Skip to main content

Debating whether 2024 is a now-or-never season for Mario Cristobal at Miami

Alex Weberby:Alex Weber06/07/24
Debating whether 2024 is a now-or-never season for Mario Cristobal at Miami | 06.07.24

Clemson ain’t what they used to be, Florida State lost many of its top pieces, and Miami absolutely loaded up in the transfer portal this offseason. The time is now for Mario Cristobal take the Hurricanes to the next level.

Heading into his third season with just 12 total wins under his belt through two years, The U will need a massive bump this year if Cristobal wants to remain in charge. Over on the On3 YouTube channel, Andy Staples and JD PicKell broke down what acceptable success actually looks like for Miami in 2024.

For PicKell, the addition of a star transfer QB like Cam Ward from Washington State raises the stakes on this season and gives Miami a reason to believe they can compete nationally.

“The reality with him, he’s there for a good time not a long time,” shared PicKell. “He’s there for this year, he is a rental, the iron is hot right now. If you can’t capitalize with Cam Ward at quarterback and a year three roster and also a year three culture, when is it going to happen?”

He added: “Not that it’s never going to happen, but this feels like as good a chance as you’re going to have in the foreseeable future.”

JD PicKell is quite bullish on Ward, who he believes could be better than any quarterback Miami faces on its schedule.

“They probably have a better quarterback than all 12 of those opponents, right? Adding him, to me, really was the amplifier on their season and the reason why there is so much pressure on this year.”

Staples stepped in to explain that this Hurricane team basically has to reach 10 wins or else it’s another failed season.

“If we look at this schedule, Miami should go 10-2 or 11-1. Let’s be real here, there are very few excuses for them to not go 10-2,” said Staples, explaining the talent discrepancy.

“Miami has better players than 10 of the opponents on the schedule for sure. They probably have a better roster than Florida. The only one where I’m not going to just say they have a better roster automatically is Florida State. But they really do have a better roster than 10 of their opponents, probably 11. They should be 10-2.”

Even at 10-2, PicKell believes there’s a version of that record that leaves a sour taste in the mouths of Miami fans.

“So let’s say Miami goes 10-2 and the losses are at Florida and then Florida State. They go 10-3 and they lose in the ACC title game. They get in? I guess a better question is: are people happy with Mario Cristobal? Because on one hand, double digit wins, you made the ACC title game, but you lost the two biggest games in the state and may or may not be a playoff team.”

Staples added: “They’re probably not in (the playoff) in that scenario. I also think that the fanbase is mad but not pitchforks and torches.”

Hit the 10-win mark and Mario Cristobal is safe and can sell that spike in success, according to Staples.

“So I do think that would be considered acceptable progress but it would not be satisfyingly acceptable progress, because you’d be this close to the playoff and you wouldn’t have made it.”

2024 is shaping up to be a titular year down in Coral Gables.