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- American college football player, professional football player, college football coach, offensive lineman
- American football coach
Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss Miami’s poaching of Mario Cristobal from Oregon, and debate what the two sides should expect from each other in the future.
DAN WETZEL: Big news. Coaching carousel is back. Almost died out and then Miami finally got around to fire-- Well first they got around to hiring a coach, then firing a coach. But whatever. They do things a little backwards down there in Miami but it comes out well in the end, at least for them.
Mario Cristobal who they desperately wanted is the latest who will bring the U back. Went to Miami, from Miami, worked at Miami. Tremendous track record of recruiting in South Florida. He leaves Oregon. Pat, your thoughts on Coach Cristobal leaving the Nike empire for-- to try to do the U.
PAT FORDE: I have many, many thoughts. Interesting of the U to spin the carousel backward, as you noted, hire before firing. I thought that was atrocious. I thought it was embarrassing. I thought it was classless and demeaning to Manny Diaz, who really didn't do anything wrong other than not win enough. But I mean, he comported himself perfectly fine. He's a child of Miami.
And I mean, they treated him like dirt to openly go and recruit and then get Mario Cristobal while he's still the coach and expect him to just sit there holding the bag basically for him. Which he did because probably that was his best option. But still it was not pretty. And I thought it was low class behavior.
And I think, you know-- Yes, this may just be the price of doing business in college football. But that's a lousy price to me. And it doesn't reflect well on the University leadership who has said, OK, if you got the money we'll just do things your way, it doesn't really matter. It's whatever you guys want to do. That's fine.
So I'm not crazy about the process now. As I said in a column this week, I mean, they-- I think they probably money whipped their way into a better situation. I think they probably made an upgraded coach and an upgraded athletic director with Dan Radakovich presumably, you know, finalizing things to come in there on that end. Cristobal, you mentioned, you know, he's done well. And I expect him to do well at Miami. I also expected other people to do well, who haven't. So we'll wait and see. But it's not out of the question that he gets them back to national prominence.
PETE THAMEL: Yeah this will-- You know when you really hang around long enough, you see enough of these jobs turn over and turn over. The thing-- the thing you worry about is when Mario Cristobal's time ends. Hopefully it's after 15 years and there's turnover chains and Bentleys galore. And the U is back. And we can all go to South Beach and watch Miami be Miami. And they've got some billionaire wanting to build a stadium in Coral Gables. I hope all that happens.
But someday it's going to end. You know what I mean? Like someday, it ends for everybody. Except Nick Saban, he's a cyborg. He's going to go for 40 more years. But it's just like, don't think they're going to treat you any different. Right? Like don't think you're so special that they're going to treat you any different than they treated Manny Diaz.
So you have to go in knowing that this is new money. This is blind ambition. And these are people that really obviously have big goals and good ideas but poor execution. So this will eventually come around. And it might be in four years and it might be in 14 years. So it is just kind of an interesting little window to know what you're signing up for.
So that said, it's a good hire. I mean, Mario Cristobal at Miami is a natural fit. And it should work. The extent it should work, a lot of that is relying on, you know, myriad variables. But that obviously side of the ACC is winnable. But you know what? It's been winnable the last 15 years and no one's been able to galvanize the forces to do anything.
I think the best thing Manny Diaz did, the reason why they shouldn't have left him swing it in the wind like that, is that he left you Tyler Van Dyke, who's a really good young quarterback, maybe the best fresh quarterback in college football this last year, 25 touchdowns, six interceptions. If he's not, he's one of the top three. You can split hairs and argue. But that is a heck of a piece to start building on.
It's a little bit like when Mario got elevated out of Oregon and you have the kid from Eugene who can see the stadium from his back porch be Justin Herbert, who's the best young quarterback in the NFL now. So-- and I'm not saying Tyler Van Dyke's that good but he has a chance to be a first round pick. He has a chance to be an elite ACC quarterback. U right now have a better quarterback than Clemson does. So that's saying something off the bat. And that's a really good way to start.
And the pull of Miami in the NIL era, not only is there all this money but there's also the portal. Every kid who left is going to have a chance to come back now. And that's going to be interesting to see how quickly Mario Cristobal can galvanize that.