Miami began the season ranked #11 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and #12 in the Associated Press Poll after going 9-3 (6-2 ACC) in 2005 with a #18 ranking in the USA Today Coaches Poll (#17 AP).
Junior quarterback Kyle Wright finished second to Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson in voting for the ACC Preseason Player of the Year.
Earlier during the summer, head coach Larry Coker announced that running back Tyrone Moss, receiver Ryan Moore, linebacker James Bryant, and receiver Rashaun Jones would be suspended for the first game of the season against Florida State for violating team policy. On August 26, Coker announced that Moore's suspension would be extended indefinitely. Moore would eventually return for the final two regular season games.
After back-to-back 9-3 seasons at Miami, where expectations are to compete for a national championship every year, it was widely believed that Coker was on the proverbial hot seat and needed to take the Hurricanes to a BCS bowl to keep his job. In the wake of last year's Peach Bowl loss, Coker fired four assistant coaches. During the offseason, Coker hired Rich Olson as his new offensive coordinator in an attempt to reinvigorate the Hurricane offense. Olson had previously served as Miami's offensive coordinator during the early 90s under then-head coach Dennis Erickson.
ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit picked Miami to win the 2006 national championship, predicting the Hurricanes would defeat Notre Dame in the national championship game.
With the Hurricanes finishing the regular season at 6-6, the 2006 season proved to be one of the worst for the program in the past thirty years. The fall of Miami, which established itself as the most successful college football program of the past twenty five years, was one of the biggest stories in collegiate football in 2006.
The season was the culmination of a gradual decline for the program since it won the national championship in 2001. In each year since, Miami appeared to have taken a step back in terms of national stature and its overall record, going from an undefeated national championship in 2001 to a national championship game loss in 2002 to a two-loss season in 2003 to back-to-back three loss seasons in 2004 and 2005, and a six-loss season in 2006. The team, which had the longest current streak of being ranked in the AP Poll, fell from the AP Top 25 in 2006 for the first time in 10 seasons.
Most noticeable during the decline were the mounting losses to mediocre programs, the increase in home losses, and a persistently anemic offense.
Only a late season win over Boston College ensured that Miami would finish the season bowl eligible. Since 1983, Miami had failed to play in a bowl game just twice: in 1995, when the program served a one-year bowl suspension, and in 1997, when the Hurricanes, hampered by NCAA scholarship sanctions, finished just 5-6.
Considerable speculation about Larry Coker's job status began to swirl after Miami's loss to Louisville in the third game of the season, which only intensified after the midseason brawl against FIU and the team's four game losing streak late in the season.
As expected, Coker was dismissed on November 24, 2006, the morning after his Hurricanes closed the regular season with a 17-14 upset win over #18 Boston College. Coker will coach the team in its bowl game. As part of the terms of his contract, Coker will receive a buyout in the neighborhood of $2 to $3 million.