miami hurricanes louisiana state tigers decline play 2014 season opener

Google “Miami Hurricanes Louisiana State Tigers” and the first five entries are related to the SEC program. Halfway down the page, a recap regarding the Peach Bowl blowout UM suffered at the end of the 2005 season.

What you won’t find? Any story that relates to a potential meeting between Miami and LSU to kick off the 2014 football season, yet remains a hot-button topic on Canes-themed message boards this week, with some implication that UM punked out of a proposed meeting.

The only thing reported about this showdown-not-to-be came from Barry Jackson and the Miami Herald, in the form of a thirty-nine word quip in his ‘Sports Buzz’ column days back:

“UM declined overtures to open the 2014 season against LSU at Houston’s Reliant Stadium – smart, considering it will be the first game for Stephen Morris’ successor at quarterback. UM doesn’t need him opening against a usually-stout LSU defense.”

According to the piece, Miami declined “overtures” to open the season against LSU — “an introduction to something more substantial” or “an approach or proposal made to someone with the aim of opening negotiations”. This thing was in the most infantile stage discussion-wise.

The idea was introduced and Miami decided that opening the season on the road against an SEC power made no sense. Especially considering UM will welcome Memphis to Sun Life on September 13th and then treks to Lincoln to take on Nebraska the following week.

From there, a full-blown ACC schedule that could include match-ups against Big East defects, Louisville, Syracuse and Pittsburgh, as well as the usual suspects – Florida State and Virginia Tech – or Atlantic Division rivals like Clemson or NC State. (Editor’s Note: The ACC’s football rotating crossover schedule has since been released and Miami will play at Louisville in 2014.)

LET GO OF THE PAST AS THE ENTIRE GAME HAS CHANGED

Some of the more vocal fans stuck in the ‘Decade Of Dominance’ era have turned it into manhood being tried, a lack of street cred or backing down from a brawl in a manner that would have the ghosts of Hurricanes’ past rolling over in their graves.

“What ever happened to, ANYONE, ANYTIME, ANYPLACE??”, blasted some vocal folks via social media or UM-themed sites.

For a real answer to that question, look no further than the overall state of college football and how this big money game is played in a calculated manner in this day and age.

In the past, a powerhouse was expected to have a “national championship or bust” mentality when bringing a loaded team into a new season. The playing field was nowhere near as level as it is today, there was less parity in the game and college football itself was dominated by major programs.

Today’s game, besides having a flawed route to the championship game, is simply about putting yourself in position to play for it all, which is a multi-year process.

Favorable pre-season rankings are important, as is winning your conference, becoming a perennial BCS player, recruiting strong every February – a byproduct of doing all the above – and then hoping for some lucky breaks along the way.

Crazy that some Miami fans still play down the importance of winning the conference, or playing into the BCS as an at-large. The Hurricanes joined the ACC in 2004 and to date still haven’t won regionally.

Sure, a shot at representing the Coastal was surrendered last season due to hovering NCAA sanctions, but Miami was still 5-3 in conference, 7-5 overall and needed to loophole with North Carolina ineligible from any post-season play. UM hardly dominated the ACC the way it smacked up the Big East for the better part of a decade.

TWO DECADES AGO ‘THE U’ HAD TO MAKE ITS NAME; NO MAS

As an Independent in the 1980s, when trying to make a name for itself and building a program from scratch, Miami absolutely took on all comers. That was the way the game was played when trying to bully one’s self into that elite circle.

To be the best you had to beat the best, so you endure years of beatings at the hands of a Notre Dame, Alabama or Penn State, but eventually little brother grew up and gave it back to big brother twice as hard.

UM lived that out and as fans who never experienced that brand of college football, it became addictive, expected and impossible to believe that an end would come.

As much as Miami went through in the nineties with probation and sanctions, the program was able to battle back as the landscape was yet to shift. A quality coach and world-class recruiter was able to build a machine again, proven by those seemingly invincible UM squads between 2000 and 2003, but a few years later the era of the dynasty ended with Southern Cal’s 2005 squad representing the last true power, chock full of NFL talent.

