Sports Illustrated recently came up with their top 100 players for the 2017 college football season and the list is an intersting one. The thing that really stands out is that there is only one Miami Hurricane who made the list. This leads to one question, does the national media hate the Miami Hurricanes?
Sure it’s a stretch to come up with this outcome, but it always seems that national outlets with some exceptions with individuals within these outlets seem to have this disdain for the football program. It makes you wonder if the program is still paying a price for their ways during the 80s and 90s.
Back to the list, let’s first give credit to Ahmmon Richards who was the only Hurricane to make the list at #56. Here is what SI had to say about the sophomore wide out:
To the extent that Richards needed to adjust to the higher level of competition in college last season, it did not seem to affect him much, if at all. No freshman recorded more receiving yards than Richards’s 934, a total good for sixth in program history among receivers of any class. This ranking may well be too low for Richards, a special talent with room to grow. Yet with no established successor to quarterback Brad Kaaya, it’s best to take a wait-and-see approach in evaluating Miami’s passing game. Richards can’t make plays if no one is able to consistently deliver him the ball.
It’s good to see the SI staff pay attention to the offensive side of the ball, where the one player who made this list has a huge question mark at this point at who will actually deliver him the ball. You would think RB Mark Walton would make this list, be it that he’s expected to be one of the best running backs in the ACC. Also with the question mark at QB, Walton is going to have to be a major part of that offense, meaning a lot of touches. If Richards is good enough to make the list, so should Walton.
The biggest snubs however on the defensive side of the ball. Where’s DT Kendrick Norton? Some scouts project him, if he were to leave after this season as high as a second round pick. Doesn’t that put him in the top 100? Where’s sophomore LB Shaq Quarterman? One of the leading tacklers on the team and the entire conference as a true freshman. He’s expected to have a huge season this year. Why didn’t he get any love? What about DE Chad Thomas? A guy who excelled under Manny Diaz’s defense and likely improve in his second season under the same system.
The analysis is suspect with regards to this list. Do they even know who Miami’s defensive line coach is? Craig Kuligowski, who while at Missouri from 2001-15 had 13 defensive lineman drafted into the NFL. That’s at Missouri! Clearly he can coach and develop talent. Not one single defensive lineman from Miami, on a team coached by Kuligowski? I think some folks didn’t do their homework.
Anyways it leads to the analysis, that people have a wait and see for anything, but for Miami it’s clearly wait and see and then wait and see again. Seems like they are always waiting for some sort of implosion or something. Miami seems to still be paying the price for their renegade insurgency that began in the 80s, when they dared to express themselves differently that what the establishment expected.
It’s quite the ironic twist. Miami’s swagger, which was so maligned for years, is one of the main reasons why the sport has grown so much. Miami Hurricanes were a made for TV program, and that’s where all this big money comes from. You would hope the national media would understand that, but clearly they don’t.