Gators to open 2019 season against Miami

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Several months ago, a report surfaced that Florida and Miami were close to signing a deal to play each other in 2019.

Not much has been spoken about the topic since then- except for one sudden revival of the conversation two months ago. That was when the Palm Beach Post’s CanesWatch reported that Miami athletic director Blake James has confirmed that the two sides continue to discuss the potential renewal of the rivalry in 2019. But after that, the subject died again.

Until today.

It’s now official, so let’s put it up with some fanfare: the Florida Gators and Miami Hurricanes will play each other on the football field once again. The game will be played in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando to kick off the 2019 season.

Florida and Miami, as most of us know, used to face each other annually in a rivalry that was anything but pleasant. Some of the fonder memories of the series include Florida players jumping into the swimming pool at the old Orange Bowl to celebrate their quarterback, John Reaves, breaking the NCAA passing record, Miami coach Howard Schnellenberger running up the score with a late field goal and Florida coach Urban Meyer doing the same thing three decades later.

But since Florida backed out of the series in 1987, (yes, as a Gator fan, I will accept responsibility for that. It was shameful.) the teams have met sparingly: home and home series in 2002/2003 and 2008/2013, plus one meeting in a Sugar Bowl and another in a Peach Bowl. That’s it. I’d love to play the Hurricanes every year, especially since the SEC elected to keep its eight game conference schedule instead of adding a ninth, because it’s the type of big game that the players came to Florida to play in. And, you know, Presbyterian isn’t.

In any case, I’m just glad to see the two sides talking about playing each other again, let along actually signing pen to paper about it. I don’t really think Jeremy Foley liked how the 2013 game went at all, not just in terms of losing the game but also in terms of the atmosphere. The would explain why he doesn’t want to schedule home and home series with Miami anymore. But playing them on a neutral field is better than not playing them at all, especially since the Gators figure to have at least a 65/35 advantage in terms of fans (pretty much all other fan bases have accepted Miami as an e-fanbase) in the Citrus Bowl.

So, Jeremy Foley and Blake James: job well done.

4 thoughts on “Gators to open 2019 season against Miami

  1. What about the atmosphere do you figure Foley did not like? The neighborhood around the stadium or the behavior of the Miami fans?

    Stupid Driskel gave that game away.

    1. I don’t think he liked anything about playing in SunLife. UF had a lot of fans, and apparently they weren’t treated very well in and outside of the stadium. And it turned out to be a noon game without the viewing audience he anticipated. As much as he’d like to have a home environment for every game, I think he would have rather seen a rowdy environment one way or another. That’s a great recruiting tool. This game was not.

      1. Miami fans don’t go to see the game. They go because UF or FSU is an “event.” It’s always been that way, and it was even more so in the Orange Bowl. The majority of fans go to make life difficult for UF or FSU, not cheer for Miami. I just think Foley is a baby. If you can’t handle the pressure of a Miami game, how can you expect to be a champion? The game should always be home and home, and the fact that UF is scared to play Miami at their house is an embarrassment. UF might be able to recruit better if they play Miami. Miami IS the number one team UF players want to play. It’s apparent that Randy Shannon is not respected in South Florida. His record in the two years at UF at getting players from there is dismal.

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