Sure, Alabama is doing their thing right now, with the best head coach in the game and an influx of talent, but as solid as those Crimson Tide teams have been, talent-wise they can’t touch 2001 Miami or 2005 USC across the board. Not even close.

Look at some other recent champions. Florida in 2006 or 2008. LSU sandwiched between in 2007. Auburn in 2011. These weren’t dominant teams. They were simply SEC squads that won games and climbed in the rankings, fueled by a few key players and big moments.

THE ‘MYTH’ IS TO BLAME FOR LATE SEASON PATSY SCHEDULING

For all this talk about Miami, future out of conference schedules set, in rebuild mode and having ducked no one in recent years – Oklahoma, Florida, Ohio State, Kansas State, Notre Dame – how come there’s no outrage regarding the Urban Meyer school of late-season candy-ass scheduling?

Playing patsies early in the season seems to be the modus operandi for major powers, but what about this new November trend of taking on a weak out of conference foe, or two, in order to stay in the hunt, bettering your odds and hoping that others fall in conference play?

Florida started this tradition in 2006. After opening with non-conference games against Southern Miss and Central Florida, the Gators got into the meat of their SEC schedule, but on November 18th welcomed Western Carolina to The Swamp.

An extra bonus for Florida, Meyer sat defensive end Jarvis Moss for this game, instead of a showdown with South Carolina the previous week, which ended 17-16, with Moss blocking a potential game-winning field goal.

The trend worked for Florida and it’s something that’s been continued ever year since. Check out some of the Gators’ late-season foes as of late: Florida Atlantic (11/17/07), Citadel (11/22/08), Florida International (11/21/09), Appalachian State (11/20/10), Furman (11/19/11) and a double-whammy in 2012 with Louisiana-Lafayette (11/10) and Jacksonville State (11/17) back-to-back.

This November, Florida will take on Georgia Southern on November 23rd, while Miami’s would-be opponent LSU has Furman coming to Baton Rouge on October 26th.

Even the defending champs are following suit as Alabama gets a tune-up against Chattanooga on November 23rd, a week before their annual showdown with rival Auburn.

While no one would question the powerhouse that Alabama – or the SEC – currently is, scheduling tactics remain suspect.

After opening with No. 8 Michigan last season, two of the next three games were played against Western Kentucky and Florida Atlantic and again, another late-season patsy when Western Carolina visited Tuscaloosa on November 17th.

In previous years it was Georgia Southern (11/19/11), Georgia State (11/18/10), Chattanooga (11/21/09), Louisiana-Monroe (11/17/07) and Florida International (10/28/06).

In a twelve-game season, 25-percent of Alabama’s 2012 foes were glorified high schools and while the SEC is bar-none the best conference, on any given week a top power can go down, which happened last season when the Crimson Tide were upset by Texas A&M on November 10th.

The SEC isn’t the only one following this calculated, odds betterment pattern. Florida State has gotten on board, as well. After opening the season against new ACC foe Pittsburgh, Nevada and Bethune-Cookman come to Tallahassee back-to-back weeks, and on November 23rd the Noles take on Idaho, a week before their annual showdown with Florida.

Last year FSU faced Maryland, on the road, the week before taking on UF. The year before, Miami and Virginia back-to-back weeks and then a road trip to Gainesville.

TO REBUILD, THE CANES MUST BE SMART SCHEDULE-WISE

Past Miami schedules have been front-heavy and based on where this program has hovered the past half decade, the decision to play some of those games have proved more hurtful than helpful.

Randy Shannon took over the program in 2007, on the heels of a 7-6 season by former national championship coach Larry Coker, which earned his pink slip.

Shannon’s squad opened with Marshall, traveled to Oklahoma a week later, welcomed Florida International in game three and then took on Texas A&M out of conference all before entering ACC play. (Ironically, the Canes opened 4-1 before dropping six of their final seven, with the lone win coming at Florida State. Bizarro World, indeed.)

In 2008 Miami opened with Charleston Souther before back-to-back out of conference road games at Florida and Texas A&M, followed by ACC games against North Carolina and Florida State.

