Gators Coach Interested in Renewing Hurricanes Rivalry at Neutral Site
The Miami Hurricanes and Florida Gators met on the football field every year for 49 years out of 50 until, as 'Canes fans are quick to tell you, the Gators decided to end the rivalry in '87. The two teams have only met a handful of times since, but it appears there's at least some discussion about future games if not a totally rekindled rivalry.
Gators head coach Will Muschamp has told media that there's been talk of a neutral-site game held in Orlando.
Will Muschamp said he and AD Jeremy Foley have had "very brief" talks about playing Miami in neutral site game, possibly Orlando.— Antonya English (@TBTimes_Gators) May 27, 2014
Will Muschamp said he would be in favor of neutral site game w/Miami— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) May 27, 2014
"That'd be really good for us and really good for the state of Florida," Muschamp previously said last week about the idea of rekindling the rivalry. "That's something Jeremy [Foley] and I have talked about."
"We have not had any definitive conversations except for a 10-second conversation with myself and Blake James in an AD's meeting," UF athletics director Foley said during a radio interview. "But perhaps down the road a neutral-site contest against Miami [could happen]. So it's not like we're shying away from competition."
Of course, since the series ended in '87, inter-conference football rivalries have become more and more difficult to schedule. UF plays an eight-game season in the SEC, and already has one out-of-conference yearly opponent in FSU. The Hurricanes also play eight games in the ACC, but do not have a regular out-of-conference opponent, but according to ACC rules must play at least one team from another power conference each year.
The two teams last met in a home-and-away, two-game series that concluded with a Miami victory last season, but are not scheduled to meet each other again. It would be a feat to schedule just semi-regular meetings between the teams, let alone a yearly rivalry.
In related news, it appears that the Hurricanes are close to once again scheduling games against cross-town "rivals" FIU. The two teams had meet twice in 2006 and 2007, but a bench-clearing fight in the '06 game caused future contests to be put on hold.