Ugly Beatdown and Unrealistic Expectations

I reckon that a lot of members of the Canes Mafia will be chirping like an old school Nextel today. Bashing the team, wanting to fire Manny Diaz. Actually, I don’t have to reckon- I have already seen lots of evidence of it on blog sites and social media postings. I am going to say something, and you might not like hearing it, but it is the truth: don’t blame this team, blame your unrealistic expectations! If you bought into the hype and hysteria from these Hurricanes hype men on their blogs, social media comments, and YouTube channels- then that’s on you. Those guys feed on your hope for glory in hopes of getting more clicks and views. That’s not Manny Diaz’s fault. That’s yours.

Realistic Canes fans like myself have been telling you all Summer that this wasn’t the matchup or the smoke that we should have opened the season with. It was clear from our roster’s performance last season that we were not in the class with Alabama or Clemson. Yet you somehow believed that these same exact players would miraculously turn into David and take down Goliath today. Did you think James Williams and Leonard Taylor would come of the booth like Super Freshman and slay Saban? Delusional Canes fans ridiculed us. Called us names and told us that we weren’t “real fans” because we called it as we saw it. My pregame prediction was Bama in a landslide and it wasn’t even that close.

This Miami team was not ready to go toe-to-toe with a team with the greatest recruits of all-time and coaches like Nick Saban and Bill O’Brien on their roster. I mean these are NFL guys from the Bill Belichick tree! Doug Marrone is their offensive line coach for crying out loud! Which is why I kept joking that this season should have been the season that COVID-19 hit and forced a conference only schedule instead of last season. Because instead of avoiding a neutral site game with Michigan State last year (who ended up being garbage last year), we could have avoided having to play Bama this year in a matchup that was clearly out of our league.

I bleed Orange and Green. I love my alma mater. However, I love it enough to speak the truth to it whenever I see it. How can you know where you’re headed if you don’t have an honest assessment of where you are? I saw some positives in this beatdown by Bama, but I am not that hurt by the performance because the game played out to the script that we all should have expected to see. At one point D’Eriq King was 18/19 for almost 200 yards against this Bama defense. That’s pretty damn good. Two redzone possessions ended with no points that should have been touchdowns. If we convert those opportunities today, we cover the spread. If we convert those opportunities against lesser opponents, we will be okay. These were some of the positives I observed.

Miami is not back yet guys, and that’s okay. Everything that can make this season a success is still in front of them and attainable. Miami needs to regroup, lick their wounds, and learn from this ugly beatdown. If this is where we want the University of Miami to get back to one day, it’s good to see what greatness looks like up close. The Hurricanes have some tough tests ahead with trying to slow down that downhill Michigan State running attack, trying to block that ferocious Virginia Tech front seven, and trying to defend the supremely talented North Carolina QB1 Sam Howell; but none of those teams are perfect. So why not us? Why can’t we win the Coastal with our flaws? I believe that we can, but I am not sure that we will because I saw some things that concerned me in Atlanta today as well. Namely, the poor tackling. There were many times today when Coach Manny made the right defensive call, our guys were in the right position to make a play, and our guys whiffed or just couldn’t deal with the physicality to get the player on the ground. Those things are correctable but concerning because it has plagued this team for a years and doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

Let’s see how Manny and the squad respond. In the meantime, I humbly suggest that we all adjust our expectations to a realistic level and stop bashing the team because the team can’t meet them. I am not saying that you can’t be critical and desire that this team gets back to the level of exceptionalism where they are on par with Alabama. That is the ultimate goal that all Canes fans want. I am just as desperate as you to see the Sun shine on another Miami Hurricane dynasty in the hopefully not too distant future. All I am saying is in the meantime, just keep it real with yourself when it comes to your expectations and appraisals of how good this team actually is.

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