Shannon’s third year was as brutal a stretch as the program had seen, opening with a road game at Florida State, a Thursday night home showdown against Georgia Tech, a road game at Virginia Tech and a Saturday night home game against Oklahoma.

2010 had a rough four-game stretch after beating Florida A&M in the opener – at Ohio State, at Pittsburgh, at Clemson and then home against Florida State. The Canes fell 45-17 to the Noles – leaving many questioning the logic of those three tough road games – and wound up dropping three of the final five contests, costing Shannon his job.

Al Golden didn’t get any breaks his first year. NCAA cloud hovering and opening game suspensions, Miami started at Maryland, welcomed Ohio State week two, Kansas State week three and then after a breather against Bethune-Cookman, had back-to-back road games at Virginia Tech and North Carolina.

Last season it was back-to-back road games at Boston College and Kansas State and then a stretch that include Notre Dame, North Carolina, Florida State and Virginia Tech back-to-back-to-back-to-back.

What we’re witnessing regarding Miami declining LSU’s “overture” regarding a potential season opener in 2014 isn’t running away from any challenge; it’s simply smart scheduling in this day and age.

DON’T RELINQUISH THE POWER; HOME-AND-HOME SERIES ONLY

Set up a home-and-home against the Tigers if they really want to take on the Canes. Let it be mutually beneficial, opposed to some bogus “neutral site” showdown in Houston’s NFL-ready Reliant Stadium, which is a four hour car ride from Baton Rouge and will be packed with purple and yellow.

LSU fans who live and die with their program will flock to a game like this, while only the most diehard Canes fan is leaving South Florida and the Atlantic Ocean on Labor Day weekend to spend it in Houston, Texas.

In other words, that “neutral” game will take place in front of a stadium were Tigers outnumber Canes, 10-to-1, making it a high risk / low reward game, much like a loss at Kansas State last September, some early morning game relegated to the FX network, in a region that Miami doesn’t seek recruits.

Conversely, Miami’s match-up against Notre Dame was a high risk / high reward game. The Canes simply weren’t ready for the big time and fell flat.

Nationally televised night game on NBC against the big market Fighting Irish? A win in Chicago would’ve changed the course of Miami’s season and done wonders on the national level. Instead, UM limped back to town, fell to North Carolina at home and a went into it’s annual showdown with Florida State riding a two-game losing streak.

Losses on the main stage do as much damage as a win would do good and opening with LSU, was Jackson stated, who usually fields a stout defense while the Canes will be breaking in a new quarterback? That’s a dumb game for Miami. Period.

A true home or away game and two-game series in late September? Different situation entirely and something beneficial to all parties.

Good as LSU is, they’re beatable, having fallen to Clemson, an ACC squad that didn’t even reach the conference title game, in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. This is hardly a program to run from.

When a season goes in the books, all that’s remembered is the final record and the bowl game and if Miami wants to succeed regarding both, it needs to play the schedule game just like all the other big boys.

Is that style of play a bit “pussified”? Sure, but again, welcome to college football in 2013.

There are no bonus points for playing the role of “tough guy” and taking on all comers anymore. That made sense twenty years ago, but with conference supremacy, one-loss seasons and BCS berths today’s “ultimate prize”, you treat this sports like boxers lining up patsies so they can earn a title fight. That’s the name of the game.

For the first time in forever, Miami has a somewhat friendly schedule this upcoming season, which is a great way to build momentum, have a better win-loss record, to sell recruits and to take a step closer to ACC Championships and BCS games – and once that is the norm, then you start talking national championship and elite status.

Miami gets Florida week two, but opens with Florida Atlantic. After the Gators, it’s Savannah State and Georgia Tech at home, a road game at South Florida, a Thursday night game at North Carolina, Wake Forest and home and Florida State game eight.

At absolute worst, Miami should be 6-2 going into Florida State weekend and with a few lucky breaks, could be 7-1 or even 8-0.

As fans, can you even remember 8-0? Hasn’t happened since 2002, when Miami went undefeated in the regular season and made it to the title game. Made it to 8-1 in 2005, but since then, nothing even remotely close.

