For the third straight year, Miami and Florida State will meet with no national title implications.
In this rivalry, that is a major drought.
This is the rivalry that brought you Wide Right I. And Wide Right II. And Wide Right III. And Wide Left I.
This is the rivalry that features the five-time champion Hurricanes against the Seminole program that finished 14 straight seasons ranked in the top five of the final AP poll.
15 national championship games have featured one of these teams.
These two juggernauts played ESPN’s most watched college football game ever in 2006, a year when both programs truly began their slide.
This rivalry has featured Ray Lewis and Derrick Brooks. Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin. Vinny Testaverde and Charlie Ward. Michael Barrow knocked out Tamarick Vanover in 1993. Ed Reed led a comeback with a separated shoulder in 2001, four years after being blasted 47-0 by the same Seminoles.
This is the rivalry that legends are made of.
It has a slightly different tone to it. No one in this game is an All-American. It will not be played in primetime. Miami is coming off a loss to North Carolina. Florida State is coming off a sloppy win against Colorado.
In this rivalry’s prime, neither would have gotten within three touchdowns. And that is being nice.
So what is the point of this article?
I assure you this is not supposed to be a history lesson. Everyone can pick up a book and read this stuff. Instead, this article is a bit of propaganda. It is also a bit of a warning.
Do not miss this game.
Even though the stakes are lower than usual, the game itself promises to be more of the same.
These are two young teams on the rise. In two years, the same guys will still be on the field, but the implications will be national in their scope.
Last year, two diminished squads played a classic in Tallahassee. Kirby Freeman took the Canes down the entire field in three plays for the win. Kirby Freeman?!
It is true that this game is devoid of superstars. However, that just means that someone will seize the spotlight.
Maybe this is the start of the Robert Marve-Christian Ponder rivalry. Maybe this is the last time the Canes go up against the legendary Bobby Bowden.
Amongst all these “ifs,” one thing that is for sure is that it is the first time the rivalry will be played since the Canes left the Orange Bowl.
The game may be lacking for headlines, but it is not lacking for meaning.
I know where I will be on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Watching a rivalry like no other, unfold in all its glory.
I suggest you do the same.