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Commentary: Time for UM to take leap forward

COLUMBUS, OHIO -- Our Israel Gutierrez wrote a column this week that was dead on about Saturday's showdown with the second-ranked Buckeyes at the Horseshoe.

In the grand scheme of things, the 12th-ranked Hurricanes don't have to win this game. Ultimately, the real way to measure the success of this season hinges on if this team wins the conference title or reaches a BCS Bowl game. Losing at Ohio State wouldn't cripple those hopes.

But if you bleed orange and green, there is a bigger reason you want the Canes to win Saturday at the Horseshoe. And it shouldn't have anything to do with referee Terry Porter, revenge or what happened the last time these teams met. This game for UM is all about regaining respect.

As much work as Randy Shannon has done to turn this program around, this still isn't The U it used to be. It's not even close. Do you think opponents fear coming to Sun Life Stadium the way they used to when they went to the Orange Bowl? Do you think the Buckeyes are nervous the Canes (who haven't beaten at Top 10 on the road since 2006) are coming to town?

Maybe a little. But not like when Michael Irvin or Ray Lewis or Ed Reed or Ken Dorsey were playing. Why? Those guys knew they could win whenever and wherever they were playing. These Canes have to learn how to do that. They have to make themselves a feared team again -- beyond what national recruiting rankings tell us.

Bringing in highly rated recruiting classes shouldn't be celebrated around The U. It should be expected. South Florida is the richest area in the country at producing high-end talent. The 44 players from Miami-Dade County on NFL rosters at the start of this season -- the most anywhere in the country -- is all the proof you need.

Shannon has done a good job restocking the shelves again in Coral Gables. Larry Coker let things get bad. But it is time for this program to put itself back among the elite. What does that mean? That means winning bowl games and winning tough games on the road. That means ending a losing streak to North Carolina and beating teams they're supposed to beat.

Say what you want about last year's 3-1 start, the road win at Florida State, the blowout of ACC champion Georgia Tech at home and the 21-20 win over Oklahoma. Did any of those victories by the end of the season really make you feel like this program was "back"?

Oklahoma didn't even have its best quarterback under center when it played the Canes. They were 8-5 by the end of the year. Florida State? They finished 7-6 and lost at home to South Florida. Georgia Tech? Ok, the Canes looked great that night. But where was it the next week at Virginia Tech?

This "opportunity" -- as Shannon and his players called it this week -- is too huge to for Miami. Ohio State is a BCS regular, a team that is sure to find itself back in the Rose Bowl if not the National Title game if it wins this one. Remember when the Canes used to beat those kind of teams? Remember when Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Texas, Florida State just couldn't beat the Canes?

The talent between the teams in this game is not that far apart. Sure, the Canes aren't as loaded as the 2000, 2001 or 2002 teams that were all capable of winning national titles. Depth is still a concern in some places and there are still a few holes that need work. Right tackle and that third linebacker spot next to Sean Spence and Colin McCarthy? Those are question marks that need answers. But there is a lot of talent here and enough healthy players available to beat the Buckeyes.

I say enough with the baby steps. It's time for this program to take a big leap forward. Saturday, we find out just how close the Canes are to being elite again. Or, just how far away they still are.


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bingo Manny, you hit it exactly and was completely missed by your Gator counterpart Israel. Sure a loss wont really matter to the world but it will be huge in that Cane fans do not accept any losing and a loss here would mean one thing, we are not back yet, period.

Damn Manny! You just got me fired up!!! Can't wait for tomorrow!

BTW, that comment about the Orange Bowl...Preaching to the choir my friend; preaching to the choir.

Go Canes!

No doubt Manny and that's why last week on the show I said this is a win win for the Canes IF they play all out. Even if they lose there are EXPECTED to lose by the population @ large, but if they lose a tuff fought, close game, it will do a lot for regaining respect, and even more so if they win.

I think we have enough and will do enough to get it done.

29-27 Miami!

Miami wins the game bottom line.

I agree with your take a lot more than Israel's. I'd add that what Israel didn't consider is that while this game isn't a must-win for Miami's ultimate prospects of returning to the top, as the #13 team in the nation Miami can't afford to get blown out or embarrassed as they have been in their most recent big OOC road games, 2008 UF and 2007 Oklahoma. And the big ACC road games of late - VT 2009 and GT 2008 - haven't exactly been great either.

I don't go for moral victories but I'll just say that a 27-17 loss would be a setback rather than a disaster. Another 31-7 or 55-17 or 26-3 loss would be that, a disaster. No one expects #13 to *necessarily* beat #2, but you do have to show your ranking isn't a complete fraud.

