Miami football built dynasty with wins against Bobby Bowden and FSU

TALLAHASSEE, FL - SEPTEMBER 07: (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
TALLAHASSEE, FL - SEPTEMBER 07: (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images) /

The Florida State versus Miami football games from the 1980s through the early 2000s decided multiple national championships and help build a Hurricanes dynasty. The arrival of Bobby Bowden in Tallahassee in 1976 was the beginning of an incredible run for the Florida State, Miami and Florida football programs.

Three years after Bowden arrived in the Sunshine State capital Howard Schnellenberger took over in Coral Gables. Bowden led Florida State to berths in the 1980 and 1981 Orange Bowls. Bowden died on Sunday at 91 only a few months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Miami and Bowden will be bound in eternity.

Following one of 21 losses in 35 games Bowden coached against Miami he stated “When I die, they’ll chisel on my tombstone, BUT HE PLAYED MIAMI.’’ The quote was in reference to other programs like Florida, Notre Dame and Penn State dropping Miami. Florida State and Miami have played every season since 1966.

Miami leads the overall series 33-30. The Hurricanes carry a four-game winning streak into the 2021 season. Bowden began his FSU tenure with consecutive wins over Miami. The Hurricanes won the next two. The first was the last season under Lou Saban and the second one in the first season under Schnellenberger.

The Miami Florida State rivalry took on national importance when the Hurricanes defeated the Seminoles 17-16 in the final game of the 1983 regular season to clinch a berth in the Orange Bowl. The victory over FSU  led to the 31-30 Miami upset win over Nebraska in Orange Bowl to win its first National Championship.

Bowden won two National Championships in 34 seasons with Florida State and the Miami football program five. When Miami played Florida State during the peak of the rivalry from 1983-2002, the game often decided national titles. The exhilarating wide rights by FSU are among the most famous games in the rivalry.

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Bowden coached against four Miami National title teams and three Hurricanes coaches who left for the NFL. Bowden retired after the 2009 season with 357 wins, 124 losses, and four ties. At Florida State, Bowden finished 315-98-4. More than a fifth of Bowden’s losses were to Miami at FSU. May his memory be a blessing.