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Miami Hurricanes

Saturday is big with Gators but it’s not Miami’s whole season

Florida Football Insiders



Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, whenever the Miami Hurricanes play the Florida Gators, it’s war. There is no love lost between the two teams, and there shouldn’t be. This is a very big game. It is a winnable game. It is a game which can catapult Manny Diaz into a very happy place as The U’s new head coach.

It is a game which can immediately establish the Canes as the ACC Coastal favorite. It is a game which can give the ACC a shot in the arm versus the SEC, three months before the season-ending series of rivalry games between teams from the two conferences.

This game is a huge deal. No one is saying — or suggesting — otherwise.

Yet, the reality that a game is big is not a reason to put all of one’s emotional eggs in one basket. The reality that a game is huge doesn’t mean that if the game goes poorly, the team should be absolutely devastated.

This is a huge game, but it is just one game. Even before kickoff, Miami needs to acquire the mentality that this is not a game which will determine the fate of the entire season. It will shape the season. It will influence the season. It is NOT, however, the No. 1 determinant of how this season will unfold.

It isn’t life or death.

Why am I saying all this? Very simply: 2018.

Miami entered the 2018 season with huge hopes and massive aspirations… and rightly so. Who wouldn’t expect championship greatness after an 11-win regular season, a division title, and an Orange Bowl appearance?

Yet, when that opener — also against an SEC team, LSU — turned into a disaster, the Canes didn’t learn what they needed to learn. They didn’t use that experience as a growth moment. They didn’t view that game as a building block and a teaching tool.

They treated that game as a deflating, terrible occasion, the ruination of their grand plans and their soaring expectations.

They never recovered — not in any meaningful sense.

Look, we all know that everyone in and around the Miami program, anyone who cares about the Canes, wants this football program to be BACK.

Like Texas, and USC, and Florida State, and Oregon, and Michigan, and Penn State, various programs want to be “back” in the sense of being major national players every year. Miami desperately wants to be part of the big dogs and conjure the glory days. Yes. That is the goal.

Yet, having a goal is not the same thing as making that goal become reality This status of being “back” isn’t going to be given to Miami. Opponents won’t hand the ball to the Canes (the way they did in the turnover-chain 2017 season). Miami has to earn this status. This means walking over the hot coals of difficulty and hardship.

By all means, the Canes need to go all out and spill blood on the grass when they play the hated Gators. Yes, Miami needs to suffer and sacrifice to beat an opponent which is now a legitimate contender to Georgia in the SEC East.

Nevertheless, if this game doesn’t go the way Miami wants it to, the Canes can’t let it bleed into the rest of their season, especially if Jarren Williams has a bad day.

Restoration — reclaiming full greatness and affirming that “The U Is Back!” — won’t be achieved in one game. It also won’t be ruined in one game.

Miami needs to enter the 2019 college football season realizing that the road back to elite status is built one play, one brick, one painful step at a time.

It sounds like a cliche, but cliches do contain truth.

Miami wasn’t willing to face the truth after LSU last year. It needs to do so if this Florida fistfight doesn’t end the way the Canes hope it will.

The battle goes far beyond August 24.

Miami Hurricanes

Former Canes coach Golden apparently ready for trial against school

Florida Football Insiders



USA Today Sports

Former Miami Hurricanes head coach Al Golden is apparently about to have his day in court, while trying to recoup what he says is multi-millions of dollars that the University still owes him from firing him 5 years ago.

Miami Herald writer and columnist Barry Jackson had more on Monday evening that there apparently will not be a settlement by the school with the man that coached them for parts of five seasons in the 2010s.

Golden is seeking in excess of $3 million for what he says is compensation per his contract that he was owed when Miami terminated him in October of 2015 after a humiliating 58 – 0 lost to Clemson. The University says that Golden has been paid what the contract required.

As Jackson reported, there have already been depositions on both sides, including with Miami athletic director Blake James. And both James and Golden will be testifying in the civil suit about what went wrong and how it has not been rectified for almost three years, since the dispute started.

Golden came to Miami after having turned around the Temple football program, but only went 32 – 25 in his four plus seasons. He contends in a chain of emails that were obtained by the media recently, that the University mislead him about the Nevin Shapiro payment scandal and the punishments that Miami was going to receive for scholarship losses and a bowl ban.

He further contends that he asked for tough opponents like Wisconsin and Michigan State to be pushed back on the Canes schedule early in his tenure, while they were in the middle of the sanctions. However, that  James would not relent, thereby, making it much tougher for Miami to compete and win.

The University has had no comment on the possible suit going to trial. Golden’s lawyer told the media recently that they are anxious to have their day in front of a judge and jury.

Golden has been a position coach in the NFL with the Detroit Lions the last two years. Meanwhile, Miami is still trying to find their footing with coach Manny Diaz coming off a dismal 6-7 season where they lost their last three games. That included a humiliating 14-0 shutout loss to Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl.

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Miami Hurricanes

Hurricanes name College Hall of Famer Ed Reed Chief of Staff

Florida Football Insiders



Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes are hoping to reestablish their winning ways, and coach Manny Diaz is starting 2020 by reaching back to a prominent member of their recent past to help them.

Diaz and the school announced Thursday afternoon that former All-American, National Champion and College and NFL Hall of Fame safety, Ed Reed, will be coming aboard as a newly-created “Chief of Staff” position for Hurricanes football:

As the school’s release said, Reed “will be responsible in advisory role of all aspects of the football program including strategic planning, quality control, operations, player evaluation and player Development among other duties.

Diaz said in the statement,

“We are thrilled to welcome Ed back to Coral Gables,” Diaz said. “He is not only one of the most decorated players in Miami football history but also a devoted Cane who cares deeply about this program. All of our players, coaches and staff will be fortunate to tap into his experience, knowledge and passion on a regular basis.”  

This hire comes on the heels of Miami apparently botching the hiring in a similar role of former star RB  from the 80’s Alonzo Highsmith earlier this month. Highsmith negotiated with Diaz and AD Blake James about looking to come back to Coral Gables after having been in a similar role with the Cleveland Browns in the NFL this past year. Alas, they could not agree. Highsmith has since been fired after the Browns fired GM John Dorsey and shook up their front office.

As for the “Chief of Staff” position, numerous college programs, including Clemson Alabama and Georgia have a similar positions to aid and assist the head coach with the day-to-day administration of program.

You cannot find a more decorated Cane willing to help, as Reed was arguably the best safety in college football in the 2000s. Miami posted a 23 – 1 record over his final two seasons (’00-’01) and he was part of the 2001 BCS Championship team that finished 11-1 and destroyed Nebraska in the Rose Bowl.

Reed with a consensus First-team All-American in 2000 and 2001 and set the Hurricanes record for interceptions with 21 before leaving Coral Gables.

Reed was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2018 for his accomplishments.

Reed was later a first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2002, playing at 11 sasons with them before playing his final year with the Texans and the Jets. He is a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year and was an All-Pro six times. Reed was just inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame year ago.

Read was not quoted in the release by the Hurricanes on Thursday afternoon.

However, he did participate earlier during Super Bowl week in Miami with former Hurricanes legendary coach Jimmy Johnson in a special program from Fox Sports with other famous Hurricane alumni like Michael Irvin.

The program called “The ReUnion” dealt with Miami trying to regain the winning ways and dominance of the 80s and 90s.

Miami stumbled to a 6-6 finish and then was embarrassed to end Diaz’s first season with a 14-0 shutout loss to Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl.

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