Miami football can set most wins versus number one with victory over Alabama

Nov 11, 2017; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 11, 2017; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football program enters their 2021 season opener against Alabama tied for first with the Crimson Tide and Notre Dame with nine victories all-time against the number one team in the country. Alabama will almost certainly enter the 2021 season ranked number one. Miami last defeated number one Florida State in 2000.

Miami last played a number one team in a 42-17 loss to Clemson in 2020. The Hurricanes’ previous outing against a number one team prior to 2020 was a 38-3 loss to the Tigers in 2017. Alabama last defeated a number one team when they defeated Clemson 24-6 in the Sugar Bowl that was the College Football Playoff semifinal.

Notre Dame tied Alabama and Miami with nine wins against number teams after defeating Clemson 47-40 in double overtime in 2020. Miami defeated Notre Dame 27-10 in 1989 the only time they played the number one Fighting Irish. Miami moved from seventh to eventually win its third National Championship in 1989.

Notre Dame defeated the number one Miami football team 31-30 in 1988 in the Catholics versus Convicts game following a phantom fumble call on Hurricanes running back Cleveland Gary. The Fighting Irish eventually won the 1988 National Championship. That loss prevented Miami from winning three straight National titles.

"MIAMI | 9Most recent: vs. Florida State, 2000For most of the 2000s, Miami stood alone for most wins all-time wins over AP No. 1 opponents in college football history until another program rapidly caught and surpassed the Hurricanes.Seven of the program’s nine all-time wins over top-ranked teams came in the 1980s, including the Hurricanes’ Orange Bowl Game win over Nebraska in January 1984 that brought the program its first national title.Miami would defeat a No. 1 team in the Orange Bowl to win yet another national title in January 1988 — Oklahoma this time the victim — and in 1989, it would be role reversal from the year prior as the Hurricanes knocked off top Notre Dame in South Florida in the final week of the regular season, spoiling the Irish’s chances at back-to-back national titles."

Miami lost both games to Alabama when either team entered the game ranked number one. Alabama demolished Miami 36-0 in Tuscaloosa. Former Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Howard Schnellenberger was in his first season as the Miami head coach on his way to laying the foundation for a dynasty.

The summary of the biggest Miami wins above came from a 247 Sports articleCollege football programs with the most wins vs. AP No. 1 opponents.”  The second meeting between Alabama and Miami matching a number one team was in the 1993 Sugar Bowl. Number one Miami against Number two Alabama.

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The Crimson Tide whooped the Hurricanes 34-13 three years after Miami earned a 33-25 Sugar Bowl win to earn the 1989 National Championship. Miami will be a significant underdog when they play the Crimson Tide in Atlanta on September 4 to open the 2021 season. A win can re-define the Miami football program.