Friday, December 22, 2006

MSD Top 10 Miami Sports Stories of 2006: 8.

Well, it’s late December which means it’s the time for television shows, magazines, websites and blogs to present their obligatory 2006 Best Of … lists. And the MSD is no exception. So, here is the Miami Sports Dude’s Top 10 Miami Sports Stories of 2006. I’ll be counting down the top ten from 10 to 1 in the next two weeks. And remember, there is to be no wagering of any kind ... and now, on with the countdown ...

#8. New Head Man At The U

2006 was an especially brutal one for the U football program. Head coach Larry Coker walked into the season with his job on the line. Once the season started to wind down, and the Canes were guaranteed to not be in any BCS Bowl game but, rather, were sentenced to play in the MPC Computers Bowl -- a virtual college football purgatory – it was officially time to can Coker and look for a fresh start. Coker was fired and talk of a new head man was in the works.

The Canes interviewed Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, the AP NCAA Coach of the Year. Schiano turned the Canes down and said he and his family would rather live in New Jersey and stay with Rutgers.

Yes you read that sentence correctly. He said he and his family would rather live in New Jersey and stay with Rutgers.

I’m liable to believe that we were all created by the galactic overlord Xenu and that body tethans were going to come for my soul in the middle of the night than to believe Schiano’s horseshit. The Jersey shore over Miami Beach? Rutgers University over the University of Miami? Mr. Cruise, please pick up the white courtesy phone.

Truth is, Schiano demanded a bunch of shit -- perhaps too much shit the Canes were willing to give. So the Canes moved on -- much to many fans’ disappointment. Alas, Schiano was not meant to be.

Then there were rumors of former Gators head coach, the lipless Steve Spurrier coming to the U, which gave me dry heaves at the very thought. But that didn’t happen, mercifully. There was also talk of Texas Tech nut job Mike Leach as a possible candidate. But reports said his interview didn’t go too well. I’m assuming he entered Donna Shalala’s office in his Hawaiian shirt and shorts, smelling of grouper and decided to flip off his sandals and clip his toe nails while telling her that, in his inner most private moments, he likes to smear mayonnaise on his face. So, no Mike Leach.

The rest of the list of possible candidates looked like this: Barry Alvarez, Jeff Fisher, Steve Kragthorpe, Gary Patterson, Rich Rodriguez, Tommy Tuberville, Mike Mularkey, Billy Martin, Cam Cameron, Bobby Petrino, Billy Martin, Tom O’Brien, Jim Grobe, June Jones and Norm Chow (I threw in former Yankees manager Billy Martin in there twice, because, what the hell, right?). There was also a special double secret probation coach from the NFL who AD Paul Dee still refuses to name. If only the FBI and CIA worked as tightly as people who ran NFL and NCAA football programs. Perhaps the times would be different. But I digress…

So when it came to finally naming their man, the Canes went in-house and hired defensive coordinator Randy Shannon as the new head coach of the Miami Hurricanes. The only things I know about him are that he used to play for the U, has been the D-Coordinator since 2000 and was once Michael Irvin’s college roommate. Which blows my mind. Speaking of blow … I can just picture Shannon trying to study for a Physics exam on the top bunk while Irvin was on the bottom bunk doing lines off some stripper’s ass.

As a Canes fan, I’m mostly in wait-and-see mode with Shannon. Like most Canes fans, I wanted Schiano. And a part of me wanted Mike Leach – the Rain Man-like offensive genius who might’ve brought some wackiness to the offense and make things exciting again – and by exciting, I mean NCAA football exciting, not UFC championship bout exciting. But Shannon seems like a capable guy. His defenses have always been very good and his presence as a recruiter seems to be pretty solid. Resident Hurricanes blog Out Of Kilter disagrees … and they would certainly know more about it than I think I do. But, I hope they’re wrong about Shannon.

I’m not a big time coach worshiper. I do believe in the importance of good coaching but I also happen to believe that no coach, no matter how smart or motivated, can win without the proper talent. Some say Shannon’s recruiting skills are good – so that’s enough for me. Coker did a nice job here. He led the Canes to the 2001 National Championship title, was a terrible officiating call away from a second title, and was well liked by his players and the community. And he looked and acted like everyone’s favorite middle-school P.E./Social Studies teacher.

As for Shannon … I like the fact that this is the U’s first ever African American head coach. I think that’s important. And I think he’ll be fine. Now it’s up to him and his assistant coaches to recruit the right players, instill pride back into the Canes and do everything they can to help us forget most of the crappyness that was the 2006 season.

Shannon is the U’s new man. And so a new era begins … in the ever legendary, immortal, Lambeau Field-like football tundra of … Idaho?

Well, that’s where the MPC Computers Bowl will be held next month.

So, yea.


Because when I think football glory, football immortality, football greatness … I think Idaho.

Go Canes.

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Dude you Suck. this GUY is from the Jimmy Johnson mold. YOU have to be a CANE to understand how powerful this is. He will get recruits with the right CHARACTER since that is how JJ got his players. CHARACTER-JJ lineage= ITS A CANE THING.
Why do I suck, Anon?

I said I like the guy. I also said that everything I've heard (or read) about him tells me that he's a strong recruiter -- which is all I need to be convinved that Shannon is the right man. Knowing he's from the JJ "mold" makes me like him even more.
Yeah, ROUGH comment ANONYMOUS.

But, I think the recruiting shouldn't be too much of a problem in the South Florida area. Not like kids are lining up to sign with FAU or Nova.

The real problem with hiring Shannon, like some people are saying, is that UM lacks the "National Championship" offense that fans have become used to, and brining up a defensive coach just seems to avoid addressing that issue.
True Manisero. But it looks like the U is already attracting top form offensive players.

I just saw saw a video on the Herald of this kid Kanye Fraquehson. He's a JC transfer from Homestead and rated the in the top 3 WR in the country this past year.

And he signed a scholarship with the Canes. So that's something.
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