Thursday, August 19, 2010
Miami Hurricanes: Has Past Success Put Too Much Pressure on Randy Shannon?
By David Mayer
August 19, 2010
We do it all the time. Go back to the glory years of Miami Hurricane football. Pure dominance in every aspect of the word.
There was a time when other teams across the country had flat out lost the game before it was even played.
When Howard Schnellenberger took over the team in 1979, he set the bar high. He took a dying program and gave it life. He did the impossible and made them champions.
Then, along came Jimmy Johnson and he took the program to another level. He brought in the attitude and made them winners, going 52-9 during his tenure.
Next up was Dennis Erickson, who inherited the amazing talent Johnson had recruited and ran with it. Gaining two national championships and their second (of three) perfect season.
Butch Davis was the next coach and a lot of fans and players were upset on how Butch did at Miami, but I do not blame him at all. He had a rough couple years, there is no doubt, but Davis was a recruiting master (still is at UNC) and gave Larry Coker the best team in NCAA history, the 2001 Miami Hurricanes.
The problem with Larry Coker is he didn't have to do much with the talent. When his talent started to deplete, he was at a loss. His recruiting tactics were flat out horrible. He lost, in many peoples eyes, south Florida. The "State of Miami" that Schnellenberger built was slowly shrinking.
Along came Randy Shannon. Honestly, he inherited a soft and weak team. There were good players, don't get me wrong, but he knew what he needed to do to get the Canes back to contention—take back south Florida.
He has and is doing a wonderful job. The problem isn't Shannon. The problem is history.
You see, Schnellenberger, Johnson, Erickson, Davis, and Coker went 267-69, a winning percentage of .792. They won five national championships, with three of them being perfect seasons.
Shannon has gone 21-17, .553%, and doesn't even have a bowl victory. The difference is his recruiting and he knows what he is doing.
Randy has the chance to bring the national championship back to Coral Gables. With the right coaches in place, there is no doubt this year's team has the talent.
The problem is the dynasty and history of the Miami Hurricanes. It's amazing what those teams did during the 18 years between the first and last national championship.
So before you pass judgement and pressure on how Randy Shannon is doing, don't look at the past.
Look to the present and future, because Shannon has Miami on the right track.