Miami’s expectations continue to increase ahead of the 2022 college football season.

According to The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel, Miami is a team who could theoretically make a big step forward in 2022 — possibly into national title contention.

“I look at a team like Miami, who, I would think is a year or 2 away from being that kind of team, but they do have a great quarterback in Tyler Van Dyke,” Mandel said on The Matt McLearn Show on Tuesday. “Mario Cristobal is making great pickups in the portal. And frankly, not a lot of competition, certainly in that division.”

Miami is the preseason favorite to win the Coastal and Pittsburgh — who lost quarterback Kenny Pickett (graduation) and Jordan Addison (transfer) off last year’s team — is expected to finish second.

However, Miami does have a tough schedule outside of the Coastal. The Canes will face Texas A&M, Clemson and Florida State this season.

Mandel compared Miami’s potential in 2022 to what Michigan did last season. After year’s of struggling to break through, the Wolverines won the Big Ten in 2021 and qualified for the College Football Playoff.

“Could Miami be a team that sneaks up and, much like Michigan, a program that is a big name program that’s just not been able to get over the hump. That’s been Miami for 18 years. So it would certainly be interesting if Mario Cristobal comes home to his native Miami and leads them to that kind of season.”

Here’s Mandel’s comments:

Miami opens the 2022 season with Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 3.