Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 11/14/12
CORAL GABLES, Fla. No national championships. No ACC titles. No division crowns. No bowl victories. Not exactly the way a Miami recruiting class expects to leave The U. The current seniors just might. The conference and division titles remain a possibility for the 2012 Hurricanes, but clearly the past four years have been more consumed with on-field frustration, off-field illegalities and a coaching change. For that reason, the 17 players who comprise Miami's senior class former coach Randy Shannons next-to-last recruiting group should not be judged solely on wins and losses. Their legacy will be that they fought through it, they didnt quit, they didnt leave, Shannons successor, Al Golden, said. They dug in and fought through the tumult and the adversity when it certainly would have been easier to say, Im outta here. A victory Saturday against non-conference foe South Florida in the seasons final home game would make the Hurricanes (5-5, 4-3) bowl eligible. A win at Duke next week would capture Miamis first Coastal Division crown and a spot in the ACC Championship game at Charlotte. Being bowl eligible, however, wont necessarily mean the 'Canes will be bowling. Miami officials reportedly might announce a self-imposed postseason ban for the second straight year in an attempt to lessen the severity of any NCAA penalties that result from an investigation into compliance violations. That would be a final blow to the 'Canes seniors, who were present for bowl losses to Wisconsin in 2009 (Champs Sports Bowl) and Notre Dame in the 2010 (Sun Bowl). Of course I would want wants to go to a bowl game, but we leave that up to who evers in control of that, running back Mike James said. The only thing we can do is play football. James saved his best season for last. He is Miamis second-leading rusher (529 yards, 4.3 avg.) behind freshman Duke Johnson, and hes tied for third with 27 catches (9.1 avg.). No regrets, everything happens for a reason, James said. I took everything in stride and I enjoyed it while it lasted. James and fellow senior Brandon McGee spoke this week about how previous UM senior classes left behind something to build on. They want to do the same. Its just about leaving a mark, leaving on a positive note, McGee said. Its the last time I get to take the home field with this group of guys. Of course you want to say you would have done some things differently, but I dont regret any decisions Ive made because its made me the person I am today. Im content with that. McGee, a two-year starter at cornerback, has joined James among the members of Goldens leadership council, which meets regularly with the coach. "Brandon McGee doesn't get enough credit for being the leader he's become," Golden said. "He's blessed with raw talent to play the corner position. What we're seeing now is he's a guy committed to working on his tools. He's so much tougher now than when he first got here. And he's a leader for us. McGee smiled when asked how he would feel running onto the field through the smoke for one last time. Ill definitely cherish the moment, he said. If McGees Senior Day experience is similar to that of a former Penn State tight end in 91, there will be sadness, too. It was tough, Golden said. When you return to the locker room, its over. The anticipation, sharing that moment with, for me was not just my mom and dad or my family, but my high school coaches came up everybody thats been an integral part of your life who has been an integral part of your life his there. So when its over, everybody leaves. Theres a finality to it. James and McGee indicated they understood the finality of the next few weeks. Living it might be a little tougher. Time waits for no man, James said. Everybodys time comes to an end.
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