ORLANDO, Fla. – Could the Florida Gators and Miami Hurricanes open the 2019 football season in Orlando's Citrus Bowl? According to the Orlando Sentinel, the teams are close to signing a deal.
"While we won't comment on this report, we're always exploring future scheduling options," University of Florida spokesman Steve McClain said.
No deal has been signed yet, but pending any last-minute changes in negotiations, it appears the once familiar foes will re-kindle their rivalry.
The Gators dropped the Hurricanes from their schedule in 1987, claiming they were ending the yearly rivalry because of a Southeastern Conference requirement that member schools play at least eight conference games per season. The Gators insisted they could no longer afford to play Miami on a home-and-away basis because they needed an extra home game every year for financial reasons.
Miami fans have long felt Florida dropped Miami from its schedule because the rivalry had become lopsided in favor of the Hurricanes.
Playing at a neutral site eliminates the need for a return trip to either school and usually comes with a guaranteed payout. Florida State is scheduled to open the season against Mississippi in Orlando next year, and Alabama will play Louisville there in 2018.
Miami leads the series with Florida 29–26 and has won seven of the past eight games, including a 21–16 victory in the most recent game played at Sun Life Stadium in 2013.
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