Saturday, December 31, 2005

Miami Clearly Is a Program in Decline

They're still trying to piece together what happened to spark the brawl between players from Louisiana State and Miami at the end of Friday night's Peach Bowl, but at least the Hurricanes finally showed some fight. But they appeared to lose that battle, too. Did LSU pour it on? You betcha it did. What brought this on? Perhaps it was the memory of Miami's 44-3 rout of LSU in 1988 in a Tiger Stadium downpour. The bigger question is what has happened to Miami, winner of five national titles? The last, won in 2001, has never seemed smaller in the rear-view mirror. Asked if his team quit, Hurricane coach Larry Coker said, "I don't think we stopped. I don't think we played the entire day." As for the Miami players, we don't know what they were thinking. The postgame locker room was sealed shut from reporters. One thing is for certain: Coker, whose greatest success has been with others' recruits, must take a good share of the blame (some registration).

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