The Miami Hurricanes jumped 11 spots Sunday to No. 15 in The Associated Press Top 25 rankings after their 21-16 victory over the Florida Gators — the first time they have been ranked by the AP since November 2010.
But the only people throwing up the U were likely former Canes players, Hurricanes fans — and Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney.
UM coach Al Golden, who got into the AP Top 25 for the first time as a head coach, complimented Swinney after hearing the Tigers coach reportedly threw up the U as he walked out of Clemson’s day-after news conference Sunday saying, ‘How about that [Atlantic Coast Conference]? Spunky little old league?”
Clemson, now ranked third, had a big win over then-No. 5 Georgia last week, and current No. 10 Florida State crushed Pitt on Labor Day. But Golden, consistent as ever, indicated the rankings mean little at this stage of the season.
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UM also rose from No. 24 to 18 in the coaches’ poll, while UF dropped from 12 to 18 in the AP and from nine to 20 in the coaches’.
“You know me well enough now to know there’s no looking ahead,” he said. “We had a team meeting today. I just congratulated them on the effort [Saturday] and said, ‘OK, here’s the things we’ve got to fix, and we’ve got to do it starting today.
“They have a great attitude, and they know we have a long way to go, a super, super long way to go. Hopefully our guys aren’t thinking about it because it’s not where you are now, it’s where you finish. I’m not paying much attention to it.”
If he cared about rankings, Golden said, he “wouldn’t have taken the Temple job because they were 120 out of 120.’’
Golden did say he was pleased about Miami starting the season well as an ACC representative and that it was “great’’ that “multiple teams’’ are ranked.
“Dabo is a class act,’’ Golden said, “and obviously he’s excited about his team and he’s confident about his team and he’s excited for the league, and I share in his excitement and what they’re doing up at Clemson. You want to have these types of games and have them be meaningful. One thing about the ACC, we haven’t shied away from these intersectional games.
“Hopefully, we can continue to schedule like that and maybe find a way to work it out where we can continue to [schedule] Florida moving forward, even if it’s every third year or something.”
Golden said his in-laws were in town, and he spent Saturday night with his family and “a couple of friends over the house and just kind of hung out, laid low.’’
But by early Sunday morning, the coach had posted “Complacency Kills. #SNAPBACKSUNDAY’’ on Twitter.
Golden said he had expected to defeat Florida, and he set the schedule so his players would come in Sunday, lift and watch game tape, “just to make sure we snap back in and stay focused and don’t let this turn into Mardi Gras.
“We don’t need a week’s celebration here. We’re happy about the win, but we have a lot of things that we have to get fixed this week.’’
The Canes are off this Saturday, then meet Savannah State at home Sept. 21.
Among the most pressing deficiencies to get fixed, the coach indicated, are the third-down conversions, or lack thereof, time of possession (the two are linked, he said) and punt protection. UM, which converted one of 11 third downs Saturday, is ranked 117th in the nation in that category.
He said this week will be spent making individual and team improvements and getting some of the younger players such as receiver Stacy Coley, cornerback Artie Burns and tailback Gus Edwards “moving forward.”
Injury wise, Golden said Duke Johnson was fine and as a whole UM was “doing great,” though he didn’t elaborate on any individuals, such as Thurston Armbrister, Rayshawn Jenkins and Ladarius Gunter, all of whom appeared to be nicked during the game.