Hurricanes Now Tied With UCF As Florida's Third Most Popular College Football Team

Just like our actual hurricane seasons, the Miami Hurricanes football season has been pretty uneventful for the past few years. The team hasn't been in the National Championship discussion for more than a decade and hasn't won a conference championship since they were part of the Big East. Three coaches have come and gone in the time since the team's 2001 championship, and in the meantime both FSU and Florida have claimed their own titles since then. 

Football allegiances in Florida appear to be shaky at best, with many fans asking "What have you done for me lately?" So perhaps it's no surprise that the Miami Hurricanes are in danger of losing their historic spot as Florida's third most popular college football team. The surging UCF Knights now tie with the 'Canes in a recent poll.

Florida is still the most popular team in the game with 23 percent of respondents picking the Gators as their favorite squad in a recent Public Policy Polling survey. Florida State, just a season removed from a national championship, isn't far behind with 22 percent. 

Then it's a large gap in popularity after the big two, with the 'Canes and Knights are now tied in third with 10 percent. South Florida is fifth with 8 percent. FAU manages to snag 4 percent, and poor FIU gets only 1 percent. 

The Knights, meanwhile, are also just one season removed from a historic upset in the BSC Fiesta Bowl over Baylor, and again last year were American Athletic Conference Co-Champions. UCF is also the biggest university in the state by student size, so their growing popularity isn't that surprising. 

The poll also asked Miami fans to pass judgement on the job head coach Al Golden is doing. Thirty-eight percent say they approve, and 18 percent disapprove. Fifty-one percent aren't sure. 

"Al Golden's approval ratings with Miami fans have dropped a good bit over the last year and a half," reports PPP. "In September 2013 he was at a 58/13 spread with them, but that's now declined to 38/12."

Elsewhere, the poll once again confirmed the sad fact that neither the Tampa Bay Rays or Miami Marlins are Florida's favorite MLB team. Seventeen percent of Floridians root for the Atlanta Brave and 14 percent for the New York Yankees. The Marlins and Rays get 12 and 11 percent of Florida's fan base respectively.
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Kyle Munzenrieder