Originally written October 30, 2013 on In The Neutral Zone:
It’s been awhile, but the annual rivalry between the Miami Hurricanes and the Florida State Seminoles this season again resembling its heyday of yesteryear. The annual grudge match for years was once the gold standard in college football, featuring legendary coaches and perennial powerhouse programs consistently striving to win national championships. Both teams enter this weekend’s tussle (Saturday, 8:00 pm Eastern ABC) in Tallahassee’s Doak-Campbell Stadium carrying top ten rankings with them as well as legitimate national title hopes. The main facet which both squads share in common this season has been the great play of their respective signal-callers, Stephen Morris for Miami and Jameis Winston for Florida State; each employs his own respective style to the quarterback position with similar effectiveness. While Morris has displayed a penchant for questionable decision making at times, he nonetheless has more than compensated for that deficiency with his ability to make plays downfield with his arm. Meanwhile Winston is a redshirt freshman prodigy in every sense of the word who has exhibited tremendous intangibles and poise at a level well beyond his experience level, a true Heisman contender. Both the Canes and the Noles have each navigated some rocky roads and very trying times to again reach the lofty perch which they each once occupied for so long a period. Miami has just recently reached a satisfying conclusion to a previously foreboding three-year NCAA investigation into its athletic program, having only been docked nine scholarship losses. After a gradual and painful decline from glory experienced toward the end of legendary coach Bobby Bowden’s tenure, FSU has restored the luster of its program back to the national elite in four short years under Bowden’s successor Jimbo Fisher. Undoubtedly the pervading opinion from the outside surrounding this looming showdown tends to side with the notion of a potential Seminoles’ decisive romp over their arch-nemesis this weekend; such a stance is entirely justifiable considering that Miami has narrowly edged out clearly inferior opponents recently, as opposed to Florida State’s demolishing every obstacle thus far hurled in its direction. The Atlantic Coast Conference should be thrilled to again have immense spotlight thrust in its way, as FSU and Miami square off with both ranked in the top ten for the first time in nine years. With both undefeated, this meeting inevitably comes with heightened anticipation and national title implications. 2 total views, 2 views today
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