Miami football can still hold hope entering Week 12

Miami football has been one of the nation’s mightier powers of the last 40 years, seeing multiple national championships and an abundance of NFL production in that span. With that said, the present state of the once-great program leaves quite a lot to be desired.

Today, the Hurricanes are sitting with an undesirable record of 5-5. The path to said record has included suffering ungodly losses to names like Middle Tennessee, Duke, and Florida State.

And the assault that their schedule has in store for them is not even finished, as they also have a playdate with the top-10 Clemson Tigers this weekend.

All of this has resulted in Miami being seen as a sort of laughing stock, one that is nowhere near relevance of any kind and has one of football’s darkest futures on the horizon. Is that really the case, though?

Sure, it is indisputable that the Miami Hurricanes are in rough shape right now; they are unlikely to make any strides toward national dominance in at least the next few seasons. But while that does not necessarily mean that they will be terrible, they are nonetheless expected to be. My response to that is a simple one: Why?

Looking back at their current record, the Canes are one win away from a bowl berth. Considering that one of their two remaining regular-season games is at home against a 6-4 Pittsburgh, I would like to think that said berth is very much within reach.

How much would a Miami football bowl berth mean?

Merely making a bowl game is hardly something to get hyped about when compared to Miami’s historical feats. However, as previously established, standards have dropped a great deal in the time since those feats, so entering the postseason at 6-6 would be somewhat of a “take what you can get” thing nowadays.

Speaking of recent memory, let’s take a peek at how the Canes did last year, as that is our most recent frame of reference when discussing where the bar should presently be.

In 2021, Miami’s final record was 7-5 (missed a bowl game due to COVID-19). The team saw both close wins and close losses on its way to an average record.

There are multiple noteworthy differences between that season and this current one, though, as there have been visible changes on the parts of both Miami and its opponents.

Since last season, the following has happened: the Hurricanes have hired a new head coach in Mario Cristobal, North Carolina has hit 9-1 for the first time since 2015, Duke has hit 7-3 for the first time since 2018, and Florida State has seen its most wins in a season since the end of the Jimbo Fisher era.

Lastly, to put icing on the cake, remember that this current Miami squad has to face a top-10 Clemson this weekend. As for the 2021 Hurricanes, they were lucky enough to dodge the Tigers entirely.

To fight through all of that with a new head coach and still make a bowl game (leaving you the potential to tie last year’s win total) would be absolutely phenomenal regardless of what some online haters say.

It can certainly be argued that the Hurricanes should be sitting prettier than they are, but when looking at all that they have endured — and still have to endure — their situation could be much worse.