Toughest Game in 2007

In today's Roundtable, the writers of discuss what game they think will be UM's toughest in 2007.

Raul Tano, Larry Cole, and Mike Bakas continue this week's Roundtable by discussing who they think will be Miami's toughest opponent in 2007.

Tano: The toughest game has to be September 8th at Oklahoma. As we've seen in recent years with the Florida State Labor Day failed experiment, sometimes it can get ugly early on. Will that theme change under Randy Shannon? My guess is yes, but going into such a hostile environment with all of one game under your belt and a lot of question marks still probably present on the offensive side of the ball leads me to believe that Oklahoma will be the toughest game. That being said, going into hostile environments like that and quieting the crowd by the start of the second quarter is what Miami Hurricane football is all about, and if anyone knows that, it is Randy Shannon.

Cole: Florida State. Yeah, we have to play Oklahoma and Texas A&M out of conference. Yeah, we have to play Virginia Tech on the road in a game that will probably determine the ACC Coastal Conference champion late in the season. But it is that old rivalry, UM v. FSU that will be the teams toughest. Two teams that hit near rock bottom last season, two teams that have something to prove on a national level on national television, at a point in the season where both teams will have had significant playing time, that is what the ‘Canes have to look forward to. If we win this game, even with a less than spectacular record by our standards and expectations (lets say 8-4), we salvage at least a little something this season. All of this, and we are going into hostile territory. If you were to ask most players, in confidence, I'm sure the game that means the most is the FSU game year in and year out. This year is no different, there is just a lot more on the line later in the season.

It is a pride thing, it is a recognition thing, it is something that the entire team needs to do to prove to the nation that this truly is a new era of Miami Hurricanes football. The first stamp in that mark, is by beating Florida State.

Bakas:: Florida State sets the bar every year. Until the rivalry stops, that will continue being the case. However, they're simply not the best football team on this year's schedule. That title probably belongs to Oklahoma and the Canes will be going into a hostile environment without much experience under their belts. They'll be playing in just the second game of the season. They'll be going on the road for the first time. Kirby Freeman has never played in that type of college atmosphere. It won't be easy. Sure, the Sooners are breaking in some new players at some key positions on offense but it's the Sooner D that will be out to give Miami's offense fits. It could be a low scoring game but the bottom line is that it doesn't get much tougher than playing in Norman, especially considering the circumstances I just mentioned.

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