After a 10-3 season that ended in the Orange Bowl, the Hurricanes were ranked 13th in the final Associated Press top 25 of the 2017 season.
It is the Canes’ highest year-end rank since 2004, when they were 11th. Miami, which ranked 20th last year, was in the year-end top five from 2000-03 and from 1986-92. This is the 18th time the Canes have been 13th or higher.
ESPN ranked the Canes seventh in its too-early 2018 poll, which may have been completed before news of RJ McIntosh’s departure reached its desk (Kendrick Norton was listed as a “key loss,” while McIntosh was not). ESPN’s take:
In Mark Richt’s second season back at his alma mater, the Hurricanes returned to national relevance with their first 10-win season since 2003, introduced us to the Turnover Chain and played in the ACC championship game for the first time. However, their three-game losing streak to close the season showed that the “U” isn’t yet all the way back.
If Miami is going to be better in 2018, quarterback Malik Rosier will have to avoid the mistakes and turnovers that plagued him in his first season as a starter. Wide receiver Berrios and two starting offensive linemen will be missed. Sophomore Ahmmon Richards might be Miami’s next star if he recovers from a knee injury.
Richt and his staff will have to continue to build depth through recruiting to catch Clemson in the ACC. They’re off to a great start in doing so.
The Athletic ranked UM eighth. Its assessment:
Miami broke through with a young team this season. The 2018 ’Canes could return 16 starters, including several key defenders — S Jaquan Johnson, LBs Shaquille Quarterman and Michael Pinckney — who accounted for 27 of their 31 Turnover Chain moments. RB Travis Homer, WR Ahmmon Richards and three O-line starters return. So does QB Malik Rosier, but he may have to fend off touted freshman N’Kosi Perry.
USA Today, which placed the Canes ninth, said this:
Miami is still not quite ready to be included among the best of the best, though the program is making obvious progress. It probably will take another recruiting class or two to get this roster’s talent level on par with a Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State or Georgia, but that time is coming. For 2018, look for the Hurricanes to compete for an ACC crown and take another step toward knocking Clemson off the top of the heap.
Where do you think the Canes should be ranked at this point?