University of Miami

One ESPN analyst says the Hurricanes will be good this year. Very, very good.

Miami Hurricanes running back Mark Walton celebrates with his teammates after Miami’s win over West Virginia in Orlando on December 28.
Miami Hurricanes running back Mark Walton celebrates with his teammates after Miami’s win over West Virginia in Orlando on December 28. adiaz@miamiherald.com

The Miami Hurricanes are going to snap their long losing streak to the rival Seminoles, win the Atlantic Coast Conference championship and play Alabama in the college football playoffs this season.

At least that’s how ESPN analyst Desmond Howard sees it.

During this weekend’s college football preview show, the former Heisman Trophy winner from Michigan went out on a limb by saying the Hurricanes — a team on the rise, no doubt — would crack the college football final four for the first time since the playoff system was introduced.

Miami (9-4 in 2016) won its final five games last year and won its first bowl game since 2006 in Mark Richt’s first season.

The Hurricanes have not played in a national championship game since losing to Ohio State in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl.

Quarterback Malik Rosier (12) talks to the media after football practice at the University of Miami on Wednesday, August 23, 2017.​

Miami has won five national titles in its history starting in 1983 and concluding with the 2002 Rose Bowl win over Nebraska.

Howard not only has the top-ranked Crimson Tide beating the Hurricanes, but has Stanford beating Wisconsin in the other semifinal before pulling quite the upset against Alabama in the 2017 title game.

Miami opens its season Saturday against Bethune-Cookman at Hard Rock Stadium (12:30 p.m., FSFL) and plays its next two on the road: at Arkansas State and in Tallahassee against the Seminoles.

The Hurricanes have lost their past seven games against FSU dating to Jacory Harris’ heroics in 2009.

Florida State enters the season — and its big game Saturday against Alabama — ranked No. 3 in the AP national poll; the Hurricanes are 18th.

Mark Richt speaks to media on Aug. 24, 2017

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