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SPS Article:  It’s Not Time to Fire (Mark) Richt
Posted: 28 December 2018 12:33 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Now is the time for pragmatism, for honest self evaluation. Changing quarterbacks all willy-nilly didn’t work. Changing head coaches the same way won’t either.

This was, by no means, a good or successful season for the Miami Hurricanes.

Fresh off of a ten win campaign in 2017, “The U” was back, and 2018 was poised to be the year that cemented their return to the ranks of the college football elite.

Obviously, that didn’t happen. A week one loss to LSU, in embarrassing fashion, started things off on the wrong foot. However, the Hurricanes rolled off six wins in a row after that, and the loss in the opener was looking better and better, as Ed Orgeron’s Tigers had gone unbeaten through September. Plus, factoring in the turnovers and all the short fields LSU had in that contest, it was easy to simply chalk up that performance as just a sloppy anomaly.

Miami had even, seemingly, addressed its two most pressing issues, on paper, from the preseason—quarterback and the interior defensive line.

Gerald Willis legitimately assuaged any and all concerns in Manny Diaz’s front seven, and was arguably Miami’s best player this season. N’Kosi Perry, who took over for Malik Rosier against FIU and then got his first start a week later versus UNC, may have done the same for the offense, had he been given the chance.

In that FIU game, he completed 68% of his passes at a clip of nine yards per attempt with three touchdowns and a pick, for a 174.9 passer rating. In his debut as the starter, he completed 66.7% for 10.4 yards per attempt with a touchdown and one interception, for a 165 passer rating. The next week, he posted a 4:0 touchdown to interception ratio in the comeback win over Florida State. Then, he started slow against Virginia, was yanked in favor of Rosier (who hadn’t posted a passer rating above 150 in a conference game since week three of 2017), and Miami proceeded to lose its first game in over month.

Rosier started again at Boston College. Miami lost again.

And then he started his final game of the season, until tonight, at Duke, and the ‘Canes dropped their third in a row.

Granted, Perry struggled after regaining the starting gig, but who’s to say how much losing the job in the first place affected his confidence. Even putting aside the respective quarterbacks’ individual performances, the offense just ran better under the freshman. Against P5 teams, Miami’s average offensive percentile performance when Rosier was the primary signal caller was 48.75%. In P5 games where Perry took the lionshare of the snaps, it was 70.4%.

In other words, the decision, both with the benefit of hindsight, but even in the moment, was indefensible.

The offensive inconsistency, along with abysmal special teams, saw Miami squander a truly elite, championship caliber defense. Manny Diaz’s unit finished the season 7th in S&P+, in the top ten in marginal efficiency allowed, and the top 15 in marginal explosiveness allowed. Moreover, the were that dominant whilst their aforementioned special teams and offensive ineptitude led them to a 118th ranking in average opposing starting field position.

As Dave Holcomb highlighted, this was a historically good group.

Still, all that being said, now is not the time to make any rash decisions. It’s not the time to fire Richt, er, Mark Richt, that is. Now is the time for honest self appraisal and patience.

Part of the reason that this season was so disappointing is the success Miami enjoyed last season. Would 7-6 feel as bad after, say, an 8-6 year, as it does after ten wins?
Probably not.

Sure, the records are what they are, and they play the games for a reason, but perhaps both of those numbers are a little misleading.

Miami won two games in 2017 with a sub-40% win expectancy. That was, in part due to some pretty incredible turnover luck. According to S&P+, whereas the Hurricanes finished with a +13 turnover margin, their expected margin was between three and four. That equates to about 3.75 points per game in turnover luck. It may not seem like much, but that goes a long way for a team that had four wins by one score or less.

In 2018, Miami actually had a postgame win expectancy of at least 60% in three of their losses. They went from 4-0 in one score games to 1-3. Luck is a fickle mistress and, eventually, a regression to the mean is inevitable. At a certain point, it’s just math.

So, all in all, based on Miami’s postgame win expectancies in 2017, “The U” may not have been as back as everyone wanted, and should have won between eight and nine games—they had an 8.7 overall win expectancy. This season, with lady luck going the other way, Miami’s win total win expectancy was about 8.8.

Stagnation isn’t ideal, but Miami was arguably not any worse this year than they were. The offense took a step back, but wasn’t great before, and the defense was probably even better. Even the special teams was comparably poor. Frankly, as good as the defense was, there’s even a case to be made that the team, all things considered, was marginally better than it was in 2017.

That might be hard for fans to stomach, but it’s the reality of the situation. That may not make it feel any better—that last season was fool’s gold and there was more work to be done than anticipated, but it’s a necessary reality check.

Changes are need, for sure.

Jon Richt has to go. If his name was Jon Smith, or anything other than Richt, one would have to assume it would have long been taken care of. If Mark Richt can’t move on from his son, then it may be worth considering a change, but not until that’s clear.

Manny Diaz’s replacement has to be a homerun. He’s a defensive mastermind, and with only a handful of senior contributors on this year’s defense, it could be a force again in 2019.

Special teams has to be more of a priority. The kicking and pu

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Posted: 28 December 2018 12:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I pretty much agree with this article.  The only thing I ask is about the overall desire for top recruits to want to play at Miami?  “Thug U” doesn’t exist anymore.  Many of the NCAA rules were created because of the antics of the Miami program of the 80’s and 90’s.  It was almost a death penalty of a sorts.

Miami is a private school in a rough part of town with facilities not up to par with top programs.  They don’t have a stadium on campus to create that “college feel”.  I believe the commute to see a game is something like 30-45 minutes.  With the nuclear arms rams of the multi-million dollar football complex’s popping up everywhere how can Miami keep up with that? 

