There's a "very good chance" that Florida and Miami will meet in Orlando in 2019, according to Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley, who also told The Gainesville Sun on Wednesday that he is "confident" such a game will happen.
Foley's comments to Robbie Andreu of the Sun come a day after Florida coach Jim McElwain was asked about seeing the Hurricanes again at a speaking engagement on the UF campus put on by Florida's ACCENT student speakers bureau. "It's not something that we're dodging," McElwain told a crowd of thousands on Tuesday night, confirming that "it's something we've talked about."
That prompted Foley to speak to Andreu, and say things that make it sound as though the only things standing between the Gators and 'Canes meeting again in a one-off game are signatures on paper.
"We’re still looking on that game in Orlando with Miami. There’s a very good chance it will happen, but that’s not final yet," Foley said. "As far as renewing the rivalry, playing them every year, that’s not on the agenda."
"I’m confident it will happen," Foley said. "We still have to dot some i’s and cross some t’s on that. Hopefully, we’ll know something in the next couple of months."
Of course, this is little different from reports from last October that Florida and Miami were "close" to a deal to meet at the Citrus Bowl in 2019, except for Foley — who ultimately wields a bit more leverage than Miami athletic director Blake James in this situation, given Miami's unrequited eagerness to add Florida to its schedule — being the one speaking on the topic.
The status quo on future Florida-Miami meetings, even since the final game between the two teams was played in 2013, has been more or less the same: Miami is down for it, Florida is down on it, and the twain shall only meet if terms are agreeable to the Gators.
I don't think anyone truly believes Florida and Miami won't eventually meet in Orlando in 2019 at this point, but it's also true that incremental progess hardly constitues news.