Army/Navy vs. Miami/Florida State
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  • The teams have met since 1890.

  • Army leads the series, 49-47-6.

  • This year's game will be played on Dec. 6 in Philadelphia.
  • The teams first played each other in 1951.

  • Miami leads the series 27-20.

  • Miami beat FSU this season, 22-14.
  • Army/Navy
    What would Nixon have done?
    In 1894, President Grover Cleveland held a special cabinet meeting to discuss football. Army-Navy football, in particular. Just a few months earlier, the contest had inspired brawls in the stands and a near-duel between a rear admiral and a retired general. Fearing for the reputation of the military academies, Cleveland's meeting resulted in a cancellation of the game.

    In 1899, President McKinley restored the gridiron rivalry.

    More than just a game
    In 1999, Navy safety Gary Lane gave Smithsonian magazine a taste of the game's importance. "I saw players crying in the locker room, the toughest guys I knew just blubbering like babies after we lost. And hugging the Army team even though we don't know any of them. Army-Navy is like playing your brother. You play harder, but you share something because you know what the other guy has been through."

    Good luck, boys. I've got an important game to see
    In 1926, Army and Navy saluted Chicago's spanking brand new Soldier Field by playing their game there. Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne clearly thought it was a big deal -- he skipped out of the Irish-Pitt matchup that day to spectate in Chicago. Meanwhile, Pitt upset the Irish, 19-0.

    War is hell
    During WWII, travel restrictions prevented the usual enormous cheering squads from going to away games. So in 1942, under orders from the Navy, some midshipmen filled the visitors stands in Annapolis and cheered for Army. In 1943, Army returned the favor.

    Cease fire!
    After Army won in 1944, Gen. Douglas MacArthur took a moment. As his troops battled in the Phillipines, he cabled Army's locker room. "We have stopped the war to celebrate your magnificent success," read the telegram.

    That 1944 game was a huge deal. Army's cadets could cheer on their squad again (they came by steamer to Baltimore, protected by five Navy destroyers). Army was great, featuring Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis, aka Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside. And if you bought tickets, you bought war bonds -- the game was used to raise money for the war effort. The gate ended up bringing in $58 million -- with single tickets going for more than $1,000 each and private boxes fetching $1 million.

    Aim for the pumpkin heads
    In 1962, Navy's receivers played the game in orange helmets, intended to increase their visibility as receiving targets. Navy won.

    And my leadership skills include
    Former presidential candidate H. Ross Perot pulled one of the all-time great pranks in Army-Navy history. In 1975, Perot, Navy class of 1953, managed to sneak into West Point chapel the night before, and serenaded the cadets with a few tunes from the belfry: "Anchors aweigh, my boys ," followed by "The Marine Hymn" and "Sailing, Sailing." Perot was captured by cadets and handed over to military police.
    --Jeff Merron

    Wide Right
    1. 1991: No. 2 Miami beat No. 1 Florida State 17-16 when FSU kicker Gerry Thomas missed a 34-yard field goal that sailed wide right at the buzzer. Miami overcame a 16-7 fourth-quarter deficit and went on to share the national title with Washington.

    2. 1992: No. 2 Miami held on for a 19-16 victory over No. 3 FSU when Dan Mowrey's 39-yard FG at the last second sailed wide right.

    3. 2000: Ken Dorsey led Miami on a 73-yard drive in the final 1:37 to give the No. 7 Hurricanes a 27-24 lead over the No. 1 Seminoles. FSU had a 49-yard FG to tie, but Matt Munyon's kicker missed ... wide right.

    Wide Left
    2002: Once again, FSU had a field goal attempt to win the game, but Xavier Beitia missed a 43-yarder with one second left. No. 1 Miami 28, No. 12 Florida State 27.

    "I don't want to work, I just want to bang on the drum all day"
    Beginning in the mid-1960s, Florida State students have beat drums for three days straight before the Miami matchup (they also do this for the Florida game). At noon on Wednesday, members of "Burning Spear," a school spirit organization, pound on a large bass drum, called the "Spirit Drum,"continuously until gametime. The drum-beaters work in four hour shifts.

    Enemies? Not really
    Mutual respect. Friendship. These are the kinds of words and phrases that float around before and after the game. One FSU fan summed the general feelings of both sides: "I've always been a respecter of Miami; I have absolutely no respect for Florida. I hate losing to Miami, but if they beat us I always root for them to run the table. But if Florida never wins another game, it will be too soon."
    --Jeff Merron


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    Ohio State/Michigan vs. USC/UCLA

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    Florida/Georgia vs. Auburn/Alabama

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