The Canes need more depth, more talent and more experience, but this program also needs to string together some wins in effort to gain some momentum and to build on something.

Golden’s first year never produced more than a two-game win-streak and last year it capped out at three straight. That’s not productive for a young team that needs every good moment is can get.

While the “take on all comers” mindset is vintage Miami – the city, as well as the team – it’s time fans accept the watered down game college football has become. Perennial powers are working the system and for the Canes to work their way back on top, it’s going to take a little less ego and a some submitting to what this sports has become.

This isn’t time to play the role of hero or pioneer. It’s time to work the system.

Christian Bello has been covering Miami Hurricanes athletics since the mid-1990s. After spending almost a decade as a columnist for CanesTime, he launched allCanesBlog.com. – the official blog for allCanes.com : The #1 Canes Shop Since 1959. Bello has joined up with XOFan.com and will be a guest columnist at CaneInsider.com this fall. Follow him on Twitter @ChristianRBello.

33 thoughts on “UM Declines Opp To Play LSU In ’14 Opener

  1. I just can’t rag on the Gators if we’re doing similar SEC tactics, I’m not really hurt or care that much, since my ‘Canes always have a tough schedule as you have pointed out–but I don’t want to see us scheduling Jacksonville or Florida School for the Blind in November. It’s not happening yet, but avoiding LSU screams a slippery slope.

    Either way the BCS is on it’s way out and a playoff imminent–putting value back on competitive scheduling might not make much difference for the 1-2 undefeated teams vying for the number one and two slot but for differing between 8 10-2 teams which one is the best there isn’t much other option.

    And maybe that will bring back that Miami Mentality.

    • There was no “ragging on the Gators”. Urban Meyer’s scheduling tactics were explained and it was pointed out how this has become the norm in this current era of college football. Everyone starts with patsies, but somehow Meyer made it all right to better his team’s odds by adding that late November cupcake game, which Alabama, LSU, Florida State, etc. have started doing as well.

      Again, there’s no “avoiding” LSU. That one-game series and ‘neutral site’ game in Houston was flat-out bullshit. If LSU are that bad-ass, agree to a home-and-home with Miami as others have – Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Tennessee, Kansas State, Texas A&M, etc. have this past decade.

      This isn’t the late 1970s. Miami did its time agreeing to lopsided scheduling match-ups, but after the name this program has built the past three decades, UM doesn’t have to agree to that crap anymore.

      Would much rather see Miami play one in Baton Rouge and see LSU down at Sun Life. Who needs a game in some stale-ass corporate NFL stadium, one that is four hours from Death Valley and an unofficial home game for the Tigers? F that noise – and all that “slippery slope” talk. Look at Miami’s OOC schedule over the past two decades. The Canes duck no one – the program just doesn’t agree to dumb match-ups. Kudos to Blake James for seeing that this was a one-sided set-up.

  2. I would love to play LSU, but we’re not even close with our defense right now. I am still not buying D’Onofrio, but this is a put-up-or-shut-up year for him in my book. I would also love the payday a game like that would provide, being the private school that we are. On the flip side, we are a fragile team right now, still trying to make the climb back to even a year-in year-out Top 25 team at this point. Sad as it is, it’s true. A big opening game like that can also lead to better focus for the players all offseason. However, if you get destroyed, then you have to somehow pick up the pieces for the remaining 13 games. With the ND game, if we didn’t have dropped balls at the beginning of the game, things could have turned out different but issues ended up snowballing against us. While LSU is not an offensive juggernaut, our defense can’t stop anyone right now. Obviously I’m torn, but I wish we would take the game regardless of the outcome, because we need to see what a tough, Top 5 team looks like up close. Our offense would be just fine even with a new QB, but our D probably wouldn’t be able to get off the field.

  3. The right decision was made. We are rebuilding a program and scheduling Is a major element in the rebuilding. There is no reason to open the door to injuries in the first game of the season or to be on the road for the first game. Those fans that ask what has happened to Anyone, Anytime, Anyplace are showing their advanced age and signs of senility. Coach Golden has done an amazing job especially with the cards he was dealt. Continue to support his efforts emotionally and financially and you will see a National Championship return to the U in the next five years.
    GO CANES!

