Miami Hurricanes Football: Did the 'Canes Do Enough to Help Themselves in 2012?

Stephen UrbaniakCorrespondent IJuly 16, 2012

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 19:  Coach Al Golden of the Miami Hurricanes (left) talks with coach Skip Holtz of the South Florida Bulls before play November 19, 2011 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

A lot of offseason talk has been about how badly the Miami Hurricanes are going to be punished by the NCAA for their relationship with now-disgraced, imprisoned booster and Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro. 

Miami has seen some recruits shy away from the program because even now, no one knows what will happen.

With the majority of the college football world still shocked by the ever-unraveling amount of allegations at Penn State, one has to think that the onus isn't on Al Golden and the Hurricanes for having "the worst scandal" anymore. 

If you remember, Miami suspended a lot of its superstar players at the beginning of last season.  Jacory Harris, Ray-Ray Armstrong and Olivier Vernon, among others, were declared academically ineligible, and the university sat out of bowl season after becoming eligible when they won six games last year before falling to Boston College in the season finale.

Now, the questions are: Can Coach Golden and the Hurricanes win a division title and finally get over the Hokie-sized roadblock in Blacksburg?  Can they win the ACC title with the players they have?  What do they do to replace the loss of Travis Benjamin, Tommy Streeter and Lamar Miller to the NFL?

Well, Miami has a recruiting class that headlines 5-star recruits CB Tracy Howard and RB Randy Johnson (from Rivals).  They have seen quite a few recruits jump from the program because of the uncertainty surrounding the final NCAA punishments.

With the odds clearly against Coach Golden and his staff, Miami signed a recruiting class that will go a long way to making the 'Canes defense feared like the ones that came before them.  Recruits such as Tracy Howard and Johnson, as well as other guys such as Tyriq McCord, should make Miami's defense instantly one of the ACC's best.

If Golden and his coaching staff can get the maximum results out of the incoming recruiting class and help the kids play up to their potential, Miami may be back on top of college football even when they finally get their long-awaited and talked-about punishment from the NCAA.