The non-scientific probabilities for Miami Hurricanes’ 2016 season

Brad Kaaya throws against UNC last season. (Getty Images)

Brad Kaaya throws against UNC last season. (Getty Images)

[Preview of Wednesday scrimmage, notes from Tuesday]

[Source: Willis suspended Tues. prax observations]

[UM unranked to start the season, place 26th in polls]

If you saw the Hurricanes’ FEI projections — in which Miami is favored to win half its games — you might be looking for a different take.

So here are my completely non-scientific probabilities, based on what I have seen and believe to be true about this team, in order of likelihood (and yes, before you check: everything adds up to 100):

  1. 8-4. Schedule looks like two games in which they’ll be heavy underdogs (Florida State, at Notre Dame), a really tough road game (at Virginia Tech on five days rest after North Carolina) and a sneaky-tough road game (UM’s last trip to North Carolina State was 2008, when it lost 38-28). Non-scientific probability: 50 percent
  2. 9-3. Unlike Al Golden, Mark Richt has been there, done that. The roster is not deep, but Miami has a quality coach and an excellent quarterback. There’s talent. No major injuries and it could be a memorable season that offers plenty of hope for the future. 20 percent. 
  3. 7-5. Not a lot of depth here, and it’s Year 1 of the Richt era. A few bumps can be expected when a new staff is trying to win with players it didn’t recruit. The Canes have a few nice games, but a couple disappointing losses, and everyone’s hopeful about next year but in the back of their heads hoping they didn’t just see a rerun of the same show they’ve been watching for a decade. 12 percent. 
  4. 10-2. Well, now. Things are cooking in Coral Gables. Kaaya is lights-out, Manny Diaz’ defense is wreaking havoc on quarterbacks and stopping the run, and the young kids are coming along quicker than expected. Finally, Miami emerges as the Coastal heavyweight everyone thought it would be — and the talk of the town. 8 percent. 
  5. 6-6. Woof. Miami is hit with a run of injuries that shoves untested players into the spotlight, showing how far Miami’s recruiting has to come to really turn this thing around. Kaaya misses a game or two, a key wide receiver or cornerback is out long-term, or the offensive line gets banged-up. Also, if Miami’s defense falls apart, it looks like a .500 team to me. 6 percent. 
  6. 5-7 or 4-8. Are you still reading at this point, or walk away at 10-2? Disaster strikes on the injury front and either one of these outcomes happen. 1.5 percent each.
  7. 11-1. Why not end on a hopeful note? 1 percent.

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