Miami is the toast of the ACC hoops world today. As if that is not strange enough to hear, think about that fact a different way.
The men's basketball team has now beaten the football team to an ACC championship.
Bizarro world indeed.
Because back in 2004, when Miami made its way into the ACC, hoops purists lamented the way the basketball product would be watered down by the mediocre Canes. During its time in the Big East, the men's basketball team made just three NCAA tournament appearances and won a share of the league regular-season title once.
Football? Well, an upgrade in football profile was thought to be a no-brainer, what with a run of four straight national title/BCS appearances between the 2000-03 seasons. There has not quite been an upgrade in that department the way it was envisioned 10 years ago.
Miami fans certainly do not need another example, but what has happened in basketball this year is yet another reminder that football has failed to live up to its end of the bargain. Miami prides itself on all its football rings, on bringing "swagger" to life, on all of its alums in the NFL. But it has never played for an ACC title; it has not played in a BCS game as part of the ACC; and its hopes for a spot in the ACC title game this past season were dashed with another round of self-imposed sanctions.
Instead, there have been a bunch of disappointing, forgettable football seasons, complete with bowl trips to Idaho and El Paso. Now, don't get me wrong. What the basketball team did deserves applause and celebration. If I had a vote, Jim Larranaga would be my choice for coach of the year. Even if Miami never wins another ACC title, the Canes will always have this moment.
But at the same time, the basketball success should also serve as motivation for every single football player on the Miami campus.
Simply put: There is no way a basketball team at a football school should get to the ACC mountaintop first.