9-3 overall, 6-2 conference, 2nd ACC Coastal
Against the spread
4-8 (2-5 home, 2-3 away, 4-7 grass)
5-7 (3-4 home, 2-3 away, 4-7 grass)
+.42 per game
Head coach Larry Coker could not have started his Miami career off any better in 2001 as he led the Hurricanes to a 12-0 national championship season. This was followed by a 12-0 record in 2002 that ended with a heartbreaking 24-31 loss to Ohio State in the national championship game. Coker went on to go 11-2 in 2003, but slipped to 9-3 in 2004. By starting off at the top, Coker set himself up to do nothing but go downhill afterwards, and that is what was beginning to happen.
The Canes lost steam as Davis ' recruits departed
Coker's predecessor, Butch Davis, obviously left the cupboard full but the Canes lost steam as Davis ' recruits departed. Coker didn't seem to bring in quite the level of talent as Davis and this was starting to concern the fickle and obnoxious Miami fan base, which expects undefeated seasons every year.
An over-valued “name brand” team
Despite their straight up success, Miami has been an over-valued “name brand” team that attracts a lot of action and ignorant money from the masses of asses. The “sharps” amongst college football bettors know better than to go “all in” with Miami in most games but because of their national reputation and name recognition, the causal bettors often overload sportsbooks with money on the Canes. Miami had finished in the red in two of their three previous seasons entering 2005.
Ironic opening loss
Miami opened the 2005 season with a nationally televised Monday Night game at Florida State , where they were favored by 3.5-points, which was due to the reputation of owning the series with the Seminoles. FSU had often lost heartbreakers to Miami due to botched field goal attempts at the gun but this time the roles were reversed and it was Miami that botched the kick in a 7-10 defeat for an ironic opening loss.
Winning while losing
Miami had a bye to shake off that FSU loss before traveling to upstart Clemson, who was 2-0 and primed for an upset. The Canes were worried about an 0-2 start, which would kill ticket sales in their fair weather market. Miami was clearly over-valued as a 7-point chalk as they escaped with a 36-30 win.
Three consecutive home games followed starting with a 23-3 win over Colorado as 14.5-point chalks. This was followed by a 27-7 win over South Florida as 21-point chalks. The home stand concluded with a 52-7 bombing of Duke as 36.5-point chalks.
Miami next went to hapless Temple , where they beat the Owls 34-3 as whopping 43.5-point rip-off chalks. This was followed by a 34-16 win over North Carolina as 21-point home favorites. Miami now stood at 6-1 straight up but a most revealing 2-5 against the spread as they were winning while losing and demonstrating a great lesson in betting value, or lack thereof.
A live dog
While programs such as Miami are often over-valued chalks, they often turn around and prove to be a live dog when getting points. Miami was a 6-point dog at undefeated Virginia Tech and the conventional “wisdom” was that they stood no chance against the Hokies. Miami got the cash and the win 27-7 in a textbook power dog play. This was followed up with a strong 47-17 win at Wake Forest as 16-point chalks. Miami now stood at 8-1 straight up and 4-6 against the spread with an outside shot at a national championship if they could get some help while taking care of their own business.
Exposed as a power in decline
Miami came home as 19-point chalks in what was expected to be a routine win over Georgia Tech. The Canes were stunned, however, in a 10-14 loss. They next barely got by Virginia 25-17 as 17.5-point chalks on Senior Day. Then in a stunning turn of developments, Miami was mauled 3-40 by LSU as over-valued 6-point chalks in the Peach Bowl, causing Coker to fire some key/long time assistants while feeling increasing heat and demands for his own head as his program was exposed as a power in decline.