This is the a series where I will be exploring future non-conference opponents that I would like to see the Miami Hurricanes face down the road. This list is based on the likelihood of actually happening, the prestige of the opponent, and the potential benefits (i.e., recruiting exposure) that could come from it. I’m not including Florida and Notre Dame on this list because A) Miami already is set to face them in the coming years, and B) they are major rivals and I would OBVIOUSLY be in favor of facing either of them routinely.
#10 - Michigan
#9 - UCF
#8 - UCLA
#7 - Oklahoma
Overview: Well I’ll be. I finally got one right. And yes, I had this list long-since made before it was announced back in June that the Canes and Tigers had agreed to schedule a home-and-home series in 2029 and 2030.
Miami and Auburn has been an interesting matchup for me for awhile. Could it be because of the novelty of them (rarely) playing, like with Michigan? Probably. Could it have been the fact these teams met when both had legendary players on the same field? Also likely. Throw in the traditions of these programs, and you’ve got an interesting mix.
Also, the respective cultures around these two programs, especially on gamedays, are as night and day as you will see. Go to Auburn, and you’ll see fratty dudes in ties and southern belles in sun dresses, all with shakers, packed together in sorority/fraternity group sections while sweltering in the southern sun. Then, you have Miami fans - whether it’s well-to-do 50-plus northeastern dudes in U polo shirts down from West Palm Beach, or a group of guys with tank tops pouring shots from various bottles of liquor while smoking cigars under a few orange U tents with a Caja China roasting a pig, or women wearing U tube tops and shorts - we are one thing as a cumulative group - awesomely unique. And different from any fan base in the country, which, in my humble opinion, makes us great. And extremely different from those of the SEC, especially in the deep south like Auburn. It’s an unbelievable contrast of two different cultural worlds that makes for an intriguing visit for either fan base to the other’s back yard.
All-time record: Auburn leads the series 7-4.
First and last meeting: The teams first played in 1944 in Miami, which Auburn won 38-19. The most recent meeting was in the 1984 season opener, won by Miami 20-18. Auburn was #1 (Miami was 10th), and Miami completed the upset with a 25-yard field goal by freshman kicker Greg Cox with 6:08 left. The defense recovered a fumble near midfield with 2:57 left to clinch it.
Potential for recruiting: low-to-moderate. I count three players on Auburn’s roster from south Florida, and several more in north and central Florida. So Auburn and Miami will, from time to time, compete for the same Florida recruits. However, with the landscape of college football potentially changing to the SEC vs. the rest of the country, who the heck really knows what things will look like in 8 years when these teams clash?
Chances of happening: scheduled. Unless one team backs out for some reason, it’s happening, so that’s about as easy as it gets.
What do you all think of this matchup? Anyone planning to go to Auburn for this one (spoiler, I am)? Anyone been to Auburn and wants to share some stories? Let’s hear it.