AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- Miami and Florida once played an annual rivalry game, one that has only appeared intermittently over the past few years.
The meeting between the two schools set for Sept. 7 could be the last one for a good, long while. Miami athletic director Blake James said during the ACC spring meetings that he has not had any discussions with Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley about extending the series.
"This is a game that’s been on the schedule and we’re thrilled to be hosting them in South Florida," James said. "With that said, I haven’t spoken with Jeremy or the University of Florida about future games and I don’t know how it would fit into their schedule or fit into ours right now. There hasn’t been any conversation and there isn’t anything on the schedule for the future."
That really is too bad, although not unexpected. The two schools previously met annually between 1938-87 but have played only five times since then. Two were in bowl games. Their meeting this season will complete just their second home-and-home series since 1987. Essentially, Florida's nonconference scheduling logistics have hurt this rivalry game.
The Gators already have Florida State as an annual nonconference game, and Foley prefers to fill the other open nonconference slots with home games. Florida rarely plays a nonconference game away from home, much less out of state. Indeed, of the future Florida opponents already announced, the only nonconference road game is in Tallahassee.
Miami, meanwhile, already has future nonconference home-and-home games set with Nebraska, Rutgers and Michigan State and also plays at Notre Dame as part of the three-year league rotation in 2016.
Looking into the future, there also remains the possibility that the SEC will move to a nine-game league schedule. If that happens, well the chances of Miami and Florida playing again in the regular season are reduced even further. Especially with Florida-Florida State a mainstay. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher remained confident nothing would happen to the Florida-Florida State game if the SEC adds another conference contest.
"I doubt that game will ever be affected because I think one of the criteria for getting in the final four is strength of schedule, which is why we’re changing our schedule," Fisher said. "Whether they have nine or we have eight only enhances that ability and it makes the results of that game even greater."