To a Miami Hurricanes fan like me, there is no other game that I look forward to more each season than the one that the Canes play against in-state rival Florida State. The Miami Hurricanes and the Florida State Seminoles have played 56 times, and, fairly often, one or both teams have been ranked quite high when the game took place, leading to some unreal games with even more unreal endings.
However, as of late both the Hurricanes and the Seminoles are mere shells of the once great programs that they were. Even though I still love to watch the matchup, it does seem as though the rivalry has lost its luster, at least as a national appeal.
Becoming a Non-Issue
Past seasons have seen the two mighty programs face-off while being highly ranked, making the winner much more apt to end up contending for a national title down the road. Such was the case in 1991 when the two teams entered the game as the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country. The game was hard-fought until the end when FSU missed a field goal with only seconds left on the clock in a game that would later be dubbed "wide right." The Hurricanes went on that year to go undefeated and win the national title.
Sadly, it has been some time since the Miami-FSU game meant much as far as the national title picture was concerned. For example, last season, the Hurricanes entered the game at just 5-4 while the Seminoles were only 6-3. While the 23-19 win probably meant a good deal to the Seminole fans, the rest of the nation probably wasn't even watching.
Rebuilding on Both Sides
FSU had long-time coaching great Bobby Bowden replaced by Jimbo Fisher in 2010, which has meant a rebuilding of sorts and a whole new era for the Seminoles. Though unreal in their first season with Fisher as the head coach, going 10-4 and finishing the season ranked 16th in the polls, the Seminoles had a bit of slippage last season after starting with high hopes. So, the rebuilding with the Seminoles continues.
The Hurricanes have not only dealt with a new head coach in Al Golden, but they are also dealing with a lot of drama brought on by former booster Nev Shapiro. Thanks to the allegations brought to light from Shapiro, the Hurricanes now face looming NCAA sanctions. When it's all added up it means that the rebuilding at the University of Miami will likely go on for some time.
Might Be Awhile
While both teams have had huge success in the past, it might be years before both are in the position to be contending for national titles once again. So, for the time being at least, the heated rivalry that exists between Miami and Florida State will only be pertinent to fans of the two schools. Hopefully, the time will come when the two schools become powerhouses in the world of college football once more. But until then, their in-state rivalry will have to stay in-state.
Jimmy Collins has been a loyal fan of "The U" since he was a child attending games at the original Orange Bowl. Still a resident of South Florida, he attends numerous Miami Hurricanes games each season and enjoys writing about NCAA Football and the Miami Hurricanes in particular.
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