After the Florida State Seminoles finished thrashing Boston College 38-7 before a national television audience on Thursday night, upon returning home they were greeted by a flag signifying a Hurricane warning on their practice fields.
There was not any inclement weather in the Tallahassee area, but players and coaches knew exactly what the flags meant.
Miami week is finally here.
There was a time when the hype given to this past weekend’s LSU vs. Alabama tilt was reserved for the annual showdown between the Seminoles and Hurricanes.
Epic clashes in each of the last three decades have made this rivalry one of the most revered in college football history.
While both programs are nowhere near the level they were during their respective runs of dominance, the rivalry has still produced some riveting, hard-fought games while maintaining its place as one of the nation’s best.
Last year’s 45-17 romp by the ‘Noles was the exception to what has normally been a game certain to go down to the wire.
In fact, that game was one of only two games in the rivalry since 2000 not decided by eight points or less.
With that history, and the fact that both teams' losses this season have come by an average of less than seven points, the ‘Noles should expect another close game this weekend.
Despite winning their last four games by at least 25 points, the Hurricanes will provide the ‘Noles with an opponent who will test them for the first time since their three-game losing skid earlier in the year.
The level of athletes they will see is more comparable to the teams that defeated them (Oklahoma and Clemson) rather the ones they have demolished on their recent run (Duke, Maryland, Boston College, etc.).
So while this meeting between Sunshine State rivals may not measure up to the national appeal it once had, it is still an extremely important game for the ‘Noles and the ‘Canes.
Florida State is building a ton of momentum by finishing the year on an impressive run to end a season that began with championship expectations.
Meanwhile, Al Golden’s Miami team would earn a ton of credibility in recruiting by beating their hated rivals in his first try, much like Jimbo Fisher accomplished last season with wins over Miami and Florida.
Miami has been the source of many heartbreaking losses for ‘Noles fans over the years, but with a win on Saturday, the Seminoles would weaken the ‘Canes attempt at a revival.
More importantly, perhaps, FSU has a golden opportunity to strengthen its grip on being the dominant program in the state of Florida.