Miami football became the latest victim of Alabama’s dominance over the weekend, losing 44-13 in Atlanta. Despite the result, legendary former Hurricane Michael Irvin has faith in Manny Diaz.
Irvin made his First Take debut this morning on ESPN alongside Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim. During one segment, he was asked about his alma mater and if it can ever replicate the success it produced when Irvin played there in the 1980s.
Irvin argued that that is almost an unfair question, saying that even Nick Saban’s Alabama dynasty hasn’t hit some of the benchmarks of those Miami teams. He did go on to say that he thinks Diaz can have the team competing for a College Football Playoff berth at some point.
“We always ask that question and we put that on Miami–get back to this. That’s an incredible, incredible era,” Irvin said. “It’s an era that, obviously, what we’re watching right now — the domination that Alabama has had right now still hasn’t topped what we did. They still have not had 58 straight home victories. That’s what you’re saying: This Miami team, go do that. I don’t think they will ever reach that. It’s just so huge, what we did.
“But to get back to somewhere in this fight, somewhere in this game, go and win 10, 11 games, try to get back in these playoffs — yes, I do believe Miami and coach Manny Diaz can get back to that.”
The rest of the segment transitioned into Stephen A. and Irvin debating whether Alabama has equaled or eclipsed the old Miami dynasty. It’s worth a watch if you’re into that sort of thing.
As for this year’s Hurricanes team, there is still an opportunity to have a quality season. Is a playoff berth a realistic goal? No, but can Diaz’s team reach last year’s total of eight wins again? That seems plausible.
Miami’s next four games–Appalachian State, Michigan State, Central Connecticut State and Virginia–are all at Hard Rock Stadium. If they can go 4-0 in those contests and take care of business against Georgia Tech and Duke later in the season, the ‘Canes only need to beat two out of UNC, Pitt, Virginia Tech, NC State and Florida State to reach eight victories.