Last week, the University of Miami announced a self imposed bowl ban that will keep Miami from playing in the post season for the second straight year.
Asked if the bowl ban and ongoing NCAA investigation is something that he is worried about, head coach Al Golden responded by saying "I worry about everything."
Golden notes that sentiment goes beyond just his players...it includes everyone that touches the program, and each individual that has invested their time and energy into accomplishing their team goals.
"I worry about all the kids that sit in a room and the staff, our strength staff, our training staff, everybody. When we go on that field, there are usually 240 people on that field. So there are a lot of people involved, a lot of lives involved. But I can see what we're becoming and what we want to do with the program." Golden explained.
"That vision pulls me a little bit stronger than some of these things that try and tear us apart. I think we're here for the right reasons, which is why you have a tendency to dig in and fight as opposed to flight."
Golden notes in an Associated Press article that how they respond to the ban and investigation this weekend against a much improved Duke squad will likely define this team.
"We can complain all we want but we can't change it. But the challenge for our team is we're going to be defined by how we respond to this. And the first test of that is Saturday against Duke. We can say whatever we want. We can say we have a great attitude, we're working hard, we're focused, but the test is Saturday at 12:30."
If Miami can get to the 30 point mark tomorrow, watch out. In all six of their wins this season, Miami has scored at least 30 points, and are 16-2 when scoring 30 or more in their past 18 games. Also, the Hurricanes have converted their last 18 consecutive red zone trips into points (13 of them being touchdowns).
One thing is for sure, Golden has a young team that has played pretty well. Their starting offense and defense have a combined 11 starters that are either freshman or sophomores (redshirts included). The success of the young players has shown that Golden and his staff have been able to recruit very well regardless of the NCAA cloud that has been hanging over the program.
The U still has a lot to sell. They've got a beautiful campus in a great location, a football program that should return to prominence sooner rather than later, a recruiting pipeline that coaches from every state wish that they had direct access to, and a coaching staff that are committed to the university and care tremendously about the individuals that they bring into the program. With that formula already in place, it's only a matter of time before the program is competing at the level that Golden and his staff expect.