What is the state of the Hurricanes football team with ten games in the books and two big contest left to play? Well, The Cold Hard Truth is that question creates more questions than it does answers.
The late game heroics of the Virginia Cavaliers are still painful to think about. The stakes were high as the Hurricanes had a chance to qualify for a bowl game and move one step closer to their first appearance in the ACC championship game, but inexperience and key injuries caught up to the young Canes on Saturday and they must now back their way in with just two games to play in the 2012 season. Will the Hurricanes be playing on December 1st?
The next two games will be a very good indicator as to what the Hurricanes players are made of. The USF game is an important recruiting battle game, as well as a bounce back game from a tough loss, but the real test will come the following week as this seasons Duke Blue Devils are not the ACC doormat they have been in the past. Hopefully these young Canes players know what is at stake over the next two weeks and find a way to grab two wins to give Al Golden a winning season, because the future of this program is heavily dependent on the success of this season’s young team. Can the 2012 Canes avoid another mediocre .500 season?
The Canes have a decent chance to be invited to play in a bowl game this season. It’s very likely they will get the minimum six wins necessary to qualify for a bowl, and while they have one of the worst traveling fan bases in college football, they do draw good local crowds and are a solid TV draw. The biggest question is will they accept a bowl invitation. I can’t answer that question, but I can tell what they should do. Will the Canes accept a bowl invitation if offered?
They should absolutely ban themselves from any bowl game they might be invited to. Listen, this team isn’t winning any national championships this year or next year, but if they don’t make the effort to appeal to the NCAA infractions committee and show that they understand the levity of their own situation, the proverbial Hammer will be dropped. At this point it’s still possible that the NCAA will come down very hard on the UM program, but if they don’t make some effort to show that the philosophy has changed then we will all be looking back saying “what if?”. The last thing the Hurricanes want is to find themselves in the same situation as the current Ohio State team. Undefeated, late in the season, with nothing left to play for. Should the program accept a bowl invitation or should they take the high road and self-ban?
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