For the first time in what seems like forever (actually since the last head coach weathered the storm like the Canes are seemingly about to face), the Canes had a head coach who is capable of doing big things here.
He surrounded himself with what appears to be a top notch coaching staff, which includes two hardcore Hurricanes -- linebackers coach Mike Barrow (who was retained from the previous staff) and offensive line coach Art Kehoe (who has been around for all five of UM's national championships).
Golden and his staff pieced together a very solid 2011 recruiting class in a short amount of time. He then led the team through a good spring practice session. Excitement was in the air, again, in Coral Gables.
Then a Yahoo Sports story with numerous allegations against current and former players and coaches was released this week and it's been the topic of discussion all over the college football world all week.
In my ten years of working for this website I've never seen the message boards filled with so much talk about something other than the actual football team, which happens to start its 2011 season in just a few weeks.
I posted a player interview during the middle of it and got laughed at. I posted some reactions from recruits and, compared to "normal" times, no one seemed to really care. All people seem to be focused on right now is what might happen to their beloved Hurricanes in the future.
The thing that a lot of people seem to be forgetting about is what this editorial began by talking about -- the beginning of a new era at the University of Miami. We're supposed to be entering the Golden Era, the Golden Years.
It has to be tough for Golden and his coaches and players to stay completely focused and motivated during all of this. The timing has to be considered very unfortunate for Golden and his staff.
However, in the meantime, nothing's changed as the team prepares to start the 2011 season. Golden took over a Temple program that people thought it was impossible to win at. I can promise you, and Butch Davis proved it, that a good head coach can win during the tough times that appear to be ahead for the Canes. And for Miami, Al Golden is their man.
Lets not lose focus -- the Golden era kicks off in a few weeks at Maryland. It's still an exciting time to be a Hurricane and hopefully the entire fan base will jump on board and stay very supportive of the current players and coaches.
Thanks to people like Golden and Barrow and Kehoe, there is still a bright future ahead at the University of Miami, despite the current situation, and the 2011 season does begin in a few weeks.