MIAMI – The ‘Canes found an inflatable toy gator in the end zone where they had scored the game-winning touchdown, and they went to town. They hoisted it up by a rope and waved it. They shook it and threw it down on the ground. They kicked it and stomped it. Then they left it there for the cheerleaders, who took turns stepping on it with their white Nike tennis shoes.
"We back on top!" screamed one Miami player. "Watch!"
Then they all barreled toward the rancor of their student section, jumping and yelling with a vindication they’ve longed to feel since they chose this school.
A few moments later, in the quiet of the press room, Miami coach Al Golden wiped himself off with a towel, shrugged and said, "I got no statement."
The statement was made on the field: With a 21-16 upset win here over hated Florida, Miami is on its way to returning to the days of "The U." And the ACC, with three star quarterbacks and three convincing wins on national TV in eight days, may just be the conference that finally ends years of SEC domination.