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Who Exactly Are Miami’s Rivals?

Whether it’s Florida State, Florida or Notre Dame, the list is longer than you think.

NCAA Football: Florida State at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re a Miami Hurricanes fan, the word hate is embedded into your dictionary, especially when we’re discussing other teams. Since their heyday in the 1980’s, the Canes have struck a chord with several other programs, not just one. As well documented in both 30 For 30’s about the U, Miami is no stranger to teams and really the entire country not liking them.

With so much hatred around, it’s hard to really keep a list of all the teams we actually consider “rivals.” So, let’s go down the list.


First and foremost, the biggest rival for the Hurricanes is FSU, and it’s not even a question. I don't care what you say, but nothing is bigger for UM than the Canes versus the Noles.

Miami and Florida State have been battling since 1951, and for the better part of 25 years it was the best rivalry in college football. Jimmy Johnson and Bobby Bowden, Ray Lewis and Peter Boulware, Wide Left and Wide Right against Brian Monroe’s botched snap, Michael Barrow’s hit on Tamarick Vanover against Stanford Samuels hit on Roscoe Parrish. The classic memories go on and on.

I remember when I was a kid, one my worst memories as a sports fan was when Miami lost 10-7 in Tallahassee in 2005, I didn’t sleep for days. On the other side, one of the happiest moments of my life was when the Canes snapped the seven-year losing-streak to FSU in 2017.

Players who grew up with each other around the state of Florida now lining up against one other in Hard Rock Stadium or Doak Campbell Stadium. The nauseating war chant from FSU fans, to the rendition of that same war chant by Miami fans......

Either way, FSU will always be the number one rival for the Canes.


Although we wish that this rivalry was played every year, we’re just happy that it’s renewed come August 24th when the Canes and Gators kick-off the 2019 season. While these two teams haven’t squared off since 2013, the history of the rivalry and the in-state factor that it brings elevates it to the tops of rivals for Miami fans.

Miami and UF started playing in 1938, and played every year from 1944 to 1987, though didn’t play again until 2001. Even though the Canes and Gators don’t play every year, it doesn’t stop the two fanbases from keeping the hatred level at an all-time high.

While a lot of fans on both sides aren’t old enough to remember battles Miami and Florida had in the 80’s, the Hurricanes victory in the 2001 Sugar Bowl or Brock Berlin’s comeback in 2003 will get any Gator fan running for cover.


Anytime ESPN makes a 30 For 30 about these two teams, it has to make the list. The Notre Dame and Miami rivalry reached a point in the 1980’s where it topped most rivalries already established in the country.

The Irish and the Canes have played 26 times, with Notre Dame leading the series 17-8-1. If you ask Miami fans today, some of them may even say their hatred for Notre Dame trumps even that of Florida State. Much of the reasoning for the distaste comes from the two teams battling for national prominence, and sometimes even a spot in the national championship in the 80’s.

In 1988, the Irish bested the Hurricanes 31-30 in the famous Catholics vs Convicts game. Due to a controversial call when Miami running back Cleveland Gary was ruled for a fumble instead of a touchdown, Jimmy Johnson and his team was robbed at a chance for a second straight national title. Miami avenged that defeat a season later, when the Hurricanes ended Notre Dame’s 23-game winning-streak in a 27-10 victory in the Orange Bowl, en route to the Canes third national championship.

Four years earlier in 1985, the Hurricanes were accused of running up the score in a 58-7 thrashing of the Irish in Notre Dame’s head coach Gerry Faust’s final game. Then as we all know, the last time these two programs met in Miami, the Canes embarrassed the third ranked Irish 41-8.


The Miami and Va Tech rivalry won’t jump out to a lot of people, but at least when I was growing up with the Canes in the early and mid-2000’s, whenever UM played the Hokies, it was always a huge game. Tech and Miami have been playing each other since 1953, but it wasn't until the late 90’s or early 2000’s when this game began to be a big deal.

It was the Hokies who Miami had to beat in both 2001 and 2002 in order to secure a spot in the National Championship game. It was also Virginia Tech who ended the Canes 39-game regular-season winning streak with a 31-7 win in Blacksburg. Then again, it was the Hurricanes who dashed the Hokies hopes in 2000 of potentially playing in the title game. Recently, the rivalry was reawakened in 2017, when Miami took control of the ACC Coastal with a 28-10 win over Tech, in the Hurricanes first wearing of their blackout jerseys.


While I wouldn’t necessarily call this a “rivalry,” I'd have a lot of Canes fans sending me mean DM’s telling me that I'm wrong. This is probably the only matchup on here that’s nearly completely one-sided, because most Buckeyes fans wouldn't consider Miami as their rival. The hatred that Hurricanes fans have for Ohio State stems from just one game, granted it was a huge game, the 2002 National Championship. I don’t need to go too much into detail, because everyone knows the story. All I have to say: Terry Porter.

Who did I miss Canes fans? What team do you have the most distaste for?