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Filling the gap

Finding a topic for the Eye on The U crew to discuss during the summer months when I'm supposed to be off from work and not much is really going on a The U can become quite a task. Honestly, I could sit here and B.S. about many things. I could tell you how I feel about the Orange Bowl situation. I could chase down high school football recruits who aren't going to be signing a scholarship until February and ask them which way they are leaning. I could take some other topic and try to make it my own.

But going into my sophomore season on the Canes beat, the one thing I will refuse to do is feed you something I know very little about. It's not responsible and it's not fair to you the reader. You guys want good material. When I can give it to you, I will. But when I can't, I will direct you in the right direction. It's only the right thing to do. I want all of you hungry Canes fans to get all you deserve.

I know for a long time most of you have gone to the other paper's blog for info. And rightly so. Honestly, he did a great job with the blog and gave you a great place to voice your thoughts and concerns. I felt he set the tone for what blogging should be about. I know his recent promotion has left a void in the eyes of the Canes fans community which lived and died with his blog. While O was great, there are still plenty of great reporters covering the Canes. As a sophomore on the beat, I plan to grow into one of those as the years go by. But I know I'm not there yet. And that's why I'm giving some of the new readers coming this way sort of a disclaimer. I want you to know who I am, what I'm about, and what I want to be for you. While I only covered the UM beat fulltime for the first time last year, I've lived in Miami my entire life and have been a fan of every local team. The Canes and Dolphins are my top two favorites. So I know a lot about the history of both teams. But like most of you I don't remember everything and I'm not perfect. So if I make a mistake, call me out on it. I want this blog to be a community, where I share and you share.

And it doesn't have to be exclusive. I know some of you have already come on here and posted for another blog, canespace.com. I checked it out. You should too. It's a blog for the fan, by the fan. And some of these fans know plenty about the Canes. They've got all sorts of insight. Either way, whenever I find something cool on there, I plan on making sure you know about it too. And hopefully, it will work vice-versa. As a reporter I'll have a different perspective. Hopefully I'll be able to add the Canes fans community in my own way.

Anyway, that's what I wanted the point of this blog to be. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's tackle some of the topics you have been bringing to my attention. First off, the stadium situation.

Obowl2_4Barry Jackson, probably our best pound-for-pound reporter, is doing an excellent job covering the stadium situation with the Canes. He knows more people in and around this city than anyone else whether it comes to management, officials, board of trustees and the people making the decision. While I know a few people who might shed some light, Barry has a much better grasp. So, this is where the I'm not going to B.S. you comes into play. Get it from Barry. He knows. if you haven't already done so, check out his most recent update from Wednesday.

As for the athletic director search. Before I began my vacation a few weeks ago, the two names I heard at the forefront of the discussion were Bernie Kosar and baseball coach Jim Morris. My sense is this is a search that will not be completed for some time. When I get back to fulltime reporting on July 23, I plan on trying to shed some light. But until then, I'll keep my ears open and let you know when I hear something.

Moving on. Last week I was asked by Rick George, another blogger, to take part in a Q&A regarding the Canes. He's asked reporters from all over the country to take part in talking college football and is running an interesting series on some of the country's top programs like Florida, Tennessee, USC, Notre Dame, Penn State, Auburn, LSU and Texas. So far, Nebraska and Ohio State. Check it out here.

Anyway, I've decided to share some of the questions and answers during the dry period for you to read and pour your thoughts back at me with. This was the first question I was asked by Rick followed by answer. In the coming weeks, I'll feed you the rest of his questions with my answers.

1. Who would you take as the head coach to lead an All-Miami team - Howard Schnellenberger, Jimmy Johnson, Dennis Erickson, Butch Davis, or Larry Coker - and why?
A: Tough one and I'm kind of torn between Schnellenberger and Johnson. But because I believe the Hurricanes were at their best when Johnson was coach, I'll take Jimmy. Um_jimmyjohnsonNobody really personifies what UM was during its most exciting period than Johnson. This was a man who not only recruited some of the best players in UM history, but loved to gamble on fourth down and really loved to take chances and maximize the talent he had. Yes, Erickson won two titles, more than any other UM coach. But he won his first one with Jimmy's players. And let's not forget how the Canes would have won another title in Johnson's last season at UM in 1988 if not for a bad call at Notre Dame in a 31-30 loss. That Canes team by the way opened the season with a 31-0 drubbing of top-ranked Florida State, a thrilling come-from-behind win at Michigan, an 18-16 win at home against 8th-ranked Arkansas and a 23-3 blowout of Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. Johnson basically had Miami ranked No. 1 or No. 2 going into its bowl game from 1985 to 1988. And he also knew how to put together a great staff. The choice is simple -- Jimmy.

So, who would you pick? I'm going to post a poll question and ask you to pour your thoughts in below.

As for other issues,to touch on: Canesport.com reported two Hurricanes incoming freshmen, RB Shawnbrey McNeal and local DE Adewale Ojomo, failed to report for the second summer session. I'll try to find out what I can on my own in both situations. Ojomo will be easier to get on the phone.

In recruiting news, UM was ranked just outside of the Rivals.com team rankings for 2008 at No. 11 in the first such rankings released thus far. I was surprised to see UCLA at No. 1, followed by the usual suspects, Texas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida State, USC, Ohio State, Texas A&M and Nebraska. While I've said it a hundred times before, I'll say it again. June is too early for such rankings to come out. So, don't take too much out of it or the fact the Canes top commitment, Ely High cornerback Patrick Johnson, said UM is now tied for the lead for his services with Southern Cal. I'm going to try to talk to the kid myself, but I can tell you its common practice for kids to make early commitments, then say they are all of a sudden interested in another school. I call it the Show-Me-Lots-Of-Love-Factor. And I suspect that's all Johnson really wants: for his recruit wooing to not end yet.

Anyway, I'm out. When I get back to work full-time, you'll get better stuff from me. But for now, at least there's another place for you Canes fans to talk. See ya.