Miami Punished Hard For Saturday’s Loss To An Unranked Team; Playoff Hopes Still Intact.
A week after jumping to No. 2 in the College Football Playoff Rankings, the Miami Hurricanes (10-1, 7-1) fell to No. 7 after Friday’s embarrassing loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers. Miami could not overcome another slow start with season lows in yards per game (232), points per game (14), rush yards per game (45), and time of possession (23:30).
The Canes success has been under scrutiny all season, due to their lack of schedule, playing down to their competition, and no respectable wins on the road.
However, the Hurricanes have a prime opportunity to strengthen their playoff resume on Saturday. With a win over No. 1 Clemson (11-1, 7-1 ACC) in the ACC Championship Game, Miami can get back into the top four and onto the College Football Playoff.
The last time Clemson and Miami played was Miami’s worse loss in program history, 58-0.
It starts with a win over No. 1 Clemson, in Miami’s first appearance in the ACC Championship Game. If the Hurricanes beat Clemson, the Tigers will be out of the Playoff. Therefore the Canes would move up one spot. If the Hurricanes lose, they’ll stay at home for the bowl season and play in the Orange Bowl.
No. 4 Auburn plays No. 6 Georgia in the SEC Championship, the winner will advance, and the loser will drop below Miami. The Hurricanes would rise two spots with No. 5 Alabama idle this week due to their loss last week to Auburn.
No. 3 Wisconsin takes on No. 8 Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game; the Buckeyes are favored by 6.5 points. If Ohio State wins, the Canes will move up another spot in the CFP rankings.
Miami has a ceiling of No. 3, most noteworthy; the CFP Committee cannot keep the Hurricanes out if they beat Clemson, the No. 1 team in the country.
Mark Richt – ACC Coach of the Year
Hurricanes’ head football coach Mark Richt was named the 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference Football Coach of the Year, the ACC announced on Tuesday.
Richt became the first Miami football coach to earn ACC Coach of the Year honors, receiving 41 of 59 possible votes. Clemson’s Dabo Swinney came in second with ten votes.
Taking over in 2015, Richt guided the Canes to their first ten-win season and highest ranking since 2003. After a strong finish to the 2015 season, Miami produced a nation-leading 15-game win streak.
Richt is 19-5 in his first two seasons with Miami and is 164-56 in 17 years as college football head coach as he coached at the University of Georgia for 15 years.
All-ACC Teams Announced
Headlined by All-ACC first team senior kicker Michael Badgley, ten Miami Hurricanes were recognized with All-ACC honors, the ACC announced Monday.
Senior tight end Christopher Herndon IV, sophomore running back Travis Homer, junior defensive lineman RJ McIntosh, sophomore linebacker Shaq Quarterman, junior cornerback Michael Jackson and junior safety Jaquan Johnson named to the All-ACC Second Team.
Senior wide receiver Braxton Berrios, senior left tackle Kc McDermott and senior defensive lineman Trent Harris named to the All-ACC Third Team.
Miami plays Clemson (13 All-ACC selections) in the ACC Championship Game on Sat., Dec. 2 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. Kickoff set for 8 p.m., on ABC. Also, catch the ACC Championship locally on 1060 AM in Melbourne, 1040 AM in Tampa, and 1080 AM in Orlando.