The Florida Gators and Miami Hurricanes are playing each other for the first time since 2003 this season, reviving what seems to be a pretty natural rivalry that should be played much more often than every ten seasons in the regular season. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be any chance future games will be lined up any time soon.
As FBSchedules.com notes today, the two schools have not held any discussions to extend the series. Part of the reason for that should be the changing landscape of the college football universe, in which the ACC will be playing nine games and
It will always be difficult to get Florida to agree to any such series to be a part of their non-conference schedule. For years the biggest argument has been the Gators already play one of the more challenging schedules in the country thanks to being a part of the SEC and having an annual game at the end of the regular season with Florida State. That leaves three non-conference games to try and boost the overall win total for the Gators, which they have taken advantage of filling more often than not by playing at home in Gainesville. There really is no reason to be too upset with a big time program looking to fill their stadium as much as they can. With an alternating home-away schedule with the Seminoles, playing road games in the other three non-conference games is always going to be off the table unless ESPN can step in and provide a healthy paycheck for one of those early season neutral site games.
This season the Gators can afford to play on the road at Miami because they get Florida State at home. Unfortunately, Florida always seems to load up on cupcakes. Next season Florida will host Idaho, Eastern Michigan and FCS Eastern Kentucky. In 2015 the Gators host New Mexico State and Florida Atlantic in addition to Florida State. In 2016 Florida will host UMass and North Texas.
Florida is not the only program that schedules like this, but for some reason they are always seen as one of the worst offenders, again in spite of having Florida State on the schedule. At some point I wonder if Florida State will seek a way out of the annual match-up, as the ACC moves to nine games and includes Notre Dame on a conference-wide rotation. Hey, if there’s one thing we have learned throughout the on-going realignment process it may be that rivalries ultimately mean nothing.
West Virginia vs. Pittsburgh. Oklahoma vs. Nebraska. Texas vs. Texas A&M. Heck, even in the SEC we have seen some historic rivalries take a back seat to expansion. Who is to say if those rivalries can be put by the wayside that the same might not happen to Florida vs. Florida State some day?
For now though, I want more Florida vs. Miami. I would love to see some sort of three-way trophy awarded to the winner of the Florida-Florida State-Miami series similar in fashion to the Commander In Chief’s Trophy between Army, Air Force and Navy. And if the power conferences are going to break off and form their own division, why not arrange for more Florida-Miami?
Let’s make this happen.