Miami and Florida State.
During the mid-80s to the early 2000s, the 'Canes and Seminoles were likely considered the two biggest beasts in all of College Football.
As a Husker fan, that is a tough pill to swallow. During that timeframe my very own Huskers were easily considered one of the best teams during this stretch of time.
Call it 'Nebraskas' own claim to glory.
But as it is, facts are facts. And as good as my beloved Huskers were, Miami and Florida State were simply better overall during that timeframe.
Miami is regarded as the team of the 80s and Florida State the team of the 90s (albeit at much haste to many a Husker fan).
Fast forward to 2009.
Miami and Florida State were simply expected to dominate the ACC when it was realigned for its current structure as we know it today back in 2005. And why not?
Since the 1983 season, Florida State and Miami have won a combined seven National Championships. More than any other other two-team combination that doesn't involve these two teams over the same time period. And they now play in the same conference.
Crow all you want SEC or Big 12, that is a simple fact whether you want to agree with it or not.
However, since the 2001 season, Miami and Florida State have combined for four appearances in BCS Bowl games and have a paltry 1-3 record in said games. That includes the BCS bowl game victory in which Miami beat Florida State back in the 2003 BCS bowl season.
The expected dominance of Miami and Florida State in the ACC simply has not come to fruition. Combined, they are a mediocre 33-32 against ACC conference foes since 2005. To put that into perspective, Wake Forest and Virginia are a combined 35-30 in ACC play during that same time period.
According to Rivals.com, the recruiting classes gathered by Miami and Florida State since 2005 have ranked in the top two of the ACC conference a total of 7 out of 10 possible times.
Thus, it is far from being a lack of talent as to why FSU or UM have been unable to compete on the ACC playing field due to players.
Does that mean it comes down to coaching?
Without a doubt, Bowden's 'coaching' abilities along with his staff have come under fire over the last couple of years. Throw in Randy Shannon in his third year as a head coach at Miami supposedly being under fire as well, and it is a very plausible argument.
I believe we have all been expecting a resurgance of the Miami and the Florida State power to overcome the ACC in the last four or five seasons. It simply just hasn't happened. And in fact, since 2005, only once (in 2005) has either team made it to the conference championship game while the traditional bottom-feeding program in Wake Forest has as many ACC Championship appearances and titles to claim as these two 'former' football powerhouses.
I don't know that anyone will argue that this is a crucial year for both Miami and Florida State as they look to regain their once held lofty status as being true giants in the world of College football.
And the question remains: Will they return in 2009 as their "rightful" perch as being the two most expected bullies in all of the ACC?
Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Michael Irvin, Marvin Jones, Vinny Testaverde, Charlie Ward, Warrick Dunn, Warren Sapp, Bernie Kosar, Leroy Butler, Clinton Portis, Frank Gore, Alonzo Highsmith, Lavernues Coles, Willis McGahee, and a host of other College and NFL stars would say they should.
Question is: Will either team show up in the ACC Championship game this year?
I sure hope so, because College Football is much more interesting when Miami and Florida State are in the mix........