  4. Nothings changed as far as patsy games. Go back to Bear Bryant era, the teams he played had a 28% winning record, not counting bowl games.

  5. This is as good a read as I have seen in quite some time. This tells it like it is and is 100% spot on. I agree with every ord in this article and I don’t believe it could have been written any better. Just flat out awesome and 2 thumbs up on the article.

  6. no offense to the writer, but this does seem to be a cope out by our beloved u. we never would have backed down from this in the past. the fact we have a new qb in place of morris is pure nonsense. any qb in the past decade of dominance was ready to come in and pick up where the other qb/or other player, left off.

    as soon as we get our ‘cojones’ back, we will begin dominating.

    • Stop with this revisionist history nonsense. It’s not a cop out, it’s fact. The game has changed, despite the fact so many don’t want to believe it.

      There is ZERO benefit in heading to Houston to play LSU in a one-game series to open the season. Nada.

      If they want to schedule a home-and-home a few weeks into the season ABSOLUTELY.

      Look at every series Miami has agreed to the past decade, those on the books and those which have already been played. Florida. Oklahoma. Ohio State. Notre Dame. Nebraska. Colorado. Tennessee. Louisville. Texas A&M.

      ALL those teams agreed to home-and-home series. If LSU are such badasses, why only ask for a one-game series at a neutral site four hours from their stadium, where their fans will pack 98% of the stadium?

      It’s 2013. Miami has been arguably one of the most dominant programs of the past three decades. It doesn’t have to bend over for anyone. Sign on for a mutually beneficial home-and-home, or kick rocks.

      Look at you with all this ‘Decade Of Dominance’ talk. A COMPLETELY different, once in a lifetime era of football that will never be again. The ENTIRE sport has changed and outside of Alabama, no one is reloading at that capacity right now. Not even close.

      Accept what is. Quit living in some long-gone era and chalking smart scheduling up to a lack of balls. Please.

      • I agree 1000 percent the big boys play weaker schedule at the end of the season so can we I dont like it but it is what it is

        • Kim – I don’t like it either and think it’s bad for college basketball. That said, I don’t want Miami taking on a tougher schedule than the rest, hurting their chances at climbing in the rankings, simply out of tough-guy ego and some allegiance by fans to an era that was forever ago and will never be again.

          Be smart in the schedule, like all the other major players are. Scheduling has become a science, so play the game proper.

          Hopefully in time these pointless conference championship games are gone and we have a sixteen-team playoff. Until then, work the system. – allCanesBlog.com

  7. Awesome read!! You couldn’t have said it any better!! You’re exactly right that all the elite teams play the system and we need to as well. Packing your schedule with powerhouses isn’t smart when no one else is doing it!

    • It’s just amazing how some remain so hard-headed to this concept. Of course, most are the same folks who want to see Nike bring back 1980s era jerseys, expect the Canes to run up the score weekly and are calling for smack talk, swagger, or whatever formula worked for this program between 1983 and 1991, failing to realize that the entire sport has changed.

      That’s not saying the new way is better — personally, I’d prefer to see no preseason rankings, tougher schedules (and teams penalizing in the rankings for playing patsies), as well as a sixteen-team playoff system, in order to determine a true champion. Do away with pointless conference title games, too. They’re meaningless with the right system.

      That said, as a program you work within the parameters and confines and the old, “Anyone. Anyplace. Anytime.” mentality will leave you in the dust.

      Again, no debating that Alabama was head and shoulders above everyone else last year, but they schedule three doormats over a twelve-game span — that’s 25-percent of the season against the likes of Western Kentucky, Florida Atlantic and Western Carolina.

      Look what happened the week before Alabama played Western Carolina – they were upset by Texas A&M, at home.

      When the schedule has tough out of conference games, going along with hard in-conference foes, it hurts your odds of reaching the title game.

      While Miami shouldn’t have played Kansas State last year, as there was zero upside, the game against Notre Dame was high risk / high rewards, if the Canes could’ve won. That was worth rolling the dice on. Swap out a Kansas State for a more beatable foe and Miami goes at least 8-4, if not better, as that game really hurt early momentum and exposed the defense.

