Is Miami Really Back?: An In-Depth Look at the Hurricanes' Season So-Far

Andrew WasilewskiContributor IOctober 5, 2009

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - OCTOBER 03: Quarterback Jacory Harris #12 of the Miami Hurricanes throws a pass against the Oklahoma Sooners at Land Shark Stadium on October 3, 2009 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Miami defeated Oklahoma 21-20. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Obviously Miami is off to an impressive 3-1 start after facing all ranked opponents.  A further look, however, reveals that it really isn't as impressive as most people seem to think.


Week 1 (Miami 38—FSU 34)

Obviously, it's always nice to get a win against an in-state rival, especially when they are ranked in the top-25 (18).  So a good win for Miami in that respect, but Florida State is also off to its first 0-2 start in conference ever.  Not to mention this is the first season they've started 2-3 in 33-years. 

This game was labeled as Jacory Harris' breakout performance: two TDs and 386-yards is pretty solid, but he also threw two interceptions.  Also, I'd like to point out FSU is ranked 112 (out of 120 teams) in pass defense, allowing almost 280 yards-per-game. 

So while the victory looked impressive week one, Florida State is obviously not the team the experts thought they'd be.  In fact, most are calling for Bowden to step down after the season.


Week 2 (Miami 33—Ga-Tech 17)

This game was pure domination on the part of Miami, I cannot take that away from them.  It was really even more of a blowout than the score suggests because the Jackets added a TD when the game was more than in hand. 

In my opinion, this was Miami's best performance of the season. Georgia Tech has been solid for the most part, once it got its offense going and is off to a 4-1 start.

Week 3 (Virginia Tech 31—Miami 7)

It was played in the rain.  It was an away game.  They didn't come out and play like we should have.  They let the media get to our heads.  The refs were terrible.  The field was a mess.  Miami had some injuries. 

Please let me know if you've heard of another excuse Miami used after this pitiful showing.  Virginia Tech manhandled Miami in every aspect of the game, similarly to how Miami handled GT the week before.  This is the game that really shows how 'back' the swagger is in South Florida. 

To be considered a contender or even a powerhouse (I know a bit of an oxymoron) in the ACC, you have to at least show up against a team that's won back to back ACC championship games.  They got out-coached, outplayed, outworked, and significantly outscored in this game.  This was VT's biggest margin-of-victory (against a BCS school) since November 2007, where they slaughtered Miami again 41-17.


Week 4 (Miami 21—Oklahoma 20)

Another nice victory for Miami.  Nothing dominant by any means as Oklahoma led late into the third, then Bob 'Big Game' Stoops decided a FG would be good enough with four minutes left and down four points.  This game was basically handed to them because of that call.  Not to mention Oklahoma was without Heisman winning QB Sam Bradford, All-American tight end Jermaine Gresham, and its leading receiver in Ryan Broyles. I'd like to see any team in the nation have a solid day passing without its starting QB and its two biggest receiving threats. 

Miami obviously played well and deserved to win the game, I'm not trying to take anything away from that, I just want to point out that Oklahoma is not worthy of the No. 8 ranking playing with its 2nd-team offense.


So to recap, Miami is 3-1, with a very solid victory over GT, an embarrassing blowout loss to VT, and wins over two heavily overrated opponents in FSU and OU.  It would be insane to say that Miami is not a good team, but to anoint them as the best team in the ACC is very premature.  Obviously, they have a more impressive start than most teams. 

Even if they did beat a few overrated teams, they still played four teams in BCS conferences to open the year instead of the cupcakes like West Central Florida St. A&M or whoever Florida played in week one. 

So a good, if not great, start for Miami, but a blowout loss to the class of the ACC shows that they still have a ways to go before they knock the Hokies off their perch at the top of the ACC.