Team preview: Miami

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(All information as of June 20, 2008)


When Randy Shannon accepted the job as the Miami football coach on Dec. 8, 2006, he emphatically denied that the Hurricanes were heading in the wrong direction.

"This program is not at a standstill," Shannon said. "The program is not on a downslide. We are on an upward movement. As a coach, you want a challenge. I want somebody to say that I can't do it. If I hear, 'I can't,' I'm going to prove you wrong.

"You can never stay the same in life. You always go up and down. You try to get better every year, every day, every week, every second."

Shannon may have miscalculated exactly where the Hurricanes were when he took over. Miami lost its final four games en route to a 5-7 finish, the program's first losing record since 1997.

There was a confluence of contributing factors to the Hurricanes' demise. Erratic quarterback play, a rash of injuries and the inability to simply plug in the next All-American in waiting were among the most noticeable. Couple that with Shannon finding his way as a first-year head coach while breaking in new offensive and defensive coordinators and you have the kind of perfect storm that was anything but 'Cane-like on the field.