      If the best in the game are spending 25-percent of their season playing glorified high school teams, Miami needs to do the same if it wants to work towards ACC titles, BCS games and hopefully a national championship berth.

      FYI, look at Florida State this year – after opening at Pittsburgh (new ACC foe), they welcome Nevada and Bethune-Cookman and then slid Idaho in there on November 23rd, the week before playing Florida.

      • I do like some of the points you do make in this article, but…

        As an old school cane fan how about this revelation. We were never meant to follow. Our program was built on bucking the system and forcing rules to change. Just like our case is right now.

        Plus the last time I checked you go undefeated in a season and then you play for the title game. Even though the Utah States or whomever go 12-0 and cry about not getting a title shot. Why? Because of a weak OOC or/and a poor conference “big” games.

        So with the All Cr_ _ Conference being labeled like it is, I see UM and FSU needing to step up like they were supposed to have 5+ years ago. How do they step up? Hmm I say we play and beat the almighty SEC twatz. Make sense? Yes, I know it does.

        ps. The ACC did well in it’s bowl games last season. SO that moniker is somewhat bunk.

        We are playing the Gators after our scrimmage game, no reason we could not play with LSU. Especially after they slapped the ish out of us in 2005. I thought we want to be elite again?

        Go Canes! been down since 1983.

        • 1983 – You could buck the system when the system was buck-able thirty years ago. You cannot buck the system in 2013 as a private school when the sport has become a big money game and the programs that are consistently in the hunt have the largest athletic budgets in the sport. Back in the day Miami could have the advantage based on two things; (1) keeping local talent home as they were the best players in the nation and (2) better conditioning than the other guys as the Canes grinded it out in the South Florida heat.

          Neither of those advantages exist today. Kids across the nation are conditioned in 2013 in a way that nobody was in 1983. The playing field is now level for so many reasons — and conditioning has been a joke at Miami for years now. Golden is turning it around, but it’s been garbage for a decade.

          Beyond that, the overall talent nationwide is now a level playing field. Yes, South Florida still puts out great talent, but so do many other regions.

          Also, where does Miami have a “weak” OOC schedule? Two weeks from this proposed date with LSU the Canes go to Lincoln to play Nebraska. Not exactly Sisters Of The Poor, and look at the recent OOC games? Notre Dame and Kansas State last year? Ohio State and Kansas State the year before? Please.

          A one-game series opening the year against Louisiana State in Houston is idiotic. A home-and-home with LSU in mid-September is brilliant. Get something on the books. Don’t just agree to a one-game series … and to your point, Miami is playing Florida AT HOME in game two after a warm up against FAU. HUGE difference from a road opener against LSU in game one, at a stadium that will be 98-percent Tigers fans. C’mon now. Bad analogy.

          As for what Miami and Florida State have to do — start with dominating the ACC before worrying about knocking off the SEC big dogs. The day that Florida State can again dominate the conference, instead of shitting the bed against a NC State or a Wake Forest, and the day Miami can actually do in this conference what is supposed to when joining just under a decade ago, THAT Is when both will be ready for the big time and not a moment before.

          Beat the ACC middle-of-the road teams before worrying about the SEC ‘twatz’, as you call them. Cart before the horse, brother.

      • Chris – I still would like to see the old 1980′s-1990′s jerseys back. Call me a “traditionalist” when it comes to uniforms.

        Go Canes!

        Jake

        • Jake – Theoretically, sure … because those jerseys bring back great memories. Same way fans seem to clamor for those 2000-2002 era jerseys, but seem to hate everything that’s come after, despite little change between 2002 and what UM is wearing now.

          Jersey looks as a whole have gotten tighter, sleeker and more form-fitting. Much love for the 80s era, but those boxy Russell Athletic belly shirts with the squared off numbers — those wouldn’t translate now, and if Miami was going 7-5 in that era, NO ONE would ever want to see that look again.

          All college jerseys have changed. Nothing about that old look would work today. Different cut and material completely.

