As a child, I sat on the floor of our living room in Miami as my daddy listened to the Florida Gators and the Hurricanes. While both teams have come a long way since the days of Wayne Peace and a young Jim Kelly leading their respective programs to mediocrity, the rivalry has waned. That’s about to change as it has been announced that both schools will kick off their 2019 season by meeting each other.
My friend Dan Mathews of Gridironnow.com wrote the story which details the decision to bring back one of the better rivalries in the state of Florida in the 1990s.
“They will take part in the “Camping World Kickoff Game” at the newly named Camping World Stadium, formerly known as the Citrus Bowl,” he said.
The 2016 matchup will feature Florida State vs. Ole Miss on Labor Day night. Alabama and Louisville are scheduled to meet in ’18.
There is something to be said about the importance of in-state rivalries in college sports – especially in football. While Auburn and Alabama, FSU and Florida and Ole Miss and Mississippi State play each year, there has been a growing trend that long-standing tradition has been sliced in half because of conference realignment and programs leaving their once proud conferences for “greener” pastures. The money grab of college sports is never more prevalent than in the attempt to build super conferences and the attention paid to the Power 5 conferences which ultimately help decide the nation champion each year.
The decision by both Florida and Miami speaks volumes about the need to bring the past back to promote the future in college football. With new faces in this rivalry in Jim McElwain of Florida and Mark Richt of Miami, it is possible this could lead to future matchups down the road.
This is the first time the schools will face each other since 2013.
Miami leads the all-time series with Florida 29-26, but the two haven’t played each other since 2013, when the Canes won 21-16 at home. The programs had met annually until 1987.
WALTON SUSPENDED FOR DUI
Speaking of the Miami Hurricanes, running back Mark Walton was arrested Saturday on suspicion of driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license, leading the Hurricanes to suspend him from the team indefinitely.
According to ESPN.com, in a story from the Associated Press, County records show that Walton was booked into jail late Saturday afternoon, then released a few hours later. It was unclear if he retained an attorney, and police said the investigation was continuing.
“We are aware of the situation regarding Mark Walton and we have taken immediate action by suspending him from the team,” Miami athletic director Blake James said in a statement released by the university.
VIRGINIA TECH SUSPENDS TWO
Virginia Tech has indefinitely suspended starting cornerback Adonis Alexander and defensive end Houshun Gaines after both were arrested on misdemeanor drug charges.
Coach Justin Fuente announced the indefinite suspensions Tuesday, according to ESPN.com.
This is Fuente’s first season with the program after replacing the retired Frank Beamer.
The online database for Montgomery County General District Court states that Alexander, a sophomore, and Gaines, a redshirt freshman, were both arrested April 24 for marijuana possession. Gaines also was charged with possession of alcohol.
These are misdemeanor charges.
Alexander was expected to be the team’s starting cornerback. Gaines showed promise as he had two sacks in the team’s spring game and figured to have earned serious playing time.
Virginia Tech has said it doesn’t have any other comments regarding the incident or the suspensions.