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Canes see bowl reward as Top 10 start to 2010

ORLANDO -- Playing in a non-Bowl Championship Series bowl game a four-hour drive away from home in December might not be where the University of Miami wanted to be at the end of this season. 

Shannon_brandon_harrisBut with a win in Tuesday's Champs Sports Bowl over Wisconsin, the Canes will likely be exactly where their fans have wanted them to get back to for the second half of this decade: in the hunt for a national title. That's the carrot coach Randy Shannon has been holding out to his players this week. And he talked about it plenty Monday afternoon in his final press conference before Tuesday's game.

"If you go into the end of the season and you win your last game, your going into spring football with some excitement, a lot of enthusiasm," Shannon said. "For us, for Wisconsin, 10 wins can put you probably into the Top 10, Top 12 at the end of the season. If you're returning a lot of guys the following season, they'll probably put you into the top six, top seven in the country. Now, it's not a situation where you're starting outside of the Top 25 and bouncing in or bouncing out. It's a situation where you really get your season going from the start."

The Hurricanes (9-3) haven't won 10 games in a season since 2003. The last time they started a season ranked in the Top 25 was in 2006. The last time they began a season in the Top 10 was in 2005 when they debuted at No. 9 and lost at Florida State 10-7. Barring a change in schedule, the Hurricanes will likely open the 2010 season against Florida A&M at home on Sept. 4. The following week, a trip to Big Ten champion Ohio State and a showdown between two potential Top 10 ranked teams looms. With a win in Columbus, the Canes could potentially put themselves on the inside track for one of the Top 2 BCS spots. 

"Winning the bowl game is huge," cornerback Brandon Harris said Sunday. "We know it puts us in the Top 10 coming back next year. That's something we're really looking forward to because we feel like next year is our year to win a national championship. It all really starts with this game right here."

> One thing Shannon talked about Monday was the growth and maturity of his team. A year ago, UM was 7-3 and in the hunt for the ACC title when the Canes (with 22 freshmen in the 2-deep) wilted. He compared it to 7th graders having to take on seniors in high school and not having the stamina to stay up for the entire fight. Monday, he talked about how new coordinators Mark Whipple and John Lovett played roles in helping the Canes grow.

"Our whole football team were freshmen in spring football because they had to learn a whole new offense, totally new defense," Shannon said. "When you have two coordinators coming in, grinding, making sure guys understand what they have to do offensively and defensively, you have to see how players respond to it. We didn't just come out do things the right way. It took us probably on offense until the sixth game of the season for the receivers to run the correct routes, day in and day out. It took us five or six games for the offensive line to get in tune with how many steps we wanted to get down.

"Defensively, we had a lot of injuries at the start. We could have faltered, we could have went backward. But that's the maturity of the football team. That's the maturity of guys understanding we've been there before. That's when true freshman Ray Ray Armstrong came alive. Ray Buchanon, a true sophomore, came around. Curtis Porter. When you're coaching [well], you have guys being productive you're not expecting to come in and produce. True freshman Olivier Vernon is another one. Their play shows you how the coaches are doing a good job. You look at Mike James, being our third tailback, but becomes our fullback. That's a true freshman getting it done. That's what I think coaching is. It's teaching. If you can teach, you can coach. That's the success we've had with Coach Lovett and Coach Whipple."

> Shannon was asked about the reaction his players had when they saw the movie The U a few weeks back. "It's a TV show, a production and you move on," Shannon said. "It can't affect what you do in this time in age. The big picture is what we're doing now, what we're doing on and off the field. You see the improvement on the field, the 100 percent graduation rate. There's a lot of good things going on at the University of Miami.

"To be honest with you, the 30-for-30 helped. We had a lot of parents call in, players we weren't recruiting want to be a part of the University of Miami. But we have to recruit the right type of players that do the things we do, that have the right type of passion for the game and a team mentality, not an individual mentality."

Comments

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Did you guys hear that Bill Cowher may coach next season. There have been rumors that he'll ask coach Whipple to join him if he coaches again. Hope Whip stays and that's not the case. Have you heard anything Manny, anyone???

Shannon, use the "The U" to your advantage! Don't let the big time recruits from S.Fla leave! that's the key to sucess! forget about any other part of the US!

The M F'N U!!!! That's it!!

To all Miami fans reading this blog...

Get up and go to the game tomorrow!!! Tickets are cheap as hell, and I just booked a cheap hotel room on Hotwire.com

No excuses, let's fill up that stadium for all the recruits to see.

lol Randy is such a hard ass, but i love him.

Everyone knew that the Documentary would help with recruiting, but the University. They really should have done more to bring attention to the changes that the program has made. Putting a positive spin on the show would have been even GREATER for recruiting.

Thanks Manny, have a great New Year!

Glad to see that Shannon is still preaching team first.

Even with that, just the fact that players were calling in to try to get on the team after "The U" shows that we will get to pick and choose rather than beg for players to join us.

