Too Soon To Start Smelling Roses

The Hurricanes might have been soaking in the adoration of a packed Orange Bowl a bit too much last Saturday night after finally letting go of the Huskies in what seemed like a four hour chokehold.

It's nice to let the home folks (which included about 30,000 bandwagon jumpers) know that you appreciate their support be it beer drinking, face painting, the wave (yuck), making sure Washington residents never visit South Florida again, sitting in the stadium jail a few hours and pelting the field with roses (I'm sure the PAC-10 Huskies really loved that one).

Still, don't know about that rose sticking out of Jonathan Vilma's jersey as the final seconds ticked way, thankfully putting an end to the latest massacre and the Huskies trip into Little Havana.

There are not many times I side with a head coach, but I have to go with Larry Coker on this one. What the Hurricanes have done to this point is St. Louis Ram-like, but lets hold off on those tickets to the Rose Bowl a bit longer. The Hurricanes were egged on by OB faithful as far as the roses go (so much for these Hurricanes being modest and well-mannered no matter the circumstances.) But the time will come, soon enough, for the Hurricanes to gloat in their accomplishments.

Until then ...

Those plans can be redirected in a hurry. Just ask the people in Oklahoma and Nebraska.

Let's not forget how the scoreboards in Boulder and Norman read at the final guns last weekend, squashing in any hopes that the Cornhuskers and Sooners had of playing for the whole pie.

Granted Bob Stoops gang's lack of scoring punch and the Huskers allergies to the word D-E-F-E-N-S-E are the reasons why they are sitting home not knowing where they're going to spend the New Year's. Don't think too many people would have predicted the Sooners would account for just three field goals against a Swiss cheese Oklahoma State D or that a third-sting Colorado running back would leave the Huskers gasping for air.

Before the BCS shattering events of a week ago, the Sooners or Cornhuskers were virtually penciled in as opponents for the Hurricanes in the winner-take-all, No. 1 vs. No. 2. Not many gave much thought to Texas, Oregon and Florida sneaking back into the hunt for the roses. Which is exactly the scenario we've been left with one final weekend in the regular season.

Mighty big games everywhere- with none including the Sooners or the Cornhuskers. How's this for a final regular-season weekend of meaningful pigskin tossing: Texas-Colorado, Florida-Tennessee and Oregon-Oregon State. Not to mention, the Hurricanes trek to Virginia Tech.

I know, I know. Confidence and bravado is sky high in Coral Gables and there is no way to find fault in that. We're not in September anymore when slow starts against the likes of Rutgers and Pittsburgh were being dissected to the last drop. That judini act in Boston College by the Hurricanes only seems like a slight bump in the road now, with current spankings of Syracuse and Washington lending a clearer picture of the ‘real' UM.

And the bantering about these Hurricanes not only being the best collection in school history, but of all-time in college football just might be on the button.

There is absolutely no question who the No. 1 team in the country is right now. The Hurricanes have dismantled pretty good teams 124-7 the last several weeks to earn the No. 1 BCS spot, without any arguments. Miami can make a claim of having the best everything- quarterback; running backs; offensive-line; wide-receivers; secondary; defensive-line. No disputing that.

Anybody this side of Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder, along with those who didn't bother to show up until last Saturday, would have little trouble declaring the Hurricanes the top squad in the nation. We all know how Ken Dorsey can slice anybody up with his arm; how Bryant McKinnie can reduce an All-American defender to crumbs; how Clinton Portis and Frank Gore leave the opposing defenses searching for the oxygen masks.

Still what makes this bunch even more special is their ability to score on special teams and defense. Special players create special opportunities for their teams and the Hurricanes have a load of those kind of players. I would venture to say that in McKinnie and Ed Reed the Hurricanes have two players that could play in the NFL-right now. And that doesn't include the other handful that will eventually get their crack on Sundays.

Only problem is the season isn't over.

Geez, if you were to start listening to all the sideline salivating of the Hurricanes near the end of the Washington contest you would probably come away with the idea that yeah, Gatorade does taste better in the Gables. Seriously: a member of the Hurricanes Football Radio Network turned to a school official at the conclusion of Miami's 65-7 burial of Washington and said "Yeah, baby. I'm going to get myself another ring."

Nothing wrong with wanting to add jewelry to the fingers, but the season's calendar isn't complete. Hey listen, a no wind and 50 degree day in Blacksburg and there is no telling just how many points the Hurricanes might score on the Hokies.

But a slight chance of the thermometer reading 30 degrees with a doze of snow always exist on the first day of December, which can make the football do some crazy things. Going in the Hurricanes are clearly the better team and there is nothing that Grant Noel, Andre Davis and Kevin Jones might offer to disrupt the Hurricanes path to the Rose Bowl.

But..Nebraska and Oklahoma probably weren't to concerned when they saw Colorado and Oklahoma State, respectively on their schedules Sunny and beautiful Pasadena, California is still four quarters and a possible snowstorm away for this wrecking ball of a team that goes by the Miami Hurricanes. Especially, with the unforeseen events of the last several weeks.

Safe to say Texas and Tennessee weren't sitting around making plans for Pasadena before Thanksgiving weekend. There were wide spread plans for a Big 12 rematch that would determine the Hurricanes opponent in the Rose Bowl. Oklahoma-Nebraska, right? Try Colorado-Texas.

After being on the outside looking in, it's the Gators that control their way to the No. 2 slot. Beat Tennessee and take the SEC Championship game and the Florida will end up in the Rose Bowl The Longhorns and Ducks still hang to a glimmer of hope. I can remember when this whole BCS thing started three years ago and on the last day of the season UCLA and Kansas State, two of the top three teams in the BCS, were defeated. So before people in the Sunshine State gear up for a UF-UM rematch, let the thing play out on Saturday.

For all their machinery, should the Hurricanes go on to win the national championship it will be Mike Rumph's knee that will be credited with making the play of the season.

Go figure. Proof that anything can still happen.

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