FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The national championship will be won on the Miami Hurricanes' home field this season.
Al Golden won't be watching.
Instead, the Hurricanes' coach will be busy trying to get his own team closer to that level. When either No. 1 Notre Dame or No. 2 Alabama hoists that crystal football on Monday night, someone might have to tell Golden who wins. For Golden and the Hurricanes, the 2012 season is a thing of the past, with preparations already well underway for the 2013 campaign — things like finishing up playbook-related items and making sure recruiting ends with a flourish.
We're moving forward, Golden said. We like the University of Miami and we're very excited about the team that we have. We lose one starter on offense and one starter on defense, and when everybody reports back for spring, we're going to add about 20 guys to that with redshirts and people enrolling at midyear. That doesn't happen very often.
Miami self-imposed a second consecutive postseason ban after finishing 7-5 in 2012, costing the Hurricanes a trip to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game and a bowl appearance — possibly the Orange Bowl, which would have been their final destination if they won the ACC title. The Hurricanes sat out because of an ongoing NCAA investigation into compliance practices, a probe that started in 2011 and is now believed to be winding down.
The next step in that plan is for the NCAA to deliver the notice of allegations, a move that has been expected for months and still has not occurred.