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Hurricanes Football Hypothetical: Who Should be on Miami’s Schedule Sooner Than Later

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SOTU is summer dreaming about some matchups that we’d like to see become a reality.

NCAA Football: Orange Bowl-Wisconsin vs Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Being an Athletic Director at any school is a tough gig. Being the AD at the University of Miami is no exception. Yes, you work where most of America dreams of vacations, yet it comes with plenty of responsibility and demands from a multitude of voices—from donors and alumni to students and fans. For what it’s worth, James Blake has done a commendable job of running the program. Recently, the Hurricanes came to an agreement to host UAB for a non-conference game in the 2020 season. The news was greeted with mixed reactions. To the detractors, lets not forget that Miami will start the 2018 season against LSU and are scheduled to play the Gators for the first time since 2013, as well as face Michigan State in 2020 along with UAB and Temple. And, Miami has that 2021 game against Alabama, so the ’Canes will get their share of out-of-conference competition.

Perusing the future schedule did spark our interest into a hypothetical: Who should the ’Canes look to schedule against in the future?

One of the bonuses about following the Hurricanes is that they will play anyone, anywhere. However, as time goes on and our memory banks get filled, it begins to blur and fade that Miami has played the Texas Longhorns, Oklahoma Sooner and Texas A&Ms not that long ago. We also used to play another in-state rival before excuses were made not to play the Hurricanes more often. Fortunately for ’Canes fans, the Miami Notre Dame rivalry lives on—and so that succulent 41–8 victory will be forever remembered. Miami’s dance card is filled up for at least four years down the road, but there’s nothing wrong with helping out The U figure out some dream matches to negotiate down the line.

Florida

D.J. Williams celebrates sack of Ingle Martin Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

All-Time Series | Miami leads with 29 wins and 26 losses

Miami’s Most Recent Win 2013 (21–16)

Florida’s Most Recent Win 2008 (26–3)

The animosity between these two programs is still as healthy as ever. Few programs take pride in seeing the other stumble than these two Sunshine State rivals. Yet, for a feud that is bitter and much contested among fanbases, it’s a shame that contests between the two, at least on the gridiron, is few and far between. After the 1987 ’Canes took it to the Gators to the tune of 31–4, the two teams didn’t play again until 2001! Following four straight losses in as many seasons to Miami from 2001 through 2004, the teams took a four year hiatus before playing again in 2008. As was mentioned earlier, after last having played in 2013, fans finally will get to brag about another edition of the series.

Interestingly enough, Miami still has the Seminole War Canoe, the six-foot long canoe fashioned from a 200 year-old cypress tree that was struck by lightning according to a description by the Miami Herald. UM fans can see the canoe at UM Sports Hall of Fame, where it has resided after the rivalry became less frequent. With a few more game set up in the future, could we see the canoe put back up for grabs?

USC

All-Time Series | Tied 1–1

Miami’s Most Recent Win 1966 (10–7)

USC’s Most Recent Win 1968 (28-3)

This is a bit of a stretch, both geographically and theoretically. The Hurricanes have not played the Trojans since 1968, long before some of us were even a thought in our parents’ minds. What both programs share, aside from high expectations from their fan base, is their home field. Both have an NFL franchises, the Dolphins for Miami, Rams for USC sharing the same facilities. There is also a rich history of success and marketability for programs that are located in the epicenter of some of the largest populous in the country. USC sits in the center of the second biggest market in Los Angeles, and has the good fortune of being in one of the most fertile recruiting areas in the nation. Hmm, does this sound familiar, ’Canes familia?

Most recently, USC has scheduled home-and-home series with Alabama and Texas. With the program having no qualms about rewinding their game clock a couple hours to play on eastern standard time, there’s little concern about the three hour time difference. Meaning there should be one less barrier between making a match between two of the college football’s most recognizable programs.

Michigan

All-Time Series | Tied 1–1

Miami’s Most Recent Win 1988 (31–30)

Michigan Most Recent Win 1984 (22–14)

Another blue blood of the sport that Miami has not faced in over two decades is the Michigan Wolverines. Even though we’re playing Michigan State, it would be interesting to see if ‘Big Brother’ wants in on the action. The Wolverines are always in the spotlight, most recently when they were the focus of a Season With… produced by Amazon. It’s hard to imagine what the program will look like years down the road. Maybe Jim Harbaugh and Mark Richt would be calling the game from the sidelines? However, if it were to come true, it would be two of the biggest names in the sport battling it out with one another. With the home-and-home, it would be incredible to see Miami take the field in the big house in their road jerseys, encircled by over 100,000 dressed in blue and maize garb. The game would make for a decent road trip for ’Canes fans who don’t reside in the South Florida.

Georgia

All-time series | Georgia leads with 7 wins, one tie and 4 losses

Miami’s Most Recent Win 1966 (7–6)

Georgia Most Recent Win 1963 (31–14)

No, this selection has little to do with Mark Richt’s history with the UGA, but his role in a future game wouldn’t hurt in the promotion of such. No, the reason that the Hurricanes should face the Dawgs is based more on the idea that Miami has not played between the hedges in at least 55 years! Forget all the modern advancements of the sport, the world is significantly different from that time. Unlike a few of the other dream matchups listed on here, there would be more at stake beside the final outcome. Both schools have gone toe-to-toe over a number of prospects in recent recruiting classes. It would be fun to see the teams battle it out on the field as much as they have on the recruiting trail.

Penn State

Donnell Bennett

All-Time Series | Penn State leads the series with 7 and six losses

Miami’s Most Recent Win 2001 (31–7)

Penn State’s Most Recent Win 1999 (27–23)

Another state school in the northeast, this time in the state of Pennsylvania. The gap between the last time these programs met is not as significant as some of the others listed, yet it’s still been ages. Penn State has earned more wins and appears to have reclaimed the glory of years past. The last trip to the keystone state is one that Hurricane fans would like to forget after seeing their 10-game win streak abruptly end to Pitt in 2017. Their most recent encounter with the Lions, Miami won to the tune of 33–7.

Oregon

All-Time Series | Miami leads 1–0

Miami’s Most Recent Win 1958 (2–0)

A battle of the brands—and we’re not talking about The U versus Oregon’s ‘O’. No, this contest would be intriguing on the level that Miami, one of Adidas’ premiere sponsorships in college football, would be taking on Nike’s flagship program in the sport. Wars over brands don’t really make headlines in college football like they do in basketball and other non-revenue sports. That said, it could represent a good excuse for both teams to debut new threads in a move of one-upmanship.

In a rematch, it’s hard to imagine that the total points would remain under three as it did when both teams last met in 1958. The Ducks are much different program now than they were under Chip Kelly and when Willie Taggart took over for one season. Whether former Miami staffer and current head coach Mario Cristobal remains head coach for a game in the future, it would surely produce plenty of storylines come game week.

Who did we leave out? Let us know in the comment section or on social media.

IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE U!