Miami wins the games, bottom line

I'll add that the Irvin-era and Dorsey-era Canes didn't just intuit that their teams could slay giants and were in fact giants themselves. The pattern was set for the 1985-92 Canes by the '83 title team and before that, by huge wins over #1 PSU in 1981, unbeaten FSU in 1980, and the big road win at PSU in 1979.

As for the Canes' second wave, the signal that we were back partially came with the upset win over #2 UCLA to close out the 1998 season, but the comeback wasn't truly sealed until Wide Right 3 in 2000. So at some point, even if it's not this game, Miami is going to have to have that signature win. The problem is that with Pitt, UNC, and VT already having losses, the chances are strong that Miami may not face another truly elite team this year after OSU. So you do have to take your best shot at seizing these opportunities as they present themselves.

Manny: Agreed. But I didn't see your game prediction. From what you wrote it doesn't seem that you are to optimistic about the outcome. Something that stood out to me was that OSU has four returning o-lineman who are all upper classmen. Those four o-lineman were all 5 STAR recruits when OSU got them. We will see how good our d-line is versus those four 5 Star O-lineman. I think the "U" will play a good game but OSU will be to tough at home. I say OSU wins a close one 27-20. Hope I am wrong. Bigger fish to fry. Win ACC Coastal Division, Win ACC Championship game, Go to BCS Bowl Game. GOOO! CANES!


I just bought my Season tickets. Manny I am pumped about the Cane's and I can't wait to see how the team plays. I think we have a good shot to win and I know this team is going in the right direction. We will be prominent again very soon.

tomorrow will be ohio state's 9/11. bank on it.

we bout to shock the world.


The past is just that.The Past. Those haydays of The U are long gone and we need to set pace with the current way the college game is moving and create a new pace. Yes we have talent now and Yes we have some holes to fill. All in all, Shannon is doing a great job getting recruits back at The U. We also need to hold on to coaches..Who was the last coach to leave Bosie State????


Agree that Miami needs to start winning big games to garner more national respect, but unfair to compare 2010 to the "way things used to be". The era where where Irvin or Dorsey's teams dominated -- that is gone for everybody.

Great as Florida was two years ago, they still lost to a sub par Ole Miss team at The Swamp. Solid as Oklahoma has been, their home streak is only 31 games -- meaning they'd need to dominate every week at home through 2014 to match UM's streak.

What we saw the Canes do in the 80s, early 90s and again in the early 00s ... that isn't going to happen again. Not with the parity in college football today. (There's a reason a lowly Jacksonville State can upset an Ole Miss, an Appalachian State can take down Michigan and you see teams like Boise State and TCU in the BCS. The game has changed.)

This is a big gut-check game, but even a win won't have other teams "fearing" coming to Sun Life. Not in this era of college football when everybody can play.

Guys who do you think makes the biggest impact today

By today I mean tomorrow. I am already in Saturday game mode

Well said All-Canes blog

Canes 28
OSU 17

Ok i agree if miami beats osu they get a bunch of respect back. I also think israel has a point this team needs to compete for the acc title. If they dont win the acc and miss a bcs bowl again then people will start to wonder just how good a coach randy is. Sure he can recruit this season is gonna be an indicator of now u got the talent to compete with anyone just how good a coach are u. As for gettign blown out and embarassed by florida what are u talking about. At the end of the third quarter it was a 3 pt game with 2 true freshman qbs playing for miami. Sure the final score wasnt that close but the geam was. A bad call by the refs gave florida one td and florida going for tds with 2 mins left to run up the final score. Made the final score alot less an indicator of how close that game really was. A team of mostly freshman startes hung with the eventual national champs for 3 quarters.

It's funny how the people who least believe in the U and make concessions about how it's not important if they win the game or not will be the first ones that will be saying that they knew they would come through all along when they beat OSU tomorrow. GO CANES!

Oh and by the way to all the Gator fans... UF looked pretty good last week against Miami of Ohio... pretty good to poop on!

Dead On enough of all Shannon's BS show the fans you can coach in a big game. No more excuses!!!!!!!

Tomorrow we will see how far Randy and his staff has developed this talent. I know the Canes have the athletes to beat OSU. The question is has Randy developed them enough to do so.

when my 1 year old son gave me a high five today after i said Miami will beat osu tomorrow that is all i need to know.. Kids get it right when we don't sometimes...got to love them...lol

Also I like Berry as our leader for the running backs..He is fearless and don't care who U are when he runs over U..U ARE A HUMAN BEING TO HIM EVEN IF YOU STAND 8FT 360 POUNDS... Our backs will have a monster day tomorrow ..U wait and see!!!

The entire country will be giving us our respect at this time tomorrow. 1 DAY!!!

I agree with most points by Manny. But I disagree with discounting the win against OU without Bradford. If you decide to discount the win, then discount the losses too! Miami had injuries all across the board that affected depth. Injuries are a part of the game. A win is a win. A loss is a loss.

