Since his arrival in December 2021, Miami head football coach Mario Cristobal has brought optimism to a once-proud program in dire need of it. Throughout the spring and summer months, the Hurricanes added key players through the transfer portal, won recruiting battles against highly regarded Power Five schools and began building the foundation of a winning culture at UM.
Still, Miami needs to prove itself on the field to continue this momentum. The Hurricanes’ long-awaited season-opener is set to kick off on Sept. 3 against Bethune-Cookman.
And with the 2022 season being one of the most highly anticipated ones in recent memory, the sports section staff of The Miami Hurricane gave their respective win-loss record projections.
Chris Damond: 9-3
Contrary to what some Hurricanes fans may think, this year won’t mark Miami football’s return to glory. But it’ll be a step in the right direction.
The hiring of head coach Mario Cristobal in December was a game changer in Coral Gables and proved that the university was willing to spend big. This was further demonstrated in the additions of Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich and Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis soon after.
It will likely take the new coaching staff time to mesh, but a top-25 finish for Miami seems plausible (No. 17 in the coaches poll), even though it has only had four since 2005.
Excitement is high for ‘Canes fans, but road matchups against Southeastern Conference (SEC) powerhouse Texas A&M and 2018 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champion Clemson are daunting. While it’s possible the Hurricanes will emerge victorious, I would not count on it. While Miami may likely be favored in the remainder of its games, getting to 10 wins is always difficult and I expect Miami to drop one game that it isn’t supposed to.
As long as the Hurricanes are competitive and don’t make the same careless mistakes that have plagued them in recent memory, their 2022 campaign will be considered a success. With Cristobal’s excellent recruiting skills – he’s already landed several top prospects this summer, including four-star QB Jaden Rashada – Miami is poised to return to the fearless, dominant team that it was in the 1980s and ’90s.
Luke Chaney: 9-3
Miami had one of the best offseasons in college football under new head coach Mario Cristobal and his star-studded staff.
The Hurricanes were able to add instant-impact proven talent from the transfer portal to fill some of their needs, especially on the defense. They also set the recruiting trail ablaze, earning commitments from some of the top recruits in both the 2023 and 2024 cycles.
Still, work must be done before Miami can be considered one of college football’s best teams. The overall lack of depth throughout the roster is not where it needs to be and the lack of established production at the linebacker and wide receiver positions presents question marks.
Miami should be good enough to out-perform its seven-win season from a year ago, but unless the talent on the roster exceeds expectations, the team might not have enough firepower to defeat national powerhouses Texas A&M and Clemson, who both appear on the schedule.
A nine-win season, while not championship-worthy by any means, would be a solid building block for a program needing direction.
Erik Lamm: 10-2
As the University of Miami enters its first year under Mario Cristobal, expectations are high. Conference realignment and Name Image Likeness (NIL) have created a new landscape where a redistribution of power seems possible. The 2022–23 season could set the course for UM recruiting and championship aspirations for the following decade.
The schedule offers tremendous upside for Cristobal’s Canes to hit the ground running. In Week 3, Miami has a monumental clash with Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. It’s unrealistic to expect the Hurricanes to pull off the upset, but the remote possibility does exist. Keeping the score respectable and avoiding a blowout can give UM confidence heading into a wide-open Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC).
Bad play calls, missed kicks and untimely interceptions contributed to barely missing out on the Coastal title last year. Things will be different this time around. The only game UM will likely not be favored in ACC play is in the dreaded trip to Death Valley, S.C to challenge Clemson.
However, if the Tigers continue their offensive woes from last year, Miami has a shot of going undefeated in conference play. Star quarterback Tyler Van Dyke is the Hurricanes’ ticket to a New Year’s Six Bowl and a chance at reviving a once great program.
Zachary Macer: 8-4
Mario Cristobal’s inaugural season will have a theme to it – revenge.
After suffering losses to Virginia, UNC and fierce rival Florida State last season, I predict the script will flip in all of these matchups. Cristobal has the Hurricanes in a different mindset than former head coach Manny Diaz did and avenging these losses will bring momentum to the team and UM fans back into Hard Rock Stadium.
Down the road, however, the Canes will face hardship against well-established programs Texas A&M and Clemson. These games will probably not end in victory, but will show the newly crafted Hurricanes where improvement can be made against the top teams.
With ACC football always highly competitive, teams that have traditionally had close games with Miami, such as Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh, will not be the guaranteed wins people assume them to be.