In every preview it was mentioned that Florida has lost six consecutive games to Miami. It is a line that is a throwback to the dominant Miami teams of the 1980's and the Butch Davis-early Larry Coker era. It is also a line that makes Florida fans squirm because there is the unspoken acknowledgement of Galen Hall and Ron F. Zook. I've already cursed twice this morning at ESPN segments and ‘GameDay' being in Gainesville gives me chills because my first ‘GameDay' was as a freshman in 2002; the last time Miami was in town.
For Miami, this is another chance to reclaim something they think is theirs. Despite playing less football than Florida and being closer to Havana than Tallahassee, Miami's national championships keep it as the state's most dominant program. For a place ruled by Friday night lights, college football Saturdays and NFL on Sundays, Miami is still a brand name. With Randy Shannon, UM thinks they have found their Urban Meyer; an amateur psychologist who is trying to bring back a fallen power.
A win over Miami today can start to erase a blemish on the recent UF resume. For Miami, they can walk around with their heads held high in their replica jerseys. (Seriously, do they not sell UM polo shirts?) It doesn't help that among the state schools, Miami's fan base is the most absurd, with about 80% never attending the school. This absurdity also means a lost to them will be so crushing, they just might cry as they drive home in their tricked-out 1998 Honda Civic.
We will have more later today, including a primer of Championship Mode.