1) It is WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 26. Condolences to the family and friends of Dick Saltrick (pictured), longtime former Broward high school football coach who led Hollywood Hills to the 1973 state championship, now gone at 78. Saltrick was a local prep titan when I was a cub starting out in the business. 2) I'm in the kitchen cooking up my Thanksgiving Day NFL picks. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins' mathematical playoff shot, SOPY rankings, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy, remembering JFK & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.
Back In My Day: Those of you who tune in Tuesdays each week to hear me on the Dan LeBatard Show know I have a new segment called "Back In My Day" that has proved very popular. FYI, I'll soon post the audios here in the blog. Stay tuned.
WHY MANY WANT AL GOLDEN GONE, AND WHY THAT WOULD BE WRONG: First let's emphasize this is a moot discussion in that Golden is under contract through the 2019 season, Miami Hurricanes athletic director Blake James strongly supports him, and there is no Board of Trustees groundswell against him to mirror fan unrest. (A recent MiamiHerald.com poll asked if UM should fire Golden even if it beats Pitt this Saturday and then wins a bowl game to finish 8-5, and 58.9 percent said yes. Our own most recent Canesfan Satisfaction Meter poll found 84.% "very dissatsified." A new Golden poll is below). Let's debate:
The case for dissatisfaction: This week a writer named Mike Bakas of the CanesTime section of Scout.com detailed it pretty well under the headline, "Is UM the most underachieving team in America?"; click here to read in full. Forgiving the fact the story states the Canes' record as 5-5, not 6-5, it makes a fair point. To distill, the story would refute the argument Miami simply doesn't have the talent. It states, according to CBS Sports' NFL draft rankings, that UM has 10 players with draft rankings and that only Florida State (12) has more. The writer concludes: "It's not often the Hurricanes will have this much talent scattered through their junior and senior classes." And, "Prepare yourself for mediocre football until something is done about it."
The rebuttal: I have heard few complaints that UM lacks talent. The talent was sufficient this season to be better. This year has been a step back, disappointing overall, but winning the next two (Pitt, bowl) will make it only a small step back. That is not a firing offense. Not when the previous seasons had shown progress, and not when the coach in question stepped into the NCAA s---storm he inherited. This was the first full season not under the NCAA cloud. Golden is just getting started. If anything, CBS Sports' rankings indicate to me Golden is a strong recruiter who is getting the right players. Let's see what UM does in the next year or two, with a developed Kaaya, before rushing to judgment on a coaching change and forgetting that stability is a good thing.
Now, your vote: If timing is everything in a blogpoll, this one may be unfair to Golden, coming right after a 30-13 loss at Virginia. Still, I trust you all to step back, take in the bigger picture, rise above the emotional fray and not be a slave to the moment. We asked these same poll questions here on Sept. 9, just as the season began, and so I'll be very interested to compare the results. Vote and say why you feel as you do.
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