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Where will The U go Bowling? Plus, Mr. Scott

ST. THOMAS, Virgin Islands -- The dreams of reaching the ACC title game officially ended for Randy Shannon's Hurricanes Saturday. North Carolina lost and Virginia Tech won like it had to. But Virginia couldn't beat Clemson, ultimately ending Miami's hopes of winning a three-team tiebreaker (UM can't win a two-team tiebreaker with Georgia Tech or a three-team tiebreaker with GT and VT) and reaching the Dec. 6 title game.

Now, it's time to explore the possibilities of where Miami could be headed this bowl season. Should the Canes win at N.C. State (that doesn't look so easy anymore) they are pretty much guaranteed of going to one of the other top four ACC bowl tie-in games not named the Orange Bowl (which takes the ACC champion and the Big East champ) or Chick-Fil-A Bowl (which takes the ACC's No. 2 team and the SEC's 5th best team). At this point, UM can finish no worse than at least tied for 7th in the bowl pecking order should it lose to N.C. State (which means no trip to the blue turf in Boise). So, here is a look at the possible destinations and opponents. Let me know what you think and where you'd like to see the Canes play when you finish...

Gator_bowl> The Gator Bowl in Jacksonville on Jan. 1 versus a Big East team (maybe West Virginia who would likely be the runner-up; Notre Dame is playing its way out of it) or a Big 12 team (there are rumors Nebraska could go there). It's going to be hard for Miami to climb up to Gator Bowl status considering Georgia Tech beat them soundly and would get the edge should Virginia Tech win the Coastal Division and head to the ACC title game versus Florida State, Boston College or Maryland. It would have definitely been nice to see a UM-Notre Dame game. UM-Nebraska wouldn't be bad because it has history and the teams are schedule to meet in five years. But like I said, UM would have to beat N.C. State and probably have Virginia Tech and FSU lose next week to even be considered in the running for this game as the third or fourth best team in the conference.

Champs_sports_bowl> The Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando on Dec. 27 versus the Big Ten's No. 4/5 team (it's going to be either Northwestern or Iowa). This is probably where UM ends up if it wins at N.C. State -- especially when you consider Boston College (who could finish second or third in the Atlantic Division) played there last year. Orlando would love to have UM, which is only a three-hour drive away. The problem is a Miami-Northwestern or Miami-Iowa matchup isn't exactly sexy. But it looks like a game UM could win at least.

Meineke_car_care_bowl> The Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte on Dec. 27 versus the Big East's No. 3/4 team (Rutgers, Pittsburgh or Connecticut). If the Champs Sports Bowl passes on an 8-4 UM team, look for the Meineke Car Care Bowl to scoop the Canes up because of their old Big East connections. A Miami-Pittsburgh or a Miami-Rutgers matchup would be sexy because you get Randy Shannon versus Greg Schiano or Randy Shannon versus Dave Wannstedt. If it's UM-UConn (which never really were Big East football rivals), look for the Canes to get passed up.

Music_city_bowl> The Music City Bowl in Memphis on Dec. 31 versus the SEC's 6th or 7th best team (Vanderbilt, Kentucky, South Carolina or Auburn). How about a game with the old ball coach Steve Spurrier on a cold night in Memphis? Not a bad draw for Miami. But UM-Vanderbilt or UM-Kentucky would bore me to tears. This is likely the game Miami heads to if it loses to N.C. State. Vanderbilt or Kentucky would definitely have home field advantage in SEC country.

Emerald_bowl> Finally, the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco on Dec. 27 versus the Pac 10's fifth best team or another substitute (possibly Fresno State). This is the place Miami is headed if everything goes against them if they lose to N.C. State and everybody passes them up in the pecking order. California or Arizona could be possible opponents in this game. But right now, the Pac 10 is so bad, people wouldn't be surprised if a WAC team got in instead.

> Now, to basketball. I actually did this interview on Wednesday shortly after Durand Scott announced his decision to skip out on UConn and Pittsburgh to head to UM. But considering the football Canes were about to take on Georgia Tech, I figured it was best to save it for a couple days.

Q: What made you decide on UM? You could have stayed closer to home?
Durand_scott3A: The first time I went down to Miami on an unofficial trip it was OK. But I wasn't feeling it. When I made my official visit with my mom, it hit me that I had to decide where I really wanted to spend the next four years of your life. It came down to whose hands are you willing to leave your life in -- and I felt comfortable with UM. Plus, Pitt and UConn are two schools who have already been there, done that. At Miami, I wanted to be part of the start of something and put them on the map.

