Florida versus Miami football named epic rivalry that needs comeback

The Miami football team has played Florida 56 times, the second most common opponent in Hurricanes history. Miami and Florida State have played 65 times. Brad Crawford of 247 Sports wrote, Epic college football rivalries that deserve comeback include Texas-Texas A&M, Florida-Miami.”

Florida defeated Miami 24-20 the last time the Gators and Hurricanes played in the 2019 season opener. Miami leads the all-time series with Florida 29-27. The Hurricanes defeated the Gators 19-7 in the first meeting in 1938 in Gainesville. Miami and Florida played every year from 1944 through 1987.

Florida and Miami stopped playing when the Southeastern Conference expanded its schedule from six to seven games in league play. The Gators and Hurricanes would not play again until Miami defeated Florida 37-20 in the 2001 Sugar Bowl. The night before the Sugar Bowl Florida and Miami players scuffled on Bourbon Street.

The Gator Flop in the 1971 game was another infamous moment in the Florida versus Miami football rivalry. The Florida defense allowed Miami to score a touchdown at the end of the game to get the ball back. Florida got the ball back for quarterback John Reeves to set the NCAA career passing record on the next drive.

“It’s hard to imagine these two agreeing to play on an annual basis considering that adds another difficult non-conference game to both programs’ already robust slates. Florida’s primary rival is Florida State while the Hurricanes and Seminoles also meet annually.

Florida and Miami played numerous heated matchups as rivals in the 1970s and ’80s, but have only played seven times since the turn of the century. Outside of a home-and-home from 2024-25, these natural rivals have nothing on the docket. Miami leads the competitive all-time series, 29-27.”

The more recent memorable game was in 2003. Miami rallied from a 33-10 deficit in the second half for a 38-33 win. Miami quarterback Brock Berlin who transferred from Florida led the Hurricanes to the win. Berlin at QB created more tension in that 2003 game at the Orange Bowl.

It could be debated that not playing every year increases the intensity of the rivalry between Florida and Miami. The Hurricanes will open the 2024 season in Gainesville. Florida will play at Miami on September 20, 2025. Miami has a Power Five non-conference opponent scheduled through the 2032 season.

The expansion of the College Football Playoff could make it more likely that Florida and Miami play in the future. Florida and Miami are both rebuilding entering their second seasons under Billy Napier and Mario Cristobal. After disappointing first years under Napier and Cristobal, both programs are expected to improve in 2023.