DOLPHIN STADIUM -- Just wanted to wish the Eye On The U crew a Happy New Year -- even if things are a bit rocky these days in Caneland. Tonight, I'm where Randy Shannon was hoping his team would be this year: the Orange Bowl. God knows the BCS needs the Canes or Seminoles to start getting here more often. This place has plenty of seats still available.
By the way, win or lose tonight, the ACC has shown it really is a mediocre conference at best. 3-6? I'm beginning to wonder if the ACC really even deserves that automatic BCS bid anymore.
> Just wanted to share my thoughts from the news today regarding Jermaine McKenzie's transfer to Memphis. Last month when I spoke to his father John he told me his son was very happy at Miami and didn't think his son would be going anywhere. Looks like a lot changed from then until now. Can't say I'm disappointed in Jermaine. He did the best thing he could for himself. He was never going to see the field at Miami, no matter what Shannon said. He has got too many studs in front of him and it wasn't fair to him to spend three to four years waiting to really see the field.
But he is going to see the field at Memphis. I just think J-Mac never recovered from his car accident. I kept getting the sense from coaches he was still playing with some fear in practice (how can you blame him after coming so close to paralysis?). It's a crying shame. J-Mac was one of the nicest kids I ever had to deal with. I would have loved to see him get a chance to really make a play this season. I'll be rooting for him with the Tigers.
> In case you already didn't know, you'll be able to catch a few Canes commitments and recruits the program is chasing on TV this weekend at the country's two biggest All-American games.
Cornerback Brandon McGee and running back Bryce Brown will be playing for the East at the U.S. Army-All American game in San Antonio Saturday at 1 p.m. on NBC. Two other potential Canes recruits will be announcing their college decisions on TV and playing for the East -- defensive tackle William Campbell (who has UM in his Top 3) and Ohio offensive tackle Marcus Hall. Playing for the west are QB A.J. McCarron (an Alabama commitment) and WR Rueben Randle. Of the four, UM's best shot is at Campbell.
Over in Orlando at the Under-Armour game, Miami will have two commitments playing Sunday night at 8 on ESPN. Cornerback Jamal Reid will represent the White team and defensive back Prince Kent will represent the black team. Other recruiting targets participating include offensive linemen Xavier Su'a Filo (white team) and Peter White (black team), and the Sanford trio -- receiver Andre DeBose, safety Ray Ray Armstrong and tight end/defensive end Dyron Dye. The feeling inside UM is they believe they'll land two-third of the Sanford trifecta -- Armstrong and Dye.
> I didn't get a chance yesterday to follow up on the 53-point beat down the Canes gave North Florida -- the largest margin of victory for a UM basketball team since the program was resurrected in 1985. I nearly fell asleep watching it. What kept me awake was watching Julian Gamble. The kid had 13 points and 13 rebounds to go with three blocks in 19 minutes. But it's more than his production, it's his fearlessness. One of the things his teammates say about Gamble is he's probably one of the most confident guys on the team. "Julian is a hard worker and he listens," Jack McClinton said. "When coach tells him something, he just goes out and does it. He doesn’t say anything back to him."