The University of Miami and Florida State University face off for 59th edition of college football's greatest rivalry next weekend. Oh yeah, I went there. The greatest. There are longer-running rivalries than Miami-FSU, rivalries that include schools geographically closer than Coral Cables and Tallahasse, and rivalries that involve schools that straight-up hate each other more, but there is no rivalry that is better.
Yes, you heard me. The Miami Hurricanes versus Florida State Seminoles is the greatest college football rivalry of them all, and this is why.
1.UM-FSU is basically NFL-light.
Seventy-seven active NFL players went to either FSU or Miami, and that's just absurd. You could literally split those seventy-seven players into two legitimate NFL teams, and play a game complete with dudes who just played special teams. The NFL could replace the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Jacksonville Jaguars with these two split-squad UM-FSU teams and actually improve its product.
Hey, if your thing is watching future car salesmen tackle future quarterback coaches, Miami-FSU might not be for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy watching the most talented young men in the sport battle guys they will face-off against at the next level for years to come, you may fancy yourself some Canes-Seminoles.
2. The best moments of this rivalry happened in your lifetime, not Babe Ruth's.
Saying the best rivalry is one that saw it's best days with Woodrow Wilson in office is like like saying you would rather watch Happy Days than Breaking Bad. If your rivalry includes pictures of leather helmets with a stadium full of fans wearing suits and ties, good for you, but that doesn't make it somehow better.
FSU-Miami only got going in the early '80s, and was the premier rivalry for the following two-plus decades, with a seemingly classic moment every single year. Even in the down years, the teams have been relatively relevant, with FSU recently finding it's way back to the top of the college football world.
3. Since 1983, Miami and FSU combine for one-fourth of the College Football National Championships
Eight titles in 31 years, that's what UM and FSU have accomplished in the last three-decades. Pretty impressive. When you judge a rivalry you have to take into account what the two teams are ultimately playing for, and since 1983 that something has consistently been to decide which team continues to compete for the National Championship. The eight titles are impressive, but there could have easily been more, with the two teams combining for three BCS Championship game losses.
More often that not since the early '80s, the National Championship has run through these two teams, making their rivalry an annual playoff game of sorts.
4. While UM-FSU is still a young rivalry, it has more than it's fair share of classic college football moments.
Between the storied "Wide Right" games (I,II,II, and IV), "Wide Left", The "Miami Muff", and numerous other classic moments, the UM-FSU series has produced incredible drama in such a short period of time. As stated above, all of those moments had more than just bragging rights on the line, they have National Championship implications.
To this day, whenever a kick in any football goes wide right of the goal posts, UM-FSU is the first thing to enters peoples minds. College football grew tremendously well from the '80s to present, and a lot of that has to do with the annual drama UM-FSU was sure to deliver every year.
5. Everyone, including the fans, could have easily been on the other side of the rivalry.
Without a doubt, Florida high school football, and the kids that come out of those schools, is second-to-none. Every top recruit in Florida has UF,FSU, or Miami on their potential school list, probably all of them. Kids have to decide if they want to join their High School teammate at a school, or try to kick his ass at the rival in a few months. While rivalries like Michigan-Ohio State might contain a lot of familiar faces, nothing outside of Auburn-Alabama compares familiarity wise.
The Florida State Seminoles visit the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday, November 15, at Sun Life Stadium, kickoff is set for 8 p.m. on ABC.