Steve Kim’s Canes Corner-the 2022 Floor

This season is finally upon us. There is a ceiling and there is a floor. The Mario Cristobal era is set to begin this Saturday afternoon as the Miami Hurricanes face Bethune Cookman at Hard Rock Stadium. While this is technically the first game of the season, many believe that UM has a two-game pre-season before they head up to College Station to face Texas A&M.

Throughout the summer, many have debated what the ‘Canes record will be this season. The most optimistic are stating 12-0, while others are forecasting a more realistic 9-3 mark. It says here that 9-3 is the floor for this season’s team.

Going back to last season, Miami was a disappointing 7-5, and depending on your perspective, they were either a dozen or so points from being 10-2, or 4-8. Really, the only team to blow out Manny Diaz’s squad was Alabama (44-13). Most of the other games were tight one possession games that came down to the wire.

For the season, Miami out-scored their opponents 337 to 296. But keep in mind that the 69-0 victory against over-matched Central Connecticut St. skews that number. They played six one possession games, going 4-2 in those contests.

The most optimistic of fans will point to improved coaching, an elite quarterback, and a fortified defense as to why they will be a player on a national level. The pessimist is concerned about the wide receiver room, and the lack of running back depth. Both may be correct.

So what are the reasonable goals for the first edition of the Mario Hurricanes?

Protect Hard Rock: Win every home game. That’s what good programs do. And this season they face Bethune Cookman, Southern Miss, Middle Tennessee, North Carolina, Duke, Florida St. and Pitt. Chances are that they will be favored in all of these.

Win every ACC game: It seems for the past 15 years Miami fans have forecast wins against middle-of-the-road ACC foe, only to lose games on a regular basis against them. Check the records, Miami isn’t just losing to the elite teams, but plenty of mediocre ones as well. And it wasn’t that long ago that they lost in consecutive years to Duke. Yeah, Duke.

Stand up to the bullies: Most fans have circled the calendar for two dates, Sept. 17th against the Aggies, and then November 19th at Death Valley with Clemson. Since that magical night in 2017 versus a highly ranked Notre Dame squad, Miami has consistently gotten their lunch money taken by the big boys of college football.

How will they hold up on the road facing two teams who are ranked in the pre-season top 10? Will they be respectable, and compete?

And if they somehow come out with a win in one of those games, 9-3 would feel like a disappointment, wouldn’t it?

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About the Author: Steven Kim

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