Go Shannon, and Go Canes!

PS: Manny, any thought to getting an intern reviewing comments so we can have more interaction here? Just curious...

Bon Chance Team Shannon. Cane fandom, across the nation and world, will collectively anticipate a Miami win in O-Town on Tuesday nite.

Miami, F-L-A Hurricanes 35, Badgers 17

U's read it here first!

I want to know whats the story on Shannon? In the film it said that he was the middle man between Uncle Luke and the players, the one taking them their lottery winnings! LOL!

30-for-30 shows that South Florida players and people should support and sign for Miami instead of being mercenaries for FSU, UF, and others.

Good stuff

take it to them canes it will be a head start for next year. im a big cane fan in the middle georgia area there are a lot of good talent and hard working young men like ba ba thomas at ga tech and rashard smith at n c state who started as a true freshman until he hurt his knee those are the diamonds in the ruff an there are a lot more.

greg howard from dublin ga (go canes)

Shannon do your thing!! The team mentality and passion for the game, couldn't have said it better myself. That's what Miami is looking for, True Canes!!

Where is everyone? #1 next year!

Fired up for the game. Go Canes!!

Those are some of the frankest comments to come out of Randy Shannon's mouth since he became coach. It shows that whatever veneer he puts on during the week-to-week grind of the season, he understands and values his team's hard work and their position in the national landscape. The top 25 discussion was an about-face from comments he made earlier in the season.

CANES...4...LIFE...CANES...4...LIFE
Tomorrow nite "THE U" will dominate!! After this win the sky is the limit for this team. This is gonna be the buzz that we have been longing for and its time to take that next step! RS has did a hell of a job and my hat goes off to him and his staff! I think people get to caught up in his demeanor, and judge him and not ENTIRE coaching job, all around from classroom-field. He has brought this team a long way. CANES...4...LIFE...CANES...4...LIFE

"We have to recruit the right type of players that do the things we do, that have the right type of passion for the game and a team mentality, not an individual mentality" PREACH ON PREACHER, YOU DOING THE RIGHT THING COACH KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND I CAN'T WAIT TO BUY MY SEASON TICKETS FOR NEXT YEAR. OOOOOOOHHHHHH!!! C-A-N-E-S!!! CANES!!!!

Great stuff Manny. Hope Todd Chandler is listening. Team, academics, good citizenship first, individual me-me stuff second.

I thought the 30/30 ESPN showing was good - I wish that more players would have contributed to it.

We should hire a Offensive Coordinator to sit under Whipple and learn the system. We know that the OC job wont be a long term career job for Whipple. Why not plan for the future and get a OC assistant some experience and get him used to High School coaches, recruiting and the atmosphere?? I think that would be smart. In response to Dallas Cane asking about the money that players won from the pot. Lamar Thomas mentioned that they would all put they're money together and Shannon as a grad assistant would hold the money they put up, and whomever performed the best, big hits, TD's etc. that person would get the money in the pot. Uncle Luke was close enough to the players and program to give them whatever he wanted.

U have got to love it, I only wish these same fans that are now giving RS his due are there when it doesn't go our way. I lived in SoFL for 37 years and was a seson ticket holder for many years. I go back to up the middle andy and through our 20 year history and college football changing run. there is one thing I have always been, a die hard Hurricane and get depressed when I see the new breed fan that is only a Hurricane fan when they are undefeated. tickets are cheap and a full stadium goes a long in recruiting. be a real fan

You got to understand Randy Shannon. He is about bringing the "U" back to national prominence. That's what's in his heart. He said it with conviction and meant it. This guy bleeds green and orange. His demeanor is who he is, but he has shown me that he knows how to recruit and recruit guys with good character and love the "U". He is about turning boys into men and I love it. GO CANES!!! Let's win tonight!

TOP TEN??? LOL They can't even win a Bowl game under Shannon. 0-2. Yeah this blows. Thanks again Randy. You're a terrible recruiter, players leave the program without looking back, you're a TERRIBLE motivator, and you prepare for games as well as another coach I can recall, LARRY CHOKER. I don't care what people say about me, and I don't care if the Canes come back and win (I sincerely doubt they will). Anyone who thinks that next year will be different is DELUSIONAL. Wisconsin blows and they are whipping us, it's embarrassing. We got NOTHING and judging by this years recruiting class, next year we'll have NOTHING. Maybe we can get lucky and fire Shannon and hire Mike Leach, but only UF has the foresight to make a move like that (recall Meyer for Zook). Now I gotta start rooting for the Canes to lose again (I did until Coker got canned) so that change can be effected. Damn.

ATL CANE I've been a fan since Jay Brophy and Eddie Brown days, I remember stuffing Curt Warner and Penn State, and I HATE what the Canes have become. Giving RS his due? What has he earned? He loses way too many games he should win. I'm ok losing road games and to teams that are better, he loses to average teams. HE'S TERRIBLE.

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