NCAA Football

Al Golden Introduced as Miami Coach; Big Ten Division Names

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'Canes Fans Mixed on Golden Hire

Some 'Canes fans are touting the new era in Miami football the Golden Years. Other clever souls have taken to 'The U' Facebook page to call Golden "Al Copper" with one fan going so far as to claim, "It's officially over. FSU, UF, & USF are the big 3. Miami is no longer a D1 school. Paper bag time has come". Another fan remarked, "ridiculous...Gruden then this...what a drop off". That's been exactly the problem. The 'Canes were never going to hire Jon Gruden, Jim Harbaugh or Bo Pelini. They've never made a major splash by hiring an accomplished head coach since the 'Canes dynasty began in the early eighties, but fans weren't hearing any of it.

Al Golden is a phenomenal coach. Perhaps most importantly, he has head coaching experience. He was able to make mistakes and develop as a head coach at a smaller program like Temple, preparing for a position at a bigger program like Miami where winning is expected. Jim Tressel developed as a head coach at Youngstown State; Urban Meyer at Bowling Green; Mack Brown at Tulane and North Carolina; even Nick Saban developed at Michigan State before heading to the SEC. Larry Coker and Randy Shannon never had the opportunity to develop as a head coach before taking over at UM, going straight from offensive and defensive coordinator at the school to head coach. They weren't allowed to develop and make mistakes under the scrutiny and expectations of fans.

Golden comes to Miami from Temple where he does not leave with a winning record, but took the Owls from perhaps the worst team in Division I football to two consecutive bowl-eligible seasons. They may not be headed to a bowl game this season, but at 8-4 they certainly deserve to go more than the 14 6-6 squads who will play in a bowl game this season.

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In his introductory press conference Monday night, Golden pleaded with former players to return to the sidelines to help this team understand the hard work, attitude and dedication required to win the way teams in the past have won and to develop into outstanding Pro Bowl-caliber players the way so many former Hurricanes have. He also pleaded with the Miami's extensive network of former players to stress to the current team the importance of the upcoming Sun Bowl matchup with Notre Dame. With the pride that 'Canes fans and alumni have for this program, that will resonate well in the Miami football community.

Leaders and Legends in the Big Ten

Leaders and Legends. That's what the divisions will be called next year in the Big Ten. Division names won't determine competitiveness on the field, but the whole thing stinks of those university commercials that air during games touting innovation, academics, leadership, diversity, excellence and integrity set to a slideshow of campus landmarks, a scientist peering through a microscope, a student speaking with a professor, a solo violinist practicing afterhours, and a runner jumping a hurdle. In the same way, the Big Ten decided to turn their divisions into a pseudo-marketing ploy that is supposed to represent the history and future of the conference through impactful words.

The Big Ten has certainly produced its fair share of leaders and legends in its history both on and off the field, but a simple East and West or North and South name would have sufficed even if the teams don't exactly fit geographically. Does anybody still mind that the Dallas Cowboys play in the NFC East or that TCU is going to the Big East? It may be generic, but it doesn't ring stale or pompous. Hell, I saw somewhere Plains and Lakes suggested and even that would have been a better option. - Danny Hobrock

Danny is a sports journalist primarily covering college football and professional baseball. His work for Xtra Point Football has garnered national attention and is critically acclaimed. Danny is the former editor of a political and current events website and the editor of our college football content.

Email Danny at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at DannyHobrock

 

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