Senior year football blues

When the Class of 2011 first set foot on campus in August of 2007, head football coach Randy Shannon came to the pep rally at the BankUnited Center.

You know, just a bunch of newbies trying to find their ways around the University of Miami.

Shannon, who has been around the program since the 1980s, had taken over Larry Coker’s position. Both new and big things were to come, and it hopefully meant a team back on the rise.

More than three years later, not much has changed.

Sure, the football team continues to improve every season, adding two wins per year, but there still isn’t a sense of college football eliteness. That same dominating program that family legacies remember from their times in Coral Gables.

While high school classmates celebrated a national championship two seasons ago at the University of Florida, the Hurricanes struggled at the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco.

After six semesters, we had enough of hearing about Tim Tebow this, Tim Tebow that.

This was our year while the Gators rebuilt with a new quarterback and the Florida State Seminoles began a new reign under first-year head coach Jimbo Fisher.

The top-ranked recruiting class in 2008 has now taken the field for a third season, and youth is no longer labeled as an excuse.

More importantly, the team is led by a talented group of seniors we’ve grown to cheer for and sit next to in the classroom: Allen Bailey, Leonard Hankerson and Matt Bosher.

Expectations were high coming into the season, and that’s what makes Saturday afternoon’s loss to Ohio State even tougher.

When the Canes led 10-3 at the beginning of the second quarter, the small UM section at the Horseshoe could be heard over the silent 101,000 OSU fans.

Miamians donned shirts proclaiming “Mission Payback” and “We stole the king in 2010.” Trash talking was tame for the most part, but still present. Don’t forget Terry Porter and his infamous pass-interference call.

But despite all this, the score read 36-24 when the clock finally stopped. Terrelle Pryor and the “OH-IO” chants proved to be too much.

Though the season is far from over in terms of conference and BCS aspirations, on an overcast day in Columbus, Ohio, (possibly illogical) national title dreams were shattered.

So much for a senior road trip to Glendale, Ariz.