Miami Hurricanes football bowl projections: FSU win would boost UM’s status

Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Braxton Berrios (8) celebrates a touchdown catch with (l to r) Miami Hurricanes offensive lineman Trevor Darling (73), offensive lineman KC McDermott (52) and offensive lineman Tyree St. Louis (78) at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on September 23, 2017. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

[25 years later, Barrow-Vanover still resonates]

[Mark Richt can improve rep in big games]

[Despite stormy forecast, UM-FSU remains 3:30 p.m. start]

The first set of College Football Playoff rankings will be released Oct. 31.

If the Hurricanes beat Florida State this week, and continue winning after that, they will be in that discussion.

Miami (3-0, 1-0 ACC) is ranked 13th in the Associated Press poll entering Saturday’s game with the Seminoles (3:30 p.m., ESPN). Though FSU (1-2, 1-1) has struggled, a win on the road against the preseason No. 3 team would be a statement to the CFP committee.

UM is winless in its last seven tries against the Noles, last winning in Tallahassee in 2009. UM was ranked 10th by AP voters entering its most recent date with FSU, last Oct. 8 at Hard Rock Stadium. UM lost 20-19, and fell out of the rankings after losing its next three after that. The Hurricanes rebounded with a five-game winning streak and cracked the year-end poll at No. 20 after beating No. 14 West Virginia in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

Miami opened the year at No. 18 (AP) and has beaten Bethune-Cookman, Toledo and Duke (on the road) by a combined 124-49 score.

Entering FSU week, ESPN’s FPI rankings give the Hurricanes a 1.7 percent chance to win out, and project UM to win nine regular-season games (that would leave the Hurricanes with a 9-2 record, since Hurricane Irma forced the cancellation of one game).

Miami ranks 16th in FPI, behind Notre Dame (10th; UM hosts the Irish on Nov. 11) and FSU (12th). Close behind Miami: Virginia Tech (19th), which visits UM on Nov. 4.

A different ESPN outlet, FiveThirtyEight, gives Miami a 21 percent chance to win the ACC (Clemson, the only team with a better projected chance, is at 50 percent). The Hurricanes, per FiveThirtyEight, have an 11 percent chance to be one of four playoff teams (Clemson: 55 percent), and a 2 percent chance of winning the national title (Clemson: 15 percent).

Side note: A Miami-Clemson ACC title game, if it happened, would be quite the story, since the Hurricanes may not be here if not for Clemson. The Hurricanes’ 58-0 loss to Clemson on Oct. 24, 2015 was the most lopsided in program history, and was the final nail in coach Al Golden‘s metaphorical coffin. He was fired the day after the Clemson game. UM hired Mark Richt after the season.

This week, Miami is No. 11 in SB Nation writer Bill Connelly’s S&P+ ratings, a formula which, at this early point in the schedule, takes into account preseason projections. With those removed — as in, accounting solely for what each team has shown on the field this year — S&P+ has Miami ranked No. 3.

Connelly predicts FSU will defend its home turf against the Hurricanes, 29-25.

According to Connelly’s rankings, FSU is sixth (76th without preseason projections). Notre Dame is 16th (18th), Virginia Tech is 22nd (28th) and Georgia Tech, UM’s Oct. 14 home opponent, is 23rd (27th).

UM hosts Virginia Tech and Notre Dame back-to-back to start November (the 4th and 11th, respectively).

After those teams, the next-highest rated team on Miami’s schedule is Syracuse, which is 55th (58th) and visits Hard Rock Stadium on Oct. 21. Virginia, a Nov. 18 home game, is 57th (37th; the Cavaliers have exceeded expectations so far).

Miami’s final two road opponents, North Carolina (Oct. 28) and Pittsburgh (Nov. 24), are ranked 61st (85th) and 83rd (105th) by S&P+, respectively.

The Hurricanes rank second nationally in offensive yards per play (8.22) and 22nd in yards per play allowed (4.66). Running back Mark Walton (9.16 yards per carry, ninth nationally) leads the ACC in rushing yards per game (134.33). Quarterback Malik Rosier is first in the ACC and 12th nationally in passer rating (166.98) and has thrown eight touchdowns and two interceptions.

CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm projected Miami to be the 11th-ranked team if the College Football Playoff projections came out this week.

“Unfortunately, we just haven’t seen that much of Miami yet,” Palm wrote. “The win at Duke is nice, but the Hurricanes should get a tougher test at Florida State this week.”

Judging by the latest bowl projections from national outlets, Miami is widely expected to pass that — and other — tests.

The latest bowl projections:

Athlon Sports (Steven Lassan): Orange Bowl vs. Penn State, Dec. 30 at Hard Rock Stadium

College Football News: Orange Bowl vs. Ohio State

College Sports Madness: Sun Bowl vs. Oregon, Dec. 29 in El Paso, Texas

CBS Sports (Jerry Palm): Citrus Bowl vs. Florida, Jan. 1 in Orlando

ESPN (Kyle Bonagura): Orange Bowl vs. Georgia

ESPN (David Hale): Orange Bowl vs. Ohio State

SB Nation (Jason Kirk): Orange Bowl vs. Penn State

The Score (Brett McMurphy): Orange Bowl vs. Penn State

Sports Illustrated (Eric Single): Orange Bowl vs. Wisconsin

Sporting News (Bill Bender): Orange Bowl vs. Ohio State

USA Today (Erick Smith): Orange Bowl vs. Ohio State

Past projections

*247Sports (Brad Crawford): Orange Bowl vs. Ohio State

**The All-American (Stewart Mandel): Pinstripe Bowl vs. Nebraska

**ESPN (Desmond Howard): College Football Playoff semifinal vs. Alabama

**ESPN (Paul Finebaum): “I think The U is back.” Finebaum picked UM as his team outside the top 15 that could make the College Football Playoff.

**Sports on Earth (Matt Brown): Fiesta Bowl vs. Washington, Dec. 30 in Glendale, Ariz.

* Pick made before Sept. 30 games
** Pick made before the season 

Reader Comments 0

0 comments