The Miami Hurricanes are currently in discussions with three other FBS programs in regards to future home-and-home series. Reportedly, the ‘Canes are finalizing deals with Arkansas State of the Sun Belt Conference and the Southern Miss Eagles of Conference USA. Both series would begin next year during the 2014 season.
Especially with strength of schedule still being a major factor when the college football playoff system begins next season, these two may not give the Hurricanes what they actually need. It’s presumed at the moment that head coach Al Golden has his squad headed in the direction of becoming a nationally relevant power again. Not to take anything away from Southern Miss nor Arkansas State, both of which are solid football programs, but realistically neither program should provide much of a road block for a beefed up Miami team.
But wait, I said that there were THREE teams that the Hurricanes were interested in competing with. And this third team would not only provide stiff competition on the field, but also a bit of nostalgia for college football fans throughout the country.
On Friday, the Miami Herald reported that the University is in “advanced talks” about a home-and-home slate with the Penn State Nittany Lions. Word began to spread back in April that a meeting between these two had been discussed, however at that time it was about a possible neutral site game, similar to Miami playing the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Soldier Field last season.
A matchup between these two would rekindle memories of the 1987 Fiesta Bowl, one of the more famous games in history that was contested for the National Championship. With a heavily-favored Miami team coming off of the plane in Arizona dressed in Army fatigues prior to the contest and full of confidence, when they hit the field against the Nittany Lions, they were quickly brought back down to Earth.
Seemingly unstoppable during the 1986 season, the ‘Canes went against Joe Paterno’s squad in the desert and were–well, they were stopped. Behind a stifling defensive performance, Penn State left the field 14-10 victors and National Champions, shocking everyone.
Out of the three possible opponents Miami is looking at, Penn State would most certainly provide the most benefit, on the field and off of it. With attendance being a major issue for the school at SunLife Stadium, Penn State fans can cure that problem, even if only for one week. The following that Penn State brings with them on road games is one of the most impressive in the nation. I can say with confidence that PSU faithful would salivate at the opportunity to travel to South Beach.