I'm interested in comparing this game to the game in Gainesville a couple of years ago. We played well against UF, but we played conservative because we were scared to get blown out. We were in the game athletically, but couldn't handle an experienced UF team in their house.

What's our gameplan this time? Do we go after the game or play conservative? Do we put up points or get stuffed again?

Are we a better team?

That's all I'm interested in. I don't think we're back yet, but it's time to see some progress.

Forget everything else , one question alone will decide the outcome : Who wants it more ?
Canes in a close one ...expecting a great game !

OK, this game is about coaching and who's ready.

Manny, you were one of the dimwit pontificaters who called for national championship after we played GT last year. Your hype grounded the Canes in Blacksburg and then Pat Hill and a bunch of other guys got injured. Now, you are pontificating again about wanting to see progress! What gives?

Miami, will win this game b/c 1) they have the talent 2) have the motivation from losses '03 Fiesta, last year at VaTech 3) have made the necessary coaching changes & have continuity 4) all the Canes know that this is the game that if U impress the scouts, U get drafted in the early rounds 5) JH is more mature and accurate than TP

Can't sit still.

Big Daddy i hear you...your little guy got me all fired up!! My 6 year old son is asking me to wear a 'just little red' tomorrow at the game 'cause he nows how i get and he know us 'cane fans will be outnumbered by about 100,000!!

I don't care!! Section 6C in mine!!

No excuses...No quitting...Let's be aggressive and not stupid. We have to be smart with the field position game. Let's punch them in the mouth. It's going to rain, but again, i don't care!

they WISH!..they WERE!..a MI-A-MI HURR-I-CANE!!

...flight to Columbus in 15 hours...


Well said Manny - time to put up or shut up!

OSU is going down tomorrow!

great job with this one. my god this so DEAD ON. go CANES!!!!!!! lets show that the SWAGGER is back for good.

Best piece I've seen you write Manny. Time 4 Randy to put up or shut up. Show us you can lead a championship-caliber team to a title.

miami gets blown out. shannon shows his inability to do the job.

Well said Manny. Go Miami Hurricanes.

All I got to say is go canes go. Trust me canes got this up set.

that was silly- Ray Lewis played when UM was basically on its '90s downturn. he only played forone potential NC when they played Nebraska in 1994 and he ws an underclassman.

i disagree so much with israel and manny. this game is the most important in eight years so dont tell me that its not important. miami NEEDS it. the acc needs it. trust me, the buckeyes NEED to be shutup. not one fan in columbus ive talked to think miami has a chance. randy shannon has not proven that hes the coach that jim tressel is, and as someone from columbus, i can tell u that osu saine and herron are not great like wells and clarett were. but pryor is. horrible qb, cannot get past his first read, but if you dont take ot away hes dangerous, ajd if u dont tackle him hes gone.
we lose this, and it sets the canes back so far this year. we win, and we move up in the polls and swagger is pre built. they will fear sun life. they dont fear the stadium, my friends, they fear the players within. canes. go.

Wildcat!?!?! With our WR's? Would be a total waste.

this is the deal, Brandon Harris said hey are playing for a National title this year. So losing is not an option. They have to be aggressive on offense and defense. J12 needs to use his WR's. TE's and RB's. On defense, the d-line has to step up contain and pressure the QB. Come on "U" take the the Bull by the horn!!!!!!!!

some help here please, I can not get WQAM over the internet here in Brasil. Does anyone know of an internet radio call of the game? Thanks in advance to all of the CANES family and GO CANES!!!

expat...try watching the game....http://www.justin.tv/

Good luck!


I realize Wildcat is the fad now(especially in South Florida), but I'm not a fan. I definatly don't like the idea of Jacory Harris lining up outside the tackles and taking a hit. I also don't want a RB handling the ball on read/runs.

Our offense is difficult enough to prepare, we don't need to add Wildcat. We rotate the TE, run unbalanced lines, spead out out WR, and take a good amount of shots downfield. Whipple keeps teams offbalance plenty.

I think Wildcat is a gimmick that is used by teams that can't run the ball. I like execution and I'm hoping we go up there with playes we've practiced and are comfortable running.

Should be a fairly close game during the 1st half. tOSU pulls away in the 2nd half winning 31-17. Miami has not seen, nor will they see the speed tOSU has on defense.

OSU 17

thanks canesjunkie, i have used them in the past but they also seem to have problems with the international broadcast. last year i signed up because i kept getting a message that too many people in brasil were using them to get the free service. the pay service was not really that much better. WVUM apparently does not travel. i hate to think that i might have to listen to an ohio biased radio over the net, but.. ya gotta do what ya gotta do

GO CANES!! (from a two degree CANE who started going to the OB in 1957... sheez, i could feel old)

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