The greatest college football rivalry rarely played might make a comeback in 2019. The Miami Hurricanes and Florida Gators are reportedly very close to coming to terms to play each other again in a neutral-site matchup to open the 2019 season.
“We’re still looking on that game in Orlando with Miami. There’s a very good chance it will happen, but that’s not final yet,” Florida athletics director Jeremy Foley told the Gainesville Sun in the first direct comment from either school that talks are underway.
“We still have to dot some i’s and cross some t’s on that,” he added. “Hopefully, we’ll know something in the next couple of months.”
But don't get too excited: It will be, again, a one-off deal.
“As far as renewing the rivalry, playing them every year, that’s not on the agenda," he said.
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The Gators and Hurricanes played each other every year from 1938 to 1987 except for a World War II-prompted interruption in 1943.
The rivalry is the oldest in Florida college football. The Florida State Seminoles' first football season was in 1947, and they didn't play either Florida or Miami until the '50s.
Florida, citing the demands of the SEC schedule, called off the series in 1987. At the time, the Canes were at their '80s-era peak, and fans still remain deeply skeptical of that reasoning. The teams have met only six times since, with the last coming in 2013. That game was held as part of a delayed home-and-away two-game deal. The Hurricanes previously traveled to Gainesville in 2008.
The rivalry is also unique because each team holds the winning record in the other's home stadium. Though, they're tied 3-3 in neutral-site games. The 2019 event would be the tie-breaker. The game will likely be held in Orlando's Citrus Bowl.