2018 Miami Hurricanes Season Win Total Picks and Predictions for NCAA Football
2017 Record: 10-3
2018 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 9.5
2018 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Under'
The Miami Hurricanes are back!
(Are the Miami Hurricanes back?)
Mark Richt has had two successful seasons in Coral Gables. That includes guiding the Hurricanes to their first double-digit win total since 2003. But I've been hearing about how the Miami dynasty is coming back for nearly 20 years, with none of the results to back it up. So excuse me if I'm still a little skeptical after one good season in South Beach.
I've seen all this from Richt before. He was an excellent coach at Georgia. He can accumulate talent with the best of them. And Richt is not some pushover when it comes to winning the occasional big game. But UGA was always really good and was never great under Richt. And I think we're starting to see some signs of the same thing happening for him down in Miami.
The Hurricanes started 10-0 and rolled up to No. 2 in the country last year. However, the defense fell apart as the team closed the year with three straight losses, including blowing a chance at the College Football Playoff in a 38-3 blowout loss to Clemson. Now they enter the 2018 season in the Top 10 of the Coaches Poll. And all I'm saying is that Richt might be setting the Miami faithful up for a letdown yet again.
Miami beat only two Top 25 opponents last year, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame. Both of those games were at home. And those two wins came after four straight wins by just one score. This year they do have 14 returning starters and a lot of highly-rated talent. But Miami won't be sneaking up on anyone this season and has its toughest games away from home.
Malik Rosier is a bit of a question mark for the Canes. He completed just 54 percent of his passes and threw 14 interceptions last year. Does he have a second gear? Miami has a massive offensive line and a solid stable of skill players. But at the end of the day, Rosier is not among the top quarterbacks in the country, and I think he'll be more likely to lose Miami a game that it shouldn't than go out and win one that they shouldn't.
Miami's defense should once again be formidable. They have a trio of three-year starters at linebacker and some all-ACC talent in Joe Jackson and Jaquan Johnson. Miami has been recruiting well, so depth shouldn't be an issue. But this group feasted on turnovers last year. If those dry up, like they did late in the season, can Miami go out and pound its way to crucial stops?
The Hurricanes have a massive season opener against LSU in Arlington. If they win that one then they should be 5-0 going into a home game against rebuilding Florida State. Miami closes with four of six road games following that tilt with FSU. They do avoid Clemson and Louisville. But they have to go on the road against Boston College, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.
Look, Miami went 15 years in between 10-win seasons. I think it's a little overly optimistic to assume that they will get there in back-to-back years. Especially with an average quarterback. Miami doesn't have a tough schedule. And if they beat LSU in the opener then they should cover this line with ease. But I'm going to remain skeptical of this group and go with history with this play.
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