front? I think the next one will be the 1st…

    That being said, It's obvious were going in the right direction, depth still not there as these late season injuries are killing us…

    Roll on to 2010 and let's win two more than this season!
    and let's keep Coop in our thoughts and prayers!

  43. Well said allCanes! I only wish you posted more often to keep most of these fans from losing their heads. I have never posted here before, but I respect your postings the most. Yes, the fans need to keep their expectations in check and relax during this process. I totally agree that we could have won the Clemson/UNC games just as easily as some claim we could have lost OU/FSU/WF. I think 9-3 was an accurate representation of our regular season. I do, however, think we are on cusp of unleashing a beast of a team next year. In my opinion our D will be MUCH MUCH better next campaign. Injuries handicap like nothing else DURING the year, but they can be a BIG PLUS next year when we should have tons of players with experience. With Ojomo and Forston back, I believe our D-front will finally get pressure and start to dominate games. The achilles heel will be the O-line. Couldn't agree more that games are won or lost in the trenches. I believe that the O-line is BY FAR the most important unit on a team. Bad lines can make good QB/RB/WR look bad and vice versa. RS has done an unbelievable job recruiting. We are loaded at the skill positions and I believe our front four will be a force next year. However, how is it that our O-line seems to be so many steps behind in talent? I agree with a comment above stating that recruiting/rebuilding should start with the lines. I can't complain much b/c we are indeed getting better each year. It just seems that if we had a solid O-line, not necessarily a great one, we would be scary next year with all of the game experience we will be returning

  44. The problem, allcanes, is that Shannon's teams continues to underachieve. What have they accomplished since he's been the head man? You can point out this year's improbable 3-1 start all you want, but the reality is FSU and Oklahoma are not nearly as good as they were predicted to be and history has shown us that any competent defense can throttle PJ's option given more than a week to prepare.
    The conference is only getting better and the Canes look as though they've regressed since the beginning of the year. Next season could be a long one for this squad, and we may see this coaching process start all over again.

  45. The problem, allcanes, is that Shannon's teams continues to underachieve. What have they accomplished since he's been the head man? You can point out this year's improbable 3-1 start all you want, but the reality is FSU and Oklahoma are not nearly as good as they were predicted to be and history has shown us that any competent defense can throttle PJ's option given more than a week to prepare.

    … what's been accomplished is that a real team is being assembled when a joke of a team was inherited after 2006.

    As I mentioned in a post yesterday, this was a team that had Lance Leggett as their top receiver and punter Brian Monroe listed as a back up receiver for the sake of the depth chart.

    Miami went 5-7 in Randy's first year after Larry put the program into the ground. Who's to say Coker wouldn't have gone 3-9 in '07 if he was still on board?

    From 5-7 with a piece of sh1t team in 2007 to 9-4 in 2009 with a few quality wins. Florida State is still Florida State, even at 7-6… and at 0-0 in their house, in a season opener when they were the higher-ranked team – that was a good win.

    Georgia Tech was a good win… and so was Oklahoma, despite how they stumbled down the stretch. They were damn fired up for the Miami game… as is every foe.

    The Canes didn't "regress" from the beginning of the years as much as (1) injuries took their toll – with over a dozen starters injured throughout the year and (2) defenses figured out Mark Whipple, who was a newbie when the year started. No one had film on him and as teams figured out the schemes and started rattling Harris, so went Miami's season.

    Seriously… SEVEN interceptions against Clemson and North Carolina and THREE pick sixes?

    Harris was sacked THIRTY-FOUR times this year — FIVE times against Wisconsin. Saw a stat earlier that Ken Dorsey was sacked a mere four times the entire 2001 season.

  46. why cant miami play like champs ie against georgia tech; but when it comes to teams that everybody knows that miami has more talent miami plays to the level of their opponent. for the young canes talking and "if" running their mouth's that the swagger is back look again, swagger has a purpose a meaning, a statement. time has change, the city of miami has change, the kids has change, it is time for the coaches to step it up! has a fan these 9-4 or 7-6 whatever season does not cut it. get it done and focus on the season and not what others are thinking and talking about.
    shut up and win

  47. Willis said…
    Aside from what I've been saying about JH needing to hit the weights, I want to point out something.

