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Miami's Top 25 Ranking Comes Under Attack When Big Ten Resumes

Hurricanes Have Chance to Make Early-Season Impression On Voters

The Big Ten is resuming play Oct. 24, which means those teams will eventually be eligible for the AP Top 25 poll once again.

What does that mean for the 17th-ranked University of Miami, which visits 18th-ranked Louisville at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in a nationally-televised game?

It means the Canes better play well over the next four weeks if they hope to have Top 25 staying power when the Big Ten teams re-enter the polls.

Miami’s next two games – at Louisville and against Florida State – are both nationally-televised 7:30 p.m. kickoffs on ABC, in other words opportunities for UM to get the attention of Top 25 voters.

If the Hurricanes make good showings against nationally-ranked Louisville and rival Florida State, and then top-ranked Clemson and 25th-ranked Pitt in the following two games, they’ll have staying power when Big Ten teams re-enter the polls.

The most realistic, ideal scenario is UM going 3-1 over the next four games, including playing Clemson tough in a hard-fought road loss. Whatever happens to UM in its next four games it can’t lose to FSU, even in a rivalry game, because of how bad FSU looked in its 16-13 loss to Georgia Tech.

Clearly UM’s longshot CFP (College Football Playoff) hopes will take a major blow with teams such as Ohio State, No. 2 in the preseason Top 25, and Penn State, No. 7 in the preseason Top 25, back in the mix.

But let’s get real. It was awfully generous to ever include the Canes even as a darkhorse for the four-team playoffs.

The Big Ten’s return really means Miami’s ability to stay in the Top 25 will be under attack starting around Halloween and continuing throughout the rest of the season.

The Big Ten had seven teams in the preseason AP Top 25.

UM’s best chance to make an early impression on Top 25 voters comes in the next four games, especially the next two, both of which are nationally-televised and winnable.

Let’s see whether the Canes can take advantage of this early-season opportunity.