On a fall Saturday in which teams across the country lock in battle against bitter rivals, The University of Miami Hurricanes traveled to Tampa, FL to meet up with the University of South Florida Bulls. There is no rivalry despite what the press said all week, and despite what the ESPN announcers parroted during the pre-game promos. USF’s football program is barely a decade old. The two teams had faced off only on one occasion prior to yesterday’s contest. I guess that’s why the word hype comes from the word hyperbole.
Despite the exaggerated backstory, the game held certain significance for both teams. Miami, having vastly improved year by year, is on the verge of completing a 10 win season. USF, a program desperately seeking national legitimacy, saw an opportunity to knock off a big name on a national stage. In the end, the severely depleted Hurricanes were able to do as they wished throughout much of the game. USF clearly was overmatched on all fronts despite the efforts of their Vick-like QB.
Next up for The U is a bowl game. Early predictions point to a January 1, 2010 matchup with the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Gator Bowl, held in Jacksonville, FL. Miami and West Virginia have a history – having played together often during Miami’s time in the Big East. The Mountaineers are coming off a big win against the #8 ranked Pittsburgh Panthers.
Saturday also brought in the unveiling of a new uniform for the Canes. Miami and several other top tier programs wore the new Nike Pro Combat uniform system. I do not know how I feel at this point about the new look other than it grew on me as the day progressed. I really like how they incorporated the whole split-U graphical convention into the numbering system – its iconic. Its sparse use of accent colors was also very well executed. I think I am still partial to the more colorific orange and green unies however.
More info on the new uniforms and a cool audio introduction are available on the Nike Pro Combat website.