Q: Was Frank Haith a big part of why you chose Miami? I heard assistant Jorge Fernandez played a part, too.
A: They both really made me feel comfortable. They were like friends for me, not just someone who talked to me about basketball. It was about life too. Coach Haith is a great coach. He's been through a lot. He knows what's best for a kid.

Q: When did UM actually get into the recruiting picture for you?
A: Probably around the end of my sophomore year in the summer. The first school that actually offered me was Arizona. And the first school that looked at me was Duke. Miami is just a team on the rise, a family unit. I like what it's all about.

Q: Miami has four seniors on this team including Jack McClinton who will be gone after this season. Was playing time a factor at all?
A: When they leave I know there's more opportunity for me to play. But it wasn't he biggest factor. I'm just a hard worker in general. If I just go there and work hard, I have confidence I'll be able to play and help the team. The opportunity is there for me to play. But it wasn't the top reason.

Q: What were the guys like when you made your visit? Did you feel at home with your future teammates?
A: When I first stepped on campus, I just loved the feel of being around everybody. When I first started looking for a school, the first thing I thought about was being comfortable around my teammates. We had to have the same mentality, the same goals, to win. I love people who work hard and want it more than anybody else. Once you have that me and you are going to click. Really, all I care about is winning. I'll do whatever it takes to win.

Q: The top player for UM its 2008 class was DeQuan Jones. Did you ever play against him on the AAU circuit? And what do you think of being his future teammate?
A: I never got to play against DeQuan. But he's a very explosive player. I'd love to play with him. He's so athletic, so fast, so good. I saw his dunk on YouTube. Watching him do something spectacular can lift you off your feet. He's the type of player I'd love to have on my team.

Q: What are you doing when you aren't playing hoops?
A: I'm by my books. If I'm not about the books, I'm not a going out guy. This year I've been kind of lonely up at school. I lost three of my best friends to college. So, I'm getting used to playing with some new teammates.

Q: I heard you got hurt? What happened and how bad is it?
A: I pulled a ligament in my ankle. I went to the doctor and I'll be out three weeks. But I'll be in the lineup soon. I'm dying to get back out there. We lost in the state championship last year. I want to win this year.

Q: How do you know Malcolm Grant? I heard he played a role in getting you to UM, too.
A: He's from New York like me. I played against him when I was a freshman and he was a senior. We kept in contact even after he got into Villanova. The first time I saw him, I said this kid is going to be good. Some times things don't go as you wanted. I think its kind of a blessing for him and for me that we'll get to play together. I thank god for it. He's a special point guard.


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Go CANES!!!!!The atmosphere at VT game was outstanding....and hope for a HUGE w/against NCS.....They are ready for a BIG opponent and get a bowl WIN!!!!!

Well stated NJcane.


Firt, I'm of the opinion that JH has shown more improvement relative to where he was at the start of the season. Second, I also believe the offense lately seems to be more crisp when JH has been in there.

Alright then, let me address your two questions: (1) why Marve should start over Jacory for the last two games, and (2) why Marve has shown himself to be a better QB for UM...and thus earned...privilege to be the starter.

(1) Marve should start b/c RS made a decision at the beginning of the year that RM would be the starter, but JH would play in every game. I believe he also said that we'd need JH to win a game at some point, but generally speaking it appeared that the decision to also play JH had more to do with having two guys gain experience so as not to be vulnerable should one of them get injured. I'm only speculating of course, but I think last year's experience with shuffling the QBs was something that affected RS's approach this year, especially since there apparently was friction between Wright/Freeman that evolved into camps within the team supporting one or the other. By stating early and sticking to his word that RM would be the starter for the entire year AND JH would play every game, he has set a clear tone and there hasn't been any dissention among the ranks. Breaking his word now opens the door to players feeling its not fair (or fair) for one reason or another. On the contrary, let's examine the current state of UNC football. After redshirt sophmore TJ Yates got injured against VTech, the great Butch first went with redshirt freshmen Mike Paulus. He promptly laid an egg against VTech and us, then Butch went with jr Cameron Sexton, who played well for the most part. After the discouraging lost against Maryland, Butch annouced there would be an open battle for the QB slot, and he ultimately went back to Yates, who promptly laid an egg against NC State. Now, its clear that Yates was the starter going into this year. Frankly, if Yates wouldn't have returned against NC State or played another game this year, I think its pretty clear he would have remained the presumptive starter going into next year. As it stands now, who do you think will start against Duke? Also, if Yates starts and struggles, who should start next year? Contrast their situation with ours. We already know that both RM and JH are playing next week as well as the bowl game. We can also guess that if things aren't clicking with RM, but are with JH, the latter will stay in the game. This arrangement rewards RM for winning the battle in the spring/fall and gives him every opportunity to validate this decision by performing well on the field. On the other hand, the decision to play JH every game demonstrates that he earned as much in the spring/fall, and he can generally expect to stay in the game if he outperforms RM. Given all the crap that some of the people give RS already...he's in over his head...bla, bla, bla...can you imagine the blow up if he named JH the starter. What if JH promptly went out and laid an egg himself against NC State. Then what? Do you stick with him or go back to RM?

