Thursday, September 17, 2009

Canes finally living up to expectations

Ever since Miami entered the ACC in 2004, perception of the conference has suffered because the Hurricanes haven't performed up to the level many expected of an elite national program.

That appears to be changing. Miami coach Randy Shannon, who already was recruiting outstanding talent, has added an offensive coordinator in Mark Whipple who knows how to take advantage of the Hurricanes' speed.

If the season were to end today, quarterback Jacory Harris probably would be the ACC player of the year thanks to marvelous performances in wins over Florida State and Georgia Tech. The Hurricanes still have difficult games at Virginia Tech and North Carolina remaining in the Coastal Division, but they're off to a good head start with two of their most challenging conference games behind them.

Miami's early-season schedule, which started out with Florida State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma in succession, is the most difficult in the ACC. But Harris is playing so much better than Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor that the Hokies will need a huge performance by their defense and special teams to win on Sept. 26.

If Heisman-winning quarterback Sam Bradford isn't back from a shoulder injury in time for the Oct. 3 game with Oklahoma, the Sooners shouldn't be nearly as formidable. After that game, the Hurricanes' schedule gets significantly easier.

It's still too soon to say Miami is set to become the national championship contender the ACC has been craving since the Hurricanes entered the conference. But Miami has taken a huge step in that direction with a couple big wins after a great hire by Shannon.

Ken Tysiac


fredcincy said...

Canes are back. That is good for the ACC and college football.

Anonymous said...

Made it, Ma! Top of the world!