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Florida State Seminoles

How much do Florida State fans still care about Miami rivalry?

Matt Zemek

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Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida State ticket office is trying, trying, trying, to push interest in this upcoming Saturday’s game between the Seminoles and the Miami Hurricanes.

Imagine seeing this tweet when the rivalry was anywhere near its peak – not AT its peak, but anywhere remotely close to it:

The 10,000-ticket mark is 6,000 short of the full 16,000 allotment for students. That is merely one of the indicators of how far this rivalry has fallen in 2019.

Let’s be clear: The rivalry isn’t a lifeless rivalry on a broader, general level. When Jimbo Fisher was at Florida State not too long ago, this series still popped. Miami had a chance to make resounding statements about its legitimacy, and came close to doing so until its breakthrough in 2017. This is not a long-term erosion of Noles-Canes. This is a short-term collapse, with Saturday’s game matching a pair of 4-4 teams. The loser will be in deep danger of missing a bowl game.

It would be jarring to see Doak Campbell Stadium, a ballyard stuffed with memories of electric nights and afternoons, having 10,000 or 15,000 or maybe more, empty seats for The U.

There is a large dose of irony attached to this game from a Florida State perspective if you stop and think about the larger history of this rivalry, dating back to the late 1980s.

Florida State-Miami was usually an early October game, sometimes a Week 1 game, in its heyday. Miami was the team which usually relied more on its defense and played a more cautious style built on limiting mistakes. Florida State was usually the much more ambitious team under Bobby Bowden. The Seminoles were a lot more likely to use gadget plays and take bigger in-game risks.

Given this contrast when FSU-Miami reached its greatest height, the prevailing line of thought about the early October or Week 1 meetings between these teams is that they generally favored Miami.

“If only Florida State could play this game in November,” the argument went, “the Seminoles and Bobby Bowden would have had a lot more national titles.”

Whether you agree with that thought process or not (I do…), it has to be a bitter pill to swallow: The game has been moved back to November this year, ideally in the hope that the late-season placement of the game would make it bigger.

Instead, the late-season placement has made it worse in 2019.

If this game had been scheduled on the first weekend of October, neither fan base would have been happy, but there still would have been a sense that with two months left in the season, FSU-Miami could form a pivot point for these programs.

Now, in Week 10? Forget it. These programs are just trying to make a bottom-tier bowl game in a place such as Shreveport or Annapolis. There is no high-end goal to shoot for, only to win this rivalry game and save face to a modest extent.

The November schedule placement many Florida State fans have longed for has blown up in the face of this rivalry and college football. Miami and FSU will slug it out at the same time the Florida Gators will play Georgia in Week 10’s biggest clash.

If the Gators are happy to overshadow a Miami-FSU game in which ticket sales have been conspicuously sluggish, you know something is severely amiss.

The late 1980s and early 1990s could not be more distant in the public memory this week.

Matt Zemek is the co-editor of Tennis With An Accent with Saqib Ali. Matt is the lead writer for the site and helps Saqib with the TWAA podcast, produced by Radio Influence at radioinfluence.com. Matt has written professionally about men's and women's tennis since 2014 for multiple outlets: Comeback Media, FanRagSports, and independently at Patreon, where he maintains a tennis site. You can reach Matt by e-mail: mzemek@hotmail.com. You can find him on Twitter at @mzemek.

Florida State Seminoles

FSU and LSU announced two game neutral site series Tuesday

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In an effort to continue to beef up their out-of-conference schedules, FSU announced on Tuesday that they will play newly-crowned National Champion, LSU in two neutral site games coming soon in 2022 and 2023.

The Seminoles made the announcement through social media and their website that they will be playing the “Bayou Bengals” first in New Orleans and then, in Orlando:

Both teams will be given the benefit of essentially a “home-away-from-home neutral-site game” on Labor Day weekend. LSU considers New Orleans to be their second home and just won the College Football Playoff National Championship game over Clemson there on January 12.

The first game with the Noles will be on Saturday night September 4th, 2022.

FSU will, then play “hosts” in Orlando against the Tigers the following year on Saturday night September 3rd. The Noles recently played a season-opening game with Ole Miss, whom they defeated, at Camping World Stadium in 2016.

New Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell had this to say in the school statement about adding the games coming soon,

“I’m excited about this series,” head coach Mike Norvell said. “Florida State has a rich tradition in Louisiana, the home of many former Seminoles including Warrick Dunn and Travis Minor, and all three of our national championship teams had at least one player from Louisiana. It continues to be an important area for us now. We added two players from Louisiana in our first signing class, and it will be great for them and other future Noles to be able to play back in their home state.

This series matches two of the iconic brands in college football, and I know our fans will have a great time in New Orleans and Orlando. I want to thank our administration for all their hard work on this and for continuing to pursue first-class experiences for our student-athletes.”

These will be the 10th and 11th times that Florida State and LSU will meet. The Noles hold a 7 – 2 advantage, including winning four straight games in the series. It is the first time the two schools will have played since 1991.

Further, Florida State is 9 – 2 in their last 11 games opening a season on a neutral field. The Seminoles were to have played Boise State in Jacksonville last Labor Day weekend, but the threat of Hurricane Dorian moved the game to Tallahasse.

That’s where the Broncos upset the Seminoles and sent coach Willie Taggart into a second year spiral that resulted in his firing in November.

The Noles are also 8 – 2 all-time in games  at the Superdome with the most prominent one coming in the BCS Championship Game win over Virginia Tech in the 2000 Sugar Bowl.

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Florida State Seminoles

Deion tells Dan Patrick he’d consider coaching Hurricanes

Florida Football Insiders

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Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Hall of Famer and former Seminoles All-American defensive back Deion Sanders is making the rounds for broadcast outlets at Super Bowl 54 in Miami,. And it’s not just his NFL Network duties that made some news on Tuesday. Rather, it’s an interview, where he expressed more desire for coaching college football and maybe, even in the city where he currently is working this week.

Sanders appeared on The Dan Patrick television – radio show Tuesday in advance of the 49ers and the Chiefs meeting for pro football’s title at Hard Rock stadium Sunday night.

And, while most of the interview centered around the NFL and the Super Bowl match-up, Patrick naturally turned to Deion’s desire to apparently be a head coach in college football and maybe, as soon as next year.

This subject came up after Sanders was apparently under consideration to possibly be the new head coach at FSU, when they fired Willie Taggart in early November. The school and AD David Coburn did confirm that they had a serious formal discussion with “Prime Time” about building a staff, etc.

That’s when Patrick turn the questioning to Sanders’ son and what might test his loyalty to FSU and possibly, coaching at a hated-rival like the University of Miami.

“What if ‘The U’ called?” Patrick asked.

“You know what is so funny, cuz I saw that when I was watching you on television (earlier in the day when Patrick said he would ask Sanders about Miami). My son is a phenomenal quarterback. My youngest son. He has a plethora of offers. We’re going to visit ‘The U’ on Saturday,” Sanders said.

“But would you coach the U?,” Patrick quickly asked again.

“You know what. You never know,” Sanders replied leaving the door open, like most do.

“Are you a ‘package deal’ with your son,” asked Patrick?

“I’ve never been a package deal with any-body,” Sanders shot back, which drew laughter from the studio audience at Patrick’s Super Bowl show site.

Now, the Hurricanes have obviously floundered for much of the 2010s, including 2019 with first-year coach Manny Diaz struggling mightily down the stretch of his first season. Miami lost it’s final two games to finish 6 – 6, and then, were shutout humiliatingly by Louisiana Tech 14 – 0 in the Independence Bowl.

Miami has swapped offensive coordinators after Diaz fired Dan Enos after just his first season. The Canes have hired former Auburn and SMU play-caller Rhett Lashlee to replace him. And, they secured Houston dual threat transfer QB D’Eriq King for this season.

Sanders was a two-time All-American at Florida State (1987, ’88), and won the Jim Thorpe Award during his final season playing for the Seminoles in 1988. He was selected in the first round of the 1989 draft by the Atlanta Falcons and played in the NFL through the 2005 season.

His elite level of play earned him inductions into both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Sanders has been analyst for the NFL Network for the past 10 years and clearly has the desire to try something else.

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