  8. Who is this dick asshole writer. What’s his beef? Miami butt fucked your favorite team in the past and made you wet your bed

  9. i bet the 1999 2000 and 2001 canes said ANYTIME ANYONE ANY PLACE!!..

    i think its a cop out football hasn’t changed as much as you claim it has…..
    i ‘m not talking about running up the score to impress voters but the overall mentality that i am better than you whenever and however, and i will prove it time and again…. the mentailty of i will give you my playbook and you still can’t stop me….

    that is what is missing and that is what the ‘old timers’ are complaining about in what’s missing as our demeanor and nature of the program….
    that part of the game has never and will never change and that transcends into all modes of competition….
    it’s people that try and manipulate the system are the ones that always get played by that same system….

    never back down… if your scared to lose than you shouldn’t be playing…. #istandwiththeU

    • You’re missing the point and again, it’s fans who are pushing this “scared to lose” bullshit.

      Bad business is bad business and it makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE for a program of Miami’s stature to agree to a one-game series with LSU, opening the season with a game at Reliant Stadium in Houston in a packed house full of Tigers’ fans. None whatsoever.

      If LSU wants a shot at UM, then schedule a home-and-home like Ohio State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Kansas State, Texas A&M, Florida, Tennessee and other big-time programs have this past decade.

      Lastly, no one is trying to “manipulate” the system as much as creating a late-season advantage that has caught on … and Florida certainly didn’t get “played” by it, starting the trend in 2005 and then winning two of the next four national titles. Even last year, the Gators would’ve been in it if not for the loss to Georgia. Would’ve been in the SEC championship against Alabama one game from the national championship, just like they were in 2009.

      There is a big difference between “anytime, anyone, anyplace” from a macho fans perspective, versus the program itself and what makes sense. No was does a one-game series against LSU in Houston make ANY sense. None at all.

  10. Seeing as the SEC schedule is tough enough as it is (especially in the west) it would be unrealistic to expecf a team to remain healthy through a season stacked with top 25 out of conference teams. But you will note that LSU played 8 top 25 ball clubs that included two top five match ups against alabama, one against georgia and another to open the season against Oregon in Dallas.

    • No one is debating that the SEC is the toughest top to bottom conference, but NO program should be playing the likes of a Savannah State, UAB, Georgia State or Western Kentucky.

      Yes, LSU played a solid schedule in 2011, but 2012 was a bit pussified, relatively. North Texas, Idaho and Towson made up 25-percent of the schedule. Also played unranked teams in Washington, Auburn, Ole Miss and Arkansas. Ranked teams included #10 Florida, #3 South Carolina, #18 Texas A&M, #1 Alabama and #21 Mississippi State … oh yeah, and the mighty SEC power lost to the joke-of-a-conference ACC’s Clemson in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, by the way.

      The entire sport needs a tune-up. Dump the conference title games, lose the lower-tier OOC games and get this thing to a sixteen-team playoff where all the quality teams will get their shot and all the conference supremacy talk will go by the wayside.

  11. Yes, OK, but will this fill the seats.

    Most of the SEC programs will sell out for Slippery State Junior College, but UM fans would sooner look at bare titty on South Beach than at a middle level opponent at 5 in the afternoon on a hot saturday.

    This strategy might get you wins, but it won,t get you MONEY!

    • Ken – How does a road game at LSU fill the seats? Bring the Tigers to South Florida for a home-and-home and fans will show up.

      At day’s end, fans don’t show up regardless, so pick your poison. Miami was #1 in the country in 2001 and had 30K at the Orange Bowl for Temple. Top team in land in the old stadium everyone reveres. Team chock full of future NFL talent … and people still blew it off as it’s the Miami way.

      No, this isn’t the SEC so you’re not going to get 80K to play the likes of Central Michigan. That said, in Miami the ONLY shot you have at getting fans to show up is by fielding a winner and only way that is going to happen is to be smart on the scheduling front and to work the system like everyone else is.

      Get paid by setting up good home-and-home OOC games, but a one-game series playing LSU in Houston for the opener? How much money is Miami going to pocket from that? As mentioned in the article, going to play Notre Dame in Chicago was high risk / high reward and worth it, win or lose. It’s also a three-game series with the Irish – one neutral, one in South Bend and one in Miami.

