It’s hard to believe that Mario Cristobal has only been the head football coach at the University of Miami for about 8 months. It seems like he’s been there forever!!..Full disclosure for those who don’t know.  I have been an avid Miami Hurricane’s fan since the mid 70’s when nobody gave two craps about them and the program was nearly scrapped. Some of you may ask the question how I became a fan.  Simple, my family would vacation on Florida’s East Coast for many years while I was growing up.

I simply adopted the Canes as my team during that time and have been with them ever since.  Yes, I still root for Boston College but not when they are playing Miami.  I will never forget being all decked out at Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill for a Miami-BC game back in the early 90’s in my Canes gear.  That brought me a lot of playful heckling but it was a great time at the sold out event which the Hurricanes came back and won.

I realize that Cristobal has yet to coach one game yet for the Canes but his presence from day one was impossible not to notice.

All coaches give great “rah rah” speeches at times.  The great ones back it up with action which means wins.  One of the most overused terms in sports is “culture”.  Most of the time I can’t stand it but regarding the Hurricanes, it absolutely applies.

Fans and media alike seemed a bit shocked a couple of weeks ago when Cristobal announced that the famous or infamous “Turnover Chain” would no longer exist.  Well, he basically hinted very early on that this was going to be the case and rightly so.  I wasn’t shocked at all, in fact I told everyone for a while that the “turnover chain” had run it’s course.  The Canes last year, especially the first part of the season, should have had a “missed tackle garment”.  I believe the defense last year had an astounding 427 missed tackles.  That is not a stat you want to be at the top of the list of in college football.

Here’s what my definition of “culture” is at Miami right now.  Mario Cristobal is holding everyone accountable. Period.  That means all the players and his entire coaching staff.  No need to bring up the past, everyone who follows the game knows what it was. That being, the good, the bad and the ugly and these past 10 years have had a lot of the latter.  That is about to change.  You can “feel” it can’t you? My colleagues in the afternoon on the Shemon and Sheppard Show, Craig and Chris are finally starting to come around.  I credit me for that, lol, and coach Mario Cristobal as well.

Cristobal’s approach from upgrading the coaching staff big time, to recruiting, which is as of today number 1 in the ACC and number 7 in the country according to some services.

He has landed several 4 and 5 star recruits over the past few weeks and coming to play at The U again seems to be gaining a lot of traction especially here in the great state of Florida where the high school talent here is the best in the country.  The Miami Hurricanes are loaded on offense with Tyler Van Dyke at the helm.  The third year sophomore from Glastonbury, CT in my opinion will be right up there with the best quarterbacks in the country and should be a Heisman Trophy finalist.

Fundamental football. 

Sounds easy enough but it wasn’t anywhere near enough last season.  That is something that Cristobal has been preaching since he arrived at the U.  Now all these guys have to do is go out and execute.  I love the early test on the road at Texas A/M in week 3, 9/17, 9PM on ESPN.  The last few years, early season games vs ranked teams has not been a pleasant experience for the Canes.  They did play and beat ranked teams last season including wins over 18th ranked NC. State and 17th ranked and ACC champion Pittsburgh.  The Canes won 5 of their last 6 games last year with their lone loss during that span was a heartbreaking 31-28 loss on the road against arch rival Florida State.

The 2022 version of the Miami Hurricanes looks like they are going to be a very good football team.

Many are predicting 10-2.  I’m hoping for an even better record but I do believe they will be in the ACC title game, probably against Clemson.  The Canes play the Tigers late in their season which could also be a prelude the aforementioned ACC Title Game.  One thing for certain is that Mario Cristobal has indeed changed the entire “culture” at the U.  Kudos to the entire administration for finally waking up and allowing this coach to finally get things up and running in a first class way.  It’s been way too long with mediocre to below average results.

Now, Mario’s Magic Touch is alive and well after just a short period of time.  College football is better when the Canes are good.  I now they are a good team.  Fundamentally sound is the way to make the jump from good to great.  I think they are in great hands with Mario Cristobal as the helm and great things are going to happen this year for the entire Miami Hurricanes program.  Let’s just sit back and enjoy the ride!  Here are a couple of recent highlights:

 

Sign me up for the ESPN Southwest Florida email newsletter!

You love listening to ESPN Southwest Florida, now make sure you’re getting all the extra perks. Sign up today to be an ESPN Southwest Florida Insider!

*
*
By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.