200909172046748186756-pf.widecRemember Debra Winger? She burst onto the scene in the early 80s  opposite John Travolta in Urban Cowboy as a brash, sexy, bull-riding cowgirl named Sissy, and parlayed that performance into leading roles in An Officer and A Gentleman and Terms of Endearment (both of which garnered her Oscar nominations).  America fell in love with her, but then she seemingly disappeared for 10 years before she was again nominated in 1993 for the tremendously underrated Shadowlands (a film about Chronicles of Narnia author C.S. Lewis), for which she was again nominated for an Academy Award.  And then she was gone.  She left the business in  1995, but recently returned last year in Rachel Getting Married, in which the reviews of her performance seemed to us to be a little too glowing for a 10 minute performance.  More than anything, people were just happy to have her back, in some way, shape or form.

The University of Miami’s football program is a lot like Debra Winger (this may seem like a strained analogy, but hang with us).  They burst on the scene in the early 80s, winning four national championships in a span of nine seasons, starting in 1983 under soon-to-be Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson and continuing the success under Dennis Erickson. They were brash, arrogant and glamorous (famously getting off the airplane for the 1986 Fiesta Bowl wearing army fatigues). And then they disappeared. Ten years later, in 2001, the Hurricanes again won the national championship under first-year coach Larry Coker, and talk of a Miami renaissance was alive and well.  But the Hurricanes, much like Winger, soon again dropped off the national radar, suffering through several mediocre to poor seasons since winning it all at the start of the decade.  Now, after beating two solid yet unspectacular foes to start the season, the Hurricanes are getting rave reviews, but we here feel the praise is a little bit too strong for a team that needed a last-minute dropped pass to beat a Florida State team that needed a massive comeback to defeat tiny Jacksonville State the following week.

Anyway, last night the Hurricanes defeated Georgia Tech 33-17 in a game that was not even as close as the final score would indicate.  Miami thoroughly shut down the Yellow Jackets’ offense for most of the game, and Hurricanes quarterback Jacory Harris threw for 270 yards and three touchdowns.  A very good win, no doubt, but we’ll learn a lot more about this Miami team when they travel to conference powerhouse Virginia Tech next weekend.  Enjoy the win, fellas, but talk of new day in Miami may be a touch premature.

For more Debra Winger, check her out in the overlooked Steve Martin vehicle Leap of Faith, starring her, Martin, Liam Neeson, and a very young Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Trust us.