Completely unacceptable. That’s the only way to describe what went down Saturday night when the University of Miami shockingly lost to Florida International University (FIU).
The once-proud Hurricanes lost to a little brother that also calls South Florida home–and in their old stomping grounds no less. The game was played at Marlins Park, built at the site of the old Orange Bowl. Even worse for the Canes, FIU is coached by Butch Davis, the man who led Miami back to prominence at the turn of the century after the team got put on probation. There were a lot of failures. Roman Marciante from “On the Perch” does a good job of breaking down what went wrong from an Xs and Os standpoint.
Miami’s loss, though, goes far beyond a missed assignment or not playing in the right gap on defense. This loss is symptomatic of a much larger problem at Miami.
Miami Head Coach Manny Diaz stepped to the podium after the game and admitted his team just wasn’t ready.
“One of the lowest points ever in this proud program’s history. I take full ownership of that, full responsibility for the way that we played tonight. We did nothing to give ourselves a chance to win the football game,” Diaz said.
Miami has a sense of entitlement, something which has been evident when the Canes face lesser competition. Earlier in the season, the Canes has to tighten up in the fourth quarter to hold on for a 17-12 win over Central Michigan. Diaz admitted he didn’t have his team ready to play Saturday night either–and why would players be fired up? After all, it is their birthright to beat a little old team like FIU.
After the loss, a longtime Miami supporter told me changes need to happen right away and he does not expect the offensive coordinator to have a job in Coral Gables much longer. Miami needs to look deep within if they want to return to being a contender in their own backyard, much less in the national picture.
Top 25 For the Week Beginning November 24
1. LSU (11-0) Defense is still suspect but the offense is still rolling.
2. Ohio State (11-0) Looked shaky in the third quarter but finally have marquis win by beating Penn State.
3. Clemson (11-0) Can a noon start against a rival on the road trip up the Tigers? Clemson needs to be very cautious against South Carolina.
4. Alabama (10-1) Can Mac Jones beat Auburn? Is Gus Malzahn on the hot seat? What a fascinating Iron Bowl this year.
5. Georgia (10-1) Good win over Texas A&M and should cruise over rival Georgia Tech.
6. Minnesota (10-1) Get Wisconsin in a winner take all game for Big 10 West.
7. Oklahoma (10-1) Still get Oklahoma State and Baylor rematch so there are chances to move up or down.
8. Utah (10-1) Their wins not as good as Oklahoma’s. They need lots of help to make playoffs.
9. Baylor (10-1) A terrible non-conference schedule is killing them.
10. Penn State (9-2) Toss up between them and Gators for this spot.
11. Florida (9-2) Penn State has slightly better wins.
12. Wisconsin (9-2) Can still win the Big 10 and get to the Rose Bowl.
13. Michigan (9-2) Harbaugh has never beaten Ohio State as a coach. He gets his fifth chance to take down the Buckeyes this week.
14. Oregon (9-2) If you didn’t stay up late on Saturday, the Ducks had their chance and absolutely blew it to Arizona State. What had been a good defense was shredded.
15. Memphis (10-1) Throttled USF, perhaps costing Charlie Strong his job.
16. Iowa (8-3) Losses are Wisconsin, Michigan and Penn State. Only team to beat Minnesota.
17. Auburn (8-3) Their best win is Oregon, next best is Texas A&M.
18. Appalachian State (10-1) Beat both North and South Carolina.
19. Boise State (10-1) Good rout of Utah State on the road.
20. Cincinnati (10-1) They have not played that well in November but may be able to get to the Cotton Bowl with wins over Memphis and the AAC West Champion.
21. Notre Dame (9-2) I’m not buying this team but they’ll get a great bowl.
22. Virginia Tech (8-3) Have you noticed their improvement? The ACC Coastal has.
23. Oklahoma State (8-3) Another team with a bad out of conference schedule.
24. Texas A&M (7-4) Still have LSU left. Only losses have been to top 5 teams.
25. Navy (8-2) Only losses are Memphis and Notre Dame.
Reach Mike Synan at firstname.lastname@example.org.