Why the “U” Isn’t Back

 

Whether it’s the smoke they ran through, the swagger they invented, or the five national championships they won (we all know it should be six); the University of Miami has a football legacy unlike any other. And for the recent history that’s just what it’s felt like: a legacy, a distant memory of Sun Tan U, that people tell stories about that start with “remember when…”

However, two years under the wings of Coach Mark Richt, the team has started to tell a different tale. With last night’s 41-8 win against #3 seed Notre Dame, the Miami Hurricanes are definitely up to something, but they aren’t “back”, and never will be.

Instead, the 2017 Miami Hurricanes are a different beast. We’ll never have Michael Irvin’s high step celebration, or a win in the Orange Bowl. But these Hurricanes are creating their own story, and if you can’t keep up, shut up. The team has already proven to be great with a 9-0 undefeated season, a #2 rank in the AP polls (yea, we want Bama), and the Hurricanes most loved piece of equipment this season: The Turnover Chain.

Obnoxiously or not, the Hurricanes have been putting up some of the best turnover numbers this season, boasting a Power 5-best plus-15 turnover margin. Whether this is fully the product of the chain or not, it definitely doesn’t hurt. Miami cornerback coach Mike Rumph thought the team could use more incentive and reward when making turnovers. It couldn’t be just any type of apparel, The Hurricanes needed something that represented the flashy, in-your-face energy of Miami. The chain weighs five and a half pounds, is made of 10-karat gold, with 900 green and orange sapphires arranged in a “U” pendant, the only thing maybe more Miami than that are cheek kisses and not using your turn signals. The chain might not be the full-blown army fatigues of the past, but it brings its own benefits.

The Convicts vs. Catholics rivalry will always be a treasured one, with each game and meeting being of high significance since the teams don’t play each other every year. As much fun as it is to take on the “convict” role for the weekend, the Irish and Hurricanes current reputations aren’t what they were when these nicknames were created.

The “Catholics” aka Notre Dame, were supposed to have a squeaky clean resume, the type of guy you take home to have dinner with your parents, knowing they will bring a thank you gift and have perfect manners. This was not the case, however in 2016 when the Irish got busted with a cheating scandal. The punishment was a year of probation, a $5,000 fine and stripping the school’s 21 victories from the 2012-2013 seasons, including its 12-0 season that sent them to the National Championship.

The “Convicts” aka The University of Miami, were simply the bad boys. Though the Hurricanes have had their share of small scandals, from getting caught with expensive cars from boosters to academic ineligibility. However, the current face of The University of Miami has improved dramatically in every way a college should strive to, from becoming a top 50 school to expanding and improving the campus and student life. These strides haven’t just improved student life, but also seeped into the team. The Hurricanes golden boy and leading wide receiver, Braxton Berrios, has almost a perfect 4.0 GPA and will be graduating after this semester. He’s a leader for the team on and off the field, and this translates into the team’s community that you can work hard and play harder.

Once this post-game excitement wears off, there’s still only one goal for the Hurricanes, and if the college football playoff gods sway in their favor, it’s attainable.  Winning the ACC Coastal was already a goal the team accomplished this season. The Hurricanes still have to play Clemson, who just two years ago handed Miami its biggest loss in franchise history. Miami has been out for revenge and respect this season; only time will tell how the rest of the season will unfold. But there’s no way it won’t be something to remember, and with the luck of the Ibis and if everything goes perfectly, The Hurricanes could get that 6th national championship they deserve. So the U isn’t back, but it’s here to stay, and has everything to prove.

photo credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPJiye_ujdI

 

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