    Most of us agree that the O line was the biggest problem in the game against Wisconsin. Those who see #12 as the problem are completely missing that.

    People say that he looked rattled, lost, unsure of himself, whatever.

    Realize this…

    If you watch the NFL and you look at Peyton Manning, you know he is as great a QB as there is.

    I've seen games in the past where his O line wasn't stopping anybody and he's getting sacked, throwing picks, completely falling apart.

    I don't care if you're Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. If your O line isn't stopping anyone, you're going to look like shit.

    Fix the O line and JH is a Heisman candidate.

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    Very true. We have all seen the beauties launched by JH when he has TIME in the pocket. The O line could not block and JH should NOT have been under center. Ever heard of SHOTGUN? Hello? Remember Gino Torretta? He was in shotgun ALL THE TIME! I sure miss Torretta. That guy had the passion for the game. Oh, and he has a Heisman in his name. Can we round him up for an O-line coaching position at least?

    As we all saw in the game, JH was playing injured and the coaches kept him in there to take beating after beating. His mother should have called the DCF to report the abuse her son was taking. Ridiculous! We are in desperate need of QBs. We are known as Quarterback U and yet we have no one to back up JH when he is hobbling around the field in pain!

    There are so many things wrong with this program, I don't even know where to begin.. so I won't. I am trying to be patient and hopeful that next year will be better but if there are NO staff changes, is that remotely possible??? Ok, end of rant. I need a beverage.

  48. once again another year of my heart and soul down the drain for this team, am i holding on to something that is not anymore,miami ever going to be team that it once was,did coker and donna ruined this football program for good,florida is winning fsu is winning usf is winning, why is my canes losing,this one hurt me alot clearly miami is the better team, was it bad coaches, is it time to post that website, fireshannon.com i honesly dont see him winning a damn thing he should go back to defense c. and let the head coaches do their jobs, oh i wish a jon gruden will come and save this program, swagger what swagger, uf has swagger not miami, miami invented swagger ,but uf has it, good talent bad coaching, equals loses,i guess i'll keep watching those flashbacks of those great teams to make me fell better.8 months is a long time see you than.

  49. To all the naysayers.
    1. Randy Shannon is the RIGHT COACH for the job.

    2. 65 FRESHMEN & SOPHMORES ON THE TEAM SHOULD TELL YOU SOMETHING ABOUT WHERE We HAVE BEEN AND WHERE WE ARE GOING.

    3. As usual, SOME people can't see how bad we were falling under Coker and believe we can automatically win because we are the "U".

    4. Realize that unlike Florida, we schedule tough OOC opponents, and run from no one. Will they run from us next time? I know they're trying.

    5. Help is on the way with regard to offensive linemen.

    Congrats are in order for 2009 and lets look forward to beating OHIO STATE! We owe them one!!!!!!!!!!

  50. I worry about our line play even more going into next year with the early schedule, with only a 6 man rotation for most of the year the younger players really did not get any real playing time. The only upside is that we played most of the year without our best blocking tight end and full back and both should hopefully be back next year.

  51. NORM 4
    To me this was a lost season b/c we couldn't close out the season on a positive note/get win #10 that's big for nat. respect/show recruits we are ready to compete for conf. championships & bcs bowls. Shannon was there with Coker, so it's not all on Larry! Coker went and got Dorsey and 5 star Wright out of Cali. He also kept 5 stars like Willie Williams from going to instate schools florida and fsu. Now a days 5 star players from florida go to the gators or seminoles or leave the state. Recruiting and coaching are the keys to turning things around at the U! Our coaching is suspect, and it doesn't even look like we can recruit our own backyard anymore. The top 3 players from Miami Northwestern are going elsewhere. I just don't see us coming back to a level to compete for a nat. title anytime soon!

  52. NORM 4
    Really there is soo many things wrong at UM, there isn't enough time in the day to talk about! I believe it starts with recruiting and coaching, and those areas don't look that good to me! Miami Northwestern stars going to play for other schools, and not a single coach on Miami's staff that u could say has done a good job this year! The future looks bleak!

