The Bowl Championship Series has now entered a playoff format and that has to be good news for many college programs including the Miami Hurricanes. Likely facing some sort of sanctions for at least the upcoming school year and possibly the year following, 2014 is a good time to resurrect the program by getting firmly into the national championship picture with the redefining recruiting class of 2012 walking into their junior or redshirt sophomore years.
With the first four game playoff being played following the 2014 season, with the championship played on the first Monday in 2015, the Hurricanes have a decent chance to be historical members of the first BCS playoff.
By then, the Canes will have a redshirt senior quarterback in Ryan Williams, several remarkable skill players on offense (Duke Johnson, Malcolm Lewis and Robert Lockhart) and a solid defense (Tracy Howard, Deon Bush and Raphael Kirby). If these players develop over the course of the next several years, there will be nation wide momentum for the program and that could propel Miami into the national spotlight and even into the playoff system.
Examining the system is easy. At first glance, a playoff is exactly what the majority of college football fans want. Undisputed reasons to suggest their team is number one at the end of the season. With the way things have been going, the SEC is almost guaranteed at least one spot in the BCS title game. National perception that the media helps to shape promotes this and it makes things difficult for programs outside of the SEC to compete.
With the new system, the other two spots in the playoff format will likely be non-SEC teams. That gives a resurgent Miami program a punchers chance of getting into the conversation. They would of course have to do the obvious, win their division and then their conference. But if they do these things and maybe even take a loss to strong opponents in the pre-season they still have a chance to be selected as one of the four programs entering the playoff.
A panel will vote on teams gaining admittance to the "final four" tournament on various factors including strength of schedule and the obvious win-loss record. Miami should get a lot of the human element of empathy if they are near the top in the years after coming off of probation (which is assumed and not official as of a pending NCAA investigation that is ongoing).
Nevertheless, the ACC which has struggled to be seen as a power conference has renewed hope because of this new format because they now have a better chance of participating in and winning a national championship. And the Hurricanes chances are pretty good for having a chance in 2014-2015 at the rate they are growing and developing under second year head coach Al Golden.