      No offense, but who is LSU to ask UM for a one-game series at a “neutral” site that is four hours from Baton Rouge. Canes may be down, but are hardly some little shit program who has to take whatever a program like LSU dishes out.

      Plus, Miami had a home-and-home with Nebraska starting next year, two games after a proposed match-up with LSU. Again, HOME-AND-HOME, meaning the Huskers will be in Miami in 2015. THAT is smart. Anything else is done. Kudos to Blake James for saying no to this one.

  12. Who is going to pay?? I presume LSU. That was probably a “money” game.

    Yea, i agree, home and home is better, but home and home with jackcrap state won,t work. 30k for Temple proves my point .

    Yea, you gotta win, but not against South Dade High School.

    My opinion, at this point, good competition, win or lose, that brings in fans, is most important.

    Lemmie ask you a question. Would uou rather have a win over FAU, with 30k in the stands, or a loss to UF with 60k in the stands.

    If you like the easy win-no crowd strategy, then just schedule the in-state 2nd tier schools. But 12-0 against these guys will not get you into the BCS playoffs.

    • Where is Miami scheduling home-and-homes with Jackcrap State and skipping out on bigger series? Just had home-and-homes, or have some on the books with Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Kansas State. Every school plays the nobodies and Miami schedules tougher OOC competition than just about any other big conference program out there. Please.

      To your point, I would rather have a win over anybody than a loss over anybody as this program rebuilds because 9-3 sounds better – and is better – than 7-5 when you are trying to rebuild. Recruits see that win/loss record and you’re giving opposing coaches more ammo when you’re playing .500 ball instead of .750.

      Let’s worry about getting back to 9-3 instead of all this theoretical 12-0 talk.

      Furthermore, let’s not act like Miami plays nobody. Florida State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina next year, as well as Nebraska out of conference and possibly Clemson in the Atlantic, or Louisville, who is also joining the ACC.

      If Miami wins ballgames again, it will attain a higher preseason ranking. Going 9-3 this year, no matter who is played OOC, with a good team gets you a higher preseason ranking than 7-5 against tougher competition.

      Where do you think Miami would be entering 2013 poll-wise had it not going 7-5 last year, smashed by Kansas State and Notre Dame, instead playing easier teams and going 9-3? With this offense coming off 9-3, Miami would enter the polls between #15 and #20. Instead, it will probably roll in unranked, which certainly is no way to get into the BCS title game talk.

  13. How bout the Gators trying everything they could to back out of the 2013 meeting with UM? I mean the Canes didn’t run from UF and they beat LSU last year what logic will we use there? It’s a home game for UM? It will be 50/50 at best.

    • Exactly. The only reason Florida didn’t worm out of this game, put on the books years ago, is due to the fact Miami is in rebuild mode and the Gators will be favored. Had the Canes been “back”, UiF would’ve absolutely pulled out and schedule some home game against Central Michigan.

      And yes, a game at Sun Life for Florida will be 50/50 fan-wise while UM taking a one-game season opener against LSU in Houston would’ve had Canes fans outnumbered 10-to-1, if not more.

      Again, schedule a home-and-home if you want a piece, LSU. Don’t puss out and try to bully Miami like they’re some D-II nobody. Please.

  14. Any game in a retractable roof stadium is not a truly neutral site. The Big 12 abandoned the Fiesta Bowl/University of Phoenix Stadium in masse, the four teams that left the Big 12 as well as the rest of the Conference who made a deal to play the SEC every year both conference champs are available in the Superdome. With so much money bet on these games, it is too tempting for a stadium operator that controls so many variables such as lighting, new state of the art high def LCD boards that can suddenly flash on and off in the middle of a play, and cellular systems in the roof and or walls that the public was never informed about until after these stadiums were built and are too close to players and fans heads and never before tested on humans sitting for three hours at a time in an enclosed stadium. The Canes were wise to avoid this stadium. As for LSU, pick an outdoor stadium and I bet we’d play them at any neutral site.