  53. Allcanes, do you ever get tired of repeating yourself. Why do you even try with half of these people. Im on the same level as you, im not against Shannon, he's with us and its what we got so deal with it. The fact is we got better every year record wise by two games. If unfortunate the schedule doesnt set up for us next year as we arent the gaytors and actually schedule tough OCC. I like OSU winning though as we go in as underdogs. The Pitt running back scares me though after watching Clay do what he did. But seriously allcanes sometimes its not worth your time to repeat an answer some of these fans. Half are fake and half have legitmate concerns, u can tell the difference

  54. I agree with the post which said we should get our OL from the Midwest. I want my OL sleeveless when its freezing. I would really love to get the #1 player out of Minnesota. The left tackle is the most important position outside of QB because it protects his blindside. We lost the kid from NC last year who was the top lineman and he said he really wanted to attend UM over Florida. On my last post I stated if Cook was on the team we would have went 11-1. I was at the UNC game, and our D only gave up 1 TD. If Cook was on the team they would have pulled Jacory cause he was really hurt. Cook was more mobile than Jacory with a stronger arm and I think he could have managed the game and we could have stole that one. JH12 is the first UM QB in awhile to not look over his shoulder. In any sport you need to be pushed, I do think he has the "IT" factor. He always gives you a chance to win, sort of like Joe Montana. On the same note the wide-outs really sucked that game because they were losing jump balls to 5'9 guys. The cover 2 Butch Davis runs at UNC looks like our old defense. Nobody gets behind the safety, I think we should use a 3-4 mix or hybrid defense so we can use the LBs we have sitting on the sideline. I think even an idiot can zone blitz, this man zone with LB on receivers looked bad all year.

  55. Happy new years to everyone! I hope you all enjoyed the END of UF's run last night with the win over UC. Looking at the UF players faces after the game made me very happy cause you could tell that they knew that it was THE END!'. They didn't even look very happy after the game.

    On to more important things:

    I think some of you have to understand that this is now 2010 not 1987 or even 2001. Let me ask you this…would you rather be a notre dame, Michigan, USC, UF (2010) or Oklahoma fan right now?? I feel alot better about where Miami stands right now compared to those teams I just mentioned and all of those are supposed to be 'prestigious' programs as well.

    Early thoughts on the schedule next year: I don't think we'll have many issues with the early games versus Ohio state and Pitt. Both teams always start out slow at the beginning of their schedules and we seem to start out fast! Perhaps this has a lot to do with the canes early start with spring practice (this past year I believe practice started in feb?). To some degree that probably is one reason we had lots of injuries but I guess you gotta take the good with the bad.

    Those are my thoughts anyways. I live in Pittsburgh and am surrounded by Ohio state and Pitt fans so if we lose to either of them I may as well pack up and move somewhere else! Haha!

  56. yo nice piece. i was looking at the schedule and South Florida isnt our season finale. it goes, FAM, OSU, PITT, USF, (all ACC teams to close) and then last two games of the season are two home games. UNC and VT.

  57. When did Canes Fans start hating on the Canes so much? I read the fans comments after the blog and it makes me sick. Patience is a virtue people.
    I am a Randy Shannon and a Jacory Harris fan. Many of you forget the quarterbacks Randy was working with in his first 3 seasons…Let me refresh your memory… Kyle Wright, Kirby Freeman, and Robert Marve none of which were any good. This year was Jacorys’ first full year as a starter SO QUIT HATING! We are just getting to all Randy Shannon players. So in 2 years if we are still not contenders then you can start calling for heads. Until then you should be ashamed to call yourselves Canes Fans.
    I was at the game in Orlando freezing my butt off. Watching as we played like crap and hoping that we would get by with a win with seconds left. We played to get by, but at least we played until the end. This wasn’t the season I wanted either, but we did pretty damn good with the schedule we had. Everyone said 0-4 which would have meant an even worse season than we had. I had hoped we would have at least made it to the ACC championship game, but we shot ourselves in the foot too many times. Next year we should be making at least an ACC Championship run if not a National Championship run. If those things don’t happen THEN you can start calling for heads because the excuses will be gone.
    As for Canes Football we have to wait until recruiting day. Until then we have basketball and baseball to look forward to.

    It’s All About The U!

