Miami football Florida State rivalry used to be CFB dream matchup

Nov 2, 2019; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 2, 2019; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports /

More than thirty years before Duke played North Carolina in the Final Four on Saturday, Florida State and the Miami football team had annual games with a nearly similar impact on the National Championship. In four of its five National Championship seasons, Miami defeated Florida State.

In their 1983, 1987 and 1991 championship seasons, the Miami football team defeated Florida State by one point each year. Florida State defeated Miami 24-10 in 1989 when Miami won its third national championship. Miami beat Florida State 49-27 during their 2001 epic title season.

Florida State and Miami was one of four rivalries that Bill Bender of the Sporting News asked “Which dream College Football Playoff matchup equals Duke-North Carolina in Final Four?  It’s difficult to equate college football to the NCAA Tournament. The CFP has four teams compared to the 68 team NCAA Tournament.

Between 1983 and 2001, Florida, Florida State and Miami combined for eight national championships. Miami won five of those, Florida State two and Florida one. When Miami played Florida State in the 1980s and 1990s, those games usually decided national championships. There wasn’t an option for redemption.

"A Florida-Florida State-Miami combo “Since the NCAA tournament expanded in 1985, Duke and North Carolina have combined for 10 national championships. Florida, Florida State and Miami have combined for 10 national championships in football in the same stretch.These games were NFL scouting combines that masqueraded as top-10 matchups for most of the 1990s and 2000s. It was appointment television, but we know the problem. The Florida-Florida State Sugar Bowl in 1997 was a national championship rematch, but it turned into a 52-20 blowout.These rivalries have faded from the national consciousness because all three are in various rebuilding phases. Mike Norvell, Billy Napier and Mario Cristobal all are trying to restore that past glory.”"

Auburn versus Alabama, Ohio State against Michigan and the annual game between Oklahoma and Texas at the Cotton Bowl were the only rivalries that Bender compared to Duke playing North Carolina in the Final Four. If Cristobal can elevate what has been expected of Miami, a rivalry with Clemson with national importance can emerge.

National website projects Miami Cotton Bowl berth. dark. Next

Clemson owned the ACC from 2015 through 2020. The Tigers went 51-1 in the conference in those six seasons. Clemson has blowout Miami in their last three meetings. If Miami is going to become a factor in the ACC they have to be able to become competitive with Clemson. Miami plays at Clemson on November 19.