(2) RM earned the right to be the starter by winning the battle in spring/fall...period. It doesn't mean he's proven to be the better QB, but RS gave himself the wiggle room needed by stating that JH would play every game. Because its not clear that RM has separated himself from JH, there will be another battle in the spring, but I'd rather have our situation then UNC's.

Well said PeteRoc.
I agree with you totally why RS is sticking with Marve> he gave his word from day one "he's our guy" and he is sticking to it. In the long run I guess it's better for his word to hold some weight with the kids. I also am 100% in agreement that next year there will be another QB battle and this time Harris will be the guy. I am not a fan of the both QBs will play motto though and hope there will be one guy that gets to take charge of this offense. Stability and a chance for all the kids to grow in the offense is huge.

Plus, as always.....NIX GOTTA GO.

Peteroc got to it first... thats exactly why Marve should start for every reason stated.. 1) Cause Coach said so 2) It doesnt create controversey.. Its clear cut and everyone knows what to expect. Let the competition open in the spring.

I like the fact that Randy has given both guys time this year to gain experience even though Jacory has had the smaller amount of snaps. The thing with Robert Marve is this kid is a real talent and I'm not talking about he is a nice college QB, this guy has Pro talent he just unfortunately for him and Jacory for that matter need a OC that is a real good QB coach and he has too many receivers dropping passes. If you look at the games and see the drops these receivers have made and and how drives would have continued had they made the catch Marve's stats would be off the charts. Yes he just like every QB has made some bonehead plays but hell Brett Favre is almost 40 and he is an All Pro and still makes bonehead plays from time to time. But he also makes plays that we as fans marvel at as well. Point is until we get a competent attacking offensive coordinator in there and some good lineman we are going to struggle offensively. Jacory is a good QB but the fact is that pass at Virginia was a punt and was a miracle it wasn't picked off. He needs time to add weight to his frame and gain arm strength. Marves passes could use some touch but more than anything these soft receivers need to catch the ball.

I could care what Randys word was. We need the best on the field. And right now, unless you are blind, stupid, stubboprn or all of the above, the obvious is that JH is the one we need.

We agree with you (most of us anyway) that JH should be in there. We are just trying to understand why RS doesn't make the switch. It's the only thing that makes sense is that he doesn't want to go back on his word. Harris has outperformed Marve on the field, with stats to back it up. By all means the kid has earned a chance but RS won't give it to him....yet. I hope that's all it is. i don't wanna go through this again next year.


One more thing. a response to this "The thing with Robert Marve is this kid is a real talent and I'm not talking about he is a nice college QB, this guy has Pro talent he just unfortunately for him and Jacory for that matter need a OC that is a real good QB coach and he has too many receivers dropping passes. If you look at the games and see the drops these receivers have made and and how drives would have continued had they made the catch Marve's stats would be off the charts"

I have to respectfully disagree. Do you honestly think that is NFL talent? Have you watched these superstar college QBs with far more polish going undrafted or cut? Marve has a good arm but he has no deep ball. Ball sails on him and he is inaccurate on the out route. OK he's mobile and that's about it. Seriously, Marve = NFL talent? He has what 8TDs and 11 INTs and barely is above 50%. They don't judge a QB just because he can zip the ball. The dropped balls doesn't help but Marve doesn't pass the eyeball test. He is a decent college QB but just because he plays for our beloved Canes doesn't mean he has NFL talent. Harris is not NFL talent either but the kid has a good feel for the game. He does more with less. He makes natural plays out there. He is a playmaker...at the college level. Give me one example of a player like Marve that plays in the NFL right now. 6 ft inacurate college QB. I can only think of one. Randle El and he plays WR at the next level and he was twice the QB at Indiana that Marve is.

But I will agree that NIX GOTTA GO!

