Florida, Miami Inching Closer to Renewing Series (in Orlando?)

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It’s too early to fly the “Mission Accomplished” flag, but at least we know that my “Save the Florida-Miami rivalry” piece reached the people it needed to.

(That, or said people had the brains to reach my sentiments on their own.)

In any case, I’ve seen numerous people report that Miami athletic director Blake James has been in discussions with Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley about future games. However, the discussions were very general. There were no dates or cities thrown on the table as official proposals, though a neutral site game in Orlando (The Citrus Bowl, which seats 65K, is not my first choice but it’s better than nothing) appears to be the favorite in terms of a mutually agreeable way to see this game happen again.

From what I’ve put together, what happened was something like this. James expressed interest in playing Florida to Foley. Foley asked what James had in mind, and James said he’d like to have a home and home series. Foley must have done or said something that suggested less than total satisfaction with the idea of playing annually, and counter-offered a one time, neutral site game. James then said that he’d prefer a home and home, but a neutral site game would be something he’d support, too.

Here’s where it all gets tricky. It’s clear that Miami needs this rivalry more than Florida does. Don’t get me wrong, I want to play Miami as badly as any other Gator fan possibly could. But now that I see talks have been started, I have to backtrack a little bit and point out one thing: we Gators only want to play the Canes. We don’t need to. Miami needs to play Florida to help boost recruiting and name brand, both of which have been irreparably sunk for the near future with the Nevin Shapiro scandal. It would be GREAT to play the Hurricanes every year, because winning would mean rubbing their noses in it and walking away with a trophy (unless they decide to be immature little children again and not give Florida the trophy when Florida wins) and bragging rights. But it wouldn’t help our program as much as it would help Miami.

What that means is this: Miami AD Blake James will, especially in the event that talks stall, be the initiator here. He’s got to make the perfect proposal. Jeremy Foley isn’t going to be likely to compromise, so whatever James thinks is the most realistic option that Foley would accept is, he has to put on the table. James has to cater to Foley’s demands and do anything within reason that he suggests. If Foley wants to just play one time, then so be it; from Miami’s perspective, that’s better than not playing at all. Each game with Florida helps Miami x amount, and while Blake (and I) would love to play the UF-Miami rivalry every year, he’ll take any game with Florida he can get.

I’ve never rooted for Miami to win anything except against FSU, and even against FSU I find myself reluctant to do so. That’s what makes a good rivalry, and that’s why this game needs to be played again. And that’s why I find myself rooting for Miami’s AD here.

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10 thoughts on “Florida, Miami Inching Closer to Renewing Series (in Orlando?)

  1. I disagree with the notion that Miami needs it for their brand more than Florida.

    First off, “The U” is a brand of its own and ESPN is not doing 30 for 30 on the Gators, nevermind a part 2.

    Secondly, the Miami area is a hotbed of talent and has no shortage of players wanting to play for The U. As far as recruiting, Shapiro pales in comparison to Aaron Hernandez.

    Miami benefits from this game in terms of attendance as a private institution. Miami’s cache is that it is Miami.

  2. “Never a Nole”…I’ll root for Miami as if they’re the Gators whenever they play F$U (insert exaggeration here). Playing Miami on a neutral field would have to mean the FL/GA becomes a home-away series, right? I am not OK with that at all. Having that game in Jacksonville is on of the greatest traditions in the SEC, if not all of college football. And the last time we went to Sanford Stadium in ’95, Spurrier dropped a 50 bomb on them. I’m cool with that being our last visit.

    I would love to play Miami. I went to the games in ’02 and ’08 and the atmosphere was The Swamp at its finest. But I would rather do a home-away series with them, and play ever 2-4 years. Like you said, we don’t need Miami on our schedule…typically, we’ll be in the NCG even with 1 loss. Why add another potential L to the schedule if you don’t have to?

    I’m split both ways on this one, and damn I want some payback on those scUMbags.

  3. It’s all about the money. The U won’t play in the Swamp and we can’t afford to give up a home game (Even if it’s St. Mary’s School for the Blind). Orlando is too small and Tampa Bay is not very neutral.

    I’d like to go to a 14 team – 6 conference set-up (84 teams). All with Championship Games. 6 Champs + 2 wild cards. 4 play offs – 2 Semis – 1 Championship. The season could start in mid August with the playoffs in December.

    Then all the teams could drop the fluff games, all the Bowls would mean something, and UF could play the U.

  4. T how many people go to Pre-Season NFL Games?

    School starts this year on August 25. The season could start the Saturday before.

  5. Orlando is a smallish stadium. Tampa might be better.

    I’d like to see Home and Home and scheduled to alternate with FSU. I would also like to add UCF and USF from time to time.

    And T, a vast amount of the fans are students? – Really? Have you seen how empty the student section is at times?

    Come August, fans are starving for football. Why do you think the opening game in D1 keeps being pushed up earlier every year? – TV MONEY.

    If the game is scheduled with two good opponents, real fans would show up in July.

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