  58. Until the canes get a mean and nasty ol, until someone on the dl and lb corps starts lifting some weights and until this coaching staff learns clock and time out mgmt the u will consistently be at 7-9 win range it s that simple.

  59. If Bill Cower takes a coaching job in NFL next year, do you think we are at risk of loosing Whipple to NFL?

  60. If Bill Cower takes a coaching job in NFL next year, do you think we are at risk of loosing Whipple to NFL?

    … you never know, but I wouldn't think so.

    Whipple just got settled in South Florida, his son transferred to UM and is on the scout team, one year in the system.

    Jumping back to the NFL as an assistant… I don't that's his career path. He just left the NFL a year ago for the college game.

    I read that Whipple interviewed for the Cincinnati head coaching position. If a gig like that opens, different story.

    Heading back to the NFL after one year – seems like a lot of moving.

    I think Whipple is at Miami no less than two years and no more than foud.

  61. In respone to NORM 4
    "Coker went and got Dorsey and 5 star Wright out of Cali. He also kept 5 stars like Willie Williams from going to instate schools florida and fsu. Now a days 5 star players from florida go to the gators or seminoles or leave the state. Recruiting and coaching are the keys to turning things around at the U! Our coaching is suspect, and it doesn't even look like we can recruit our own backyard anymore. The top 3 players from Miami Northwestern are going elsewhere. I just don't see us coming back to a level to compete for a nat. title anytime soon!"

    Dude – don't get so hung up on the number of stars a recruit has. 5 star willie Williams – a bust. 5 star Kyle Wright – coulda, woulda shoulda – but a a whole lot of nothing. The recruiting is moving in the right direction.

  62. Coker went and got Dorsey and 5 star Wright out of Cali.

    … Dorsey came on board in 1999, which was a very solid Butch Davis class that included Andre Johnson, Philip Buchanon, Clinton Portis, etc.

    Coker's first class came in 2002. He "saved" the 2001 class that Davis assembled.

    As for Kyle Wright… not really much of a 'sell' when he signed in February 2003. Miami was just off of a 34-game win streak, three straight BCS games, one championship and back-to-back-title games.

    Wright turned down Texas and USC to come to Miami to follow in Dorsey's footsteps.

    WW came aboard a year later, a local kid who also wanted to get on the Miami bandwagon as the Canes were THE team back then.

    Point being, not much credit should be given to reeling in Wright and Williams. Look at Coker's classes from 2004-2006 when the Canes were a much tougher sell.

  63. Cane4Ever said…
    Willis said…
    Aside from what I've been saying about JH needing to hit the weights, I want to point out something.

    Most of us agree that the O line was the biggest problem in the game against Wisconsin. Those who see #12 as the problem are completely missing that.

    People say that he looked rattled, lost, unsure of himself, whatever.

    Realize this…

    If you watch the NFL and you look at Peyton Manning, you know he is as great a QB as there is.

    I've seen games in the past where his O line wasn't stopping anybody and he's getting sacked, throwing picks, completely falling apart.

    I don't care if you're Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. If your O line isn't stopping anyone, you're going to look like shit.

    Fix the O line and JH is a Heisman candidate.

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    Very true. We have all seen the beauties launched by JH when he has TIME in the pocket. The O line could not block and JH should NOT have been under center. Ever heard of SHOTGUN? Hello? Remember Gino Torretta? He was in shotgun ALL THE TIME! I sure miss Torretta. That guy had the passion for the game. Oh, and he has a Heisman in his name. Can we round him up for an O-line coaching position at least?

    As we all saw in the game, JH was playing injured and the coaches kept him in there to take beating after beating. His mother should have called the DCF to report the abuse her son was taking. Ridiculous! We are in desperate need of QBs. We are known as Quarterback U and yet we have no one to back up JH when he is hobbling around the field in pain!

    There are so many things wrong with this program, I don't even know where to begin.. so I won't. I am trying to be patient and hopeful that next year will be better but if there are NO staff changes, is that remotely possible??? Ok, end of rant. I need a beverage.

    9:46 PM

    ———————————

    AWESOME POST, CANE4EVER! YOU GOT IT!

    GOODBYE SHANNON!!!

    HELLO TORRETTA!!!