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Five is Greater Than Three

The Hurricanes have a unique opportunity tonight plus looking back at the rich history of FSU/Miami.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

I can make this column into a circus of hyperbole and contrived cliches in an attempt to describe the big game.  Or we can talk about one of college football’s finest rivalries.

It’s simple. One year it’s played in Miami. One year it’s played in Tallahassee. No garbage about a neutral site or playing each other every five years because of other commitments.


Folks in Florida as well as all over the country mark this date on their calendar.

They circle it.

Bragging rights. Recruiting advantages. The significance of these programs perhaps at stake.

The Twitter chatter and smack talking between UM and FSU faithful ramps up significantly the weeks leading up to the game. Doesn’t much matter the circumstances. The back and forth is incessant, and it’s predictable.

Things are no different this year. In fact, with a renewed sense of National Championship swagger coming from Tally, the bickering is much more active than usual.

Whether it’s talk about crab legs, alleged rape and domestic violence, or comments about Thug U, Nevin Shapiro and the sarcastic “how about some relevance” chatter, this game brings out the best in the players.

And the worst from the fans.

Ugh. I hate all that off-the-field nonsense. It just takes away from the history of this rivalry and trivializes its’ importance for BOTH programs.

Those who defend the direction of the FSU program and how they’ve handled their discipline internally are the same folks that have spent a lifetime making generalizations about Miami based on perceptions.

A little too uncomfortable for folks to admit, perhaps. But that double standard cuts like a double-edged sword. Miami fans will always fall back on the argument, “Imagine if something like that happened to us”, when pointing out how other schools sweep their lack of discipline under the rug.

The funny thing they couldn’t be more right.

So when the bad boys are the Garnett and Gold of FSU, a program that has received much respect for decades from Hurricanes fans everywhere just for keeping us on their schedule, the low hanging fruit becomes difficult to pass up.

As much as I don’t care for all that stuff, these are the signs of a true rivalry.

Fans will leave no stone unturned. They make sure to bring up every little thing that stings. Miami fans are the best at reminding Seminoles of games past that hurt more than a dagger through the heart.

  • Missed two point conversion after blowing a 19-3 lead at Doak.

  • Rap videos proclaiming FSU greatness before playing their first game. Get your tails handed to you at the Orange Bowl, 31-0.

  • Beat Canes 24-10. Canes win National Championship anyway. Ouch!

  • Gerry Thomas. Wide Right.

  • Dan Mowrey. Wide Right II

  • Matt Munyon. Wide Right III

  • Xavier Beitia. Wide Left.

  • Xavier Beitia. Wide Right IV.

  • Ponder’s pass incomplete!

When the talk gets heated and both sides bark at each other and remind one another what fuels this rivalry to begin with, Canes fans go to their ace in the hole. They use the best argument of them all.

We have more National Championships than you.

(Drop the mic).

Simple. Poignant. Straight to the point.

Five will ALWAYS be greater than three. It sounds too simple, but when it comes to college football, that’s what makes the difference between being a storied program and being Vanderbilt.

This is the barometer all programs are judged by. Like it or not.

Noles can fight back and go to their low-hanging fruits and jabs at UM. Bad attendance. No ACC Championships. Four straight head to head wins against The U.

Yeah, I get it.

This is what makes a rivalry great.

FSU won the title last year and beat Miami down. Heck, they should be on top of the world. Oregon should have never jumped them this week.

But saying “FIVE IS GREATER THAN THREE” to a Seminole fan is eeirily similar to the obnoxious, surly big brother (UM) laughing loudly as he terrorizes his younger brother (FSU). Slaps him across the back of the head. Pokes fun at his mistakes. Reminding him he will always be the younger brother.

That synopsizes the relationship between the Hurricanes and Seminoles.

Nothing wrong with pointing out reality.  After all, look at the programs that we regard as historic and powerful.

Then look at their biggest rivalries.

Ultimately, in all of these rivalries the silent tension in the relationship falls back on the things that matter. (This is in no particular order)

  1. Who won last year?

  2. Who leads the series?

  3. Perception/Relevance

  4. Who has the most National Championships?

The alpha in every single one of these rivalries is the team that says, “we do”, to question #4.

He with the most rings, wins.

Think about it.

Look at some of college football’s biggest rivalries. They are generally controlled by the program with more national titles. Below are some of those rivalries. The stats in parenthesis are (total number of titles and the year of their most recent title).

Alabama (14-2012)/Auburn (2-2010) - Alabama leads 42-35-1

Michigan (11-1997)/Ohio State (7-2002) - Michigan leads 58-46-6

Notre Dame (11-1988)/USC (11-2004) - Notre Dame leads 45-35-5

Florida (3-2008)/Florida State (3-2013) - Florida leads 34-22-2

UCLA (1-1954)/USC (11-2004) - USC leads 46-30-7

Miami (5-2001)/Florida State (3-2013) - Miami leads 31-27

The Hurricanes have a unique opportunity on Saturday night. No, they can’t get back into the championship conversation.

But they can take FSU out of that conversation. No matter what has happened this season, the University of Miami can put a stop to Jameis Winston and the programs’ recent run of dominance.

Coach Al Golden, a stickler for the history of this program, understands the significance of a win. So does the fan base.

But most importantly, so do these players.

You can hear Larry “The Amigo’ Milian today doing his annual UM/FSU preview on “The Amigo Show” from 9-Noon EST on and on your TuneIn app.