Of course theyr not NFL talent now, but I think they can be. They both 2 or 3 more years left.. you cant rule the nfl out just now

hey dude everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect yours as well, I just don't agree with it. As far as Marve goes he is a freshman and I did give an example in that of Brett Favre. I ain't saying he is a Favre, but I do see some intriguing comparisons. Marve has the deep ball arm that gets there in a hurry. Now can you honestly say that if these receivers were not dropping Marves passes that he would not have better stats and we would not have an offense that bogs down. I know Nix's play calling is not helping the matter either but how good do we know Marve can really be until they open the offense up and let him go. That arm and athletic ability are things you cannot coach and if he wasn't such a good athlete he would not be able to get a pass off since our line is horrid at best. But the bottom line is until we get a decent offensive line and a competant offensive coordinator we aren't going to do anything offensively no matter who's in there playing QB

PeteRoc- you continue to make interesting points and I thank you for your posts.

I read your last post twice, and if I understood you correctly, you have 2 basic premises: 1) Marve should continue to start simply b/c Shannon gave his word at the beginning of the year, and 2) at any rate, Jacory can expect to stay in the game if he outperforms Marve.

With regard to the first point, I appreciate the importance of the team having consistency and predictability and avoiding factionalism. However, now that 11 games have passed, and one QB is FAR SUPERIOR to the other, should we continue to risk losses and low offensive performances because of a word given months ago? Maybe Marve should be allowed to start (so Shannon keeps his technical word) and play a few early series, and then he should be benched for the rest of the game? Your point regarding Shannon keeping his word is an important one- but doesn't explain to me why Marve must STILL play 80% of the time. You even agree with me that the offense is more crisp with Jacory in the game. How about we let Marve start but overall he only gets 20% of the snaps!!!

For the life of me I cannot understand why the Canes must field an inferior product on the field. Because of a promise made months ago? What if Marve caused us to lose almost every game- should we then say that he should continue starting because of a promise? We all know that the idea of a 'promise' is flexible here. Does anyone think that Pete Carroll, Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, or other top-notch coaches would still be starting Marve b/c of a promise made months ago? No way!! They'd have made Jacory the starter over Marve weeks ago and sent the latter to the sidelines and told him to go hold a clipboard! A promise is nice.. but this is college football, not church. Winning is the most important thing here- not going to heaven. If Shannon doesn't wake up- he'll go to heaven for his honesty- and he's also gonna be fired.

I'd also point out that it's 10 games too late to be raising the point about Shannon breaking his word to the team. He's had a long-standing policy since becoming head coach that any player who misses a game for any reason (injury, suspension, etc.) will lose his starting spot, fall on the depth chart, and then have to re-earn it. Shannon broke his own word when he started Marve in Week 2, after he was suspended for the first game. Meanwhile, Jacory had led us to 52 points in the first game but lost his starting role, despite the 'non-negotiable policy.'

Shannon had no trouble being inconsistent and breaking his word when he wanted to. The kiss-up media at the Herald wasn't willing to call him on it- but I am. The problem here has nothing to do with keeping one's word- it's that with respect to THIS ISSUE (Marve vs. Harris), Shannon simply is being stubborn and doesn't want to do what's best for the team!

PeteRoc- we also seem to have a complete disconnect between us as to whether Jacory is benched when he's playing better than Marve. You wrote Jacory "...can generally expect to stay in the game if he outperforms Marve." I totally and thoroughly disagree with you. Please refer to my previous post above, where I reference the Duke, Virginia, V-Tech, and Ga-Tech games as evidence that Jacory is usually benched no matter how he plays.

If you'd like to explain to me how your statement is true, I am open to being persuaded. But I think everyone in Cane nation sees Jacory being pulled regularly no matter how well he's moving the ball.

Jcasse2 and CJ...I hope you guys are right about Marve. I will be the first on here to say I was wrong about Marve if he turns the corner. That would be the happiest words I have ever had to eat. I want to win so bad it's killing me. But I fear even if you guys are right it will be a moot point because Nix gets a vote of confidence from RS. I'm depressed now.

I read the vote of confidence from Randy Shannon, he really seems to like Pat Nix. I have faith in Randy Shannon, maybe he sees something we don't. I still think we can do better at OC. If our offensive line stink next year, we will see a lot of the same offense we've seen this year.

Hey PCola Cane I feel you completely. I want to win and win big as well. If I am wrong about Marve as well, then I too will be the first to say I was wrong. I still have a feeling the best QB on our roster might be Taylor Cook. I just hope if the QB competion is opened in the spring that he gets an equal chance to start. I also am depressed over the Shannon's vote of confidence for Nix but who knows I said the same thing about the offense that Butch ran when he started and later it panned out and was dominate. Good lineman make any offense look good though.

Can we get a little Arthur Brown in this game???? Please!!! I'd like to see this kid play.

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