Miami will always find a few top recruits locally that will want to start close to mama, but a lot of top schools are poaching fantastic players out of the Miami area to play in places that are state of the art and frankly safer than Miami. I just don’t see them consistently being the program they used to be.

Even UCF is making a more serious attempt to be a player in college football and have a nice stadium they opened a few years ago on campus.

This was the type a year that the Coastal only needed one strong team to dominate that division and a 7 win Pitt came out of that.

Thoughts?

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Posted: 28 December 2018 02:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Miami looked pathetic. Their defense kept the score from getting even more embarrassing and the Badger’s kicker is horrible.

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Posted: 28 December 2018 10:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Not so fast folks. 

I didn’t keep up with Miami too much but without an improvement at QB they were no real threat in the conference.  The division couldn’t have been any easier to win and they failed.  Did nobody see what happened in the ACCCG last year?  That told everyone in CFB that Miami had a long way to go. 

Just looking at end game stats they were very close in productivity.  YPA, comp %, INT/Attempt no big differences.  Actually it’s a 2-1 advantage for Rosier.  Rosier had less TD’s/attempt but IMO that’s a bad stat to track too closely as it can be skewed by situational running.  Rosier is a much better runner too. 

At the end of the day neither were impressive but Rosier had more experience and wins. 

I mentioned this earlier in the year that MANY teams were a good QB away from being a MUCH better team.  Miami may be at the top of that list.  Even suggesting that CMR should be fired is ridiculous sensationalist reporting.  On 247 Miami is ranked 33, that is the most concerning thing in Miami right now.  Find a DC and QB and you’re good.

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Posted: 29 December 2018 11:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I said after the LSU game that Malik Rosier was the worst QB in the ACC, he has no accuracy. It was a little bit of a hot take, but not far off as UL’s Jawon Pass may be worse. I think the U is still at least a few years away from being a 10 win team again.

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Posted: 29 December 2018 06:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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^UNC has an argument for worst QB. He couldn’t throw across field, or long passes. He is slow, etc… Now they have Sam Howell, and a 4 star who played a little and then got hurt. I think UNC was just a good QB from being a decent team last year. A lot of teams have the same problem. That may be why when decent QB’s get beat out now they transfer. They can go and be a starter elsewhere.

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Posted: 30 December 2018 02:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Richt announces retirement.

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/25646173/miami-coach-mark-richt-announces-retirement

Wow.

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Posted: 30 December 2018 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I did not see that coming.  Its a tough year to find a HC too.  Hire Cliff away from USC and try to win with offense alone?  Lots of skill players in Miami.  Hire Manny back as HC?

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Posted: 30 December 2018 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Ancient Orange - 30 December 2018 02:10 PM

I did not see that coming.  Its a tough year to find a HC too.  Hire Cliff away from USC and try to win with offense alone?  Lots of skill players in Miami.  Hire Manny back as HC?


Why not go after Mike Leach?  The Pac 12 is a joke and he has taken Washington St as far as he can….Also, he has a home in the Florida Keys.

Timing will never be better for both

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Posted: 30 December 2018 08:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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CU_Tigers4life - 28 December 2018 12:43 PM

I pretty much agree with this article.  The only thing I ask is about the overall desire for top recruits to want to play at Miami?  “Thug U” doesn’t exist anymore.  Many of the NCAA rules were created because of the antics of the Miami program of the 80’s and 90’s.  It was almost a death penalty of a sorts.

Miami is a private school in a rough part of town with facilities not up to par with top programs.  They don’t have a stadium on campus to create that “college feel”.  I believe the commute to see a game is something like 30-45 minutes.  With the nuclear arms rams of the multi-million dollar football complex’s popping up everywhere how can Miami keep up with that? 

Miami will always find a few top recruits locally that will want to start close to mama, but a lot of top schools are poaching fantastic players out of the Miami area to play in places that are state of the art and frankly safer than Miami. I just don’t see them consistently being the program they used to be.

Even UCF is making a more serious attempt to be a player in college football and have a nice stadium they opened a few years ago on campus.

This was the type a year that the Coastal only needed one strong team to dominate that division and a 7 win Pitt came out of that.

Thoughts?

When I wrote this a few days ago I had no idea Richt was going to quit….I think he realizes he will never have the same infrastructure and ability to recruit at Miami like he did at UGa and he realize Miami can’t come back the way it used to be.

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I’ve SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It’s a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing “I’m an Oscar Meyer Wiener”.

Edgar Friendly….

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Posted: 30 December 2018 09:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Butch Davis and Lane Kiffin are in your backyard.

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Posted: 30 December 2018 09:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Kiffin
Davis
Cristobal
Rex Ryan (apparently there is smoke here)

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Posted: 31 December 2018 12:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I think he knew that he didn’t have a QB to win big next year so he was 2+ years from another 10+ and rebuilding after Manny left would be difficult. 


I think Mike Leach would be a home run hire and I would LOVE for him to be in the ACC for the entertainment value.

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Posted: 31 December 2018 01:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Manny Diaz is the new HC.

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Posted: 31 December 2018 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Ancient Orange - 31 December 2018 01:21 AM

Manny Diaz is the new HC.

Just amazing how things can happen so quickly. Poor Temple, the AD at these stepping stone gigs might have the hardest job.

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Posted: 31 December 2018 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Diaz worked for MB at Texas. He was fired mid season, I think. Those “Big” programs can be like NFL teams with coaches.

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