Miami Hurricanes or UCF Knights: Which is the better coaching job?
I turned on the TV this afternoon to watch an old game I recorded and stumbled on a surprising ESPN discussion about the Miami job.
Commentator Paul Finebaum's take: UCF is a better job than Miami. That's the same opinion held by the Orlando Sentinel's David Whitley.
Their argument goes like this: Miami's facilities are outdated, and its fan base isn't great. Salaries are comparable - Al Golden made about $2.5 million at UM; George O'Leary made about $1.9 million, according to USA Today. Orlando has plenty of great recruits, just like Miami. And if (when?) conference realignment strikes again, UCF could jump into a power league.
I don't buy it.
With the notable exception of its stadium, the Hurricanes have facilities that are quite nice, from what I saw during my trip to Coral Gables last week. Some longtime supporters will tell you that the fan base has never been enormous. I don't envision too many top recruits choosing UCF over the ‘Canes, even if both have great built-in recruiting advantages. And I don't know about you, but I'll take an extra $600,000 a year, thank you very much.
The big issue is the final one: Conference.
Yes, UCF is a strong candidate to move into a power conference during the next shift. But UM already is in a power conference. Moreover, the ‘Canes are in the weaker division (the Coastal) of that power conference. If UM can top programs like Pitt, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, the ‘Canes get to play for the conference championship - and perhaps a playoff spot. That won't happen this year, of course, but that path is a much more likely one than the one UCF would have to follow to make the final four.
UCF is a fine job. I'd rather be there than Illinois. But given the choice between UM or UCF, I'm taking the ‘Canes.
What about you? Which do you think is the better job - UCF or Miami?