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Eyes on the Enemy: Florida State rival rundown

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New year, new season, new opportunities to overcompensate with humor

NCAA Football: SEC Football Media Day Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a long nine months, beloved audience.

Welcome back, once more, to the stupidest column on the smartest website. For those at home who are new, and those returning who just want the thrill of reading me repeat the obvious again, each week, our goal will be to observe the news surrounding Florida State’s biggest rivals and laugh accordingly at it. Last year’s iteration was more of a coping method, but if trends follow, here’s how things should go:

A) We’ll nervously chuckle at Clemson’s success, then laugh at its inevitable collapse as if we weren’t absolutely worried that they’d further pull away as the ACC’s elite.

2) Miami will receive the same scorn as it lucks its way into another relatively successful season, except with significantly more confidence in the end result being nothing short of hilarious and hopefully not including me accidentally publishing the news of a win on Twitter following a devastating, last-second loss.

D) Florida, consistently, week-in and week-out, being the dumb, stupid, idiotic gift that keeps on giving.

We’ll have some laughs, get into a few adventures, and, with any luck, learn a little bit about ourselves along the way.

Let’s get to it.

Clemson

The Tigers, again, are ranked high to start the season, earning No. 2 in both preseason polls. They have a roster and schedule, outside of away games vs. Texas A&M and Florida State, built perfectly for a fourth-straight playoff berth. Their only true issue, maybe, is who will start at quarterback: the embodiment of averageness Kelly Bryant, or Trevor Lawrence, close relative of Jar-Jar Binks.

It’s not hard to envision Bryant getting the reigns for the first half of the season until some manufactured drama vs. Wake Forest finally gives Dabo Swinney, college football’s own Steve from Blues Clues, some leverage to make the switch to his prized five-star.

(As if anybody is going to score on Clemson anways.)

The Tigers have a nice, easy warm-up game to start the season, taking on Furman at 12:20 p.m. Saturday. The game will stream on the ACC Network, and there’s currently no betting odds available for it.

Miami

They did it! They built an indoor practice field! That looks like the showcase version of a practice field that they use to advertise actual, full-sized practice fields!

After Al Golden, NCAA violations, uniforms, and Dalvin Cook, the final “just you wait until!” has been wiped away for the Hurricanes, finally freeing them from the curse placed upon them that prevents them from being relevant anytime past November.*

*(Mehhhh we made the ACC Championship and Orange Bowl mehhhh we were relevant past then, a Miami fan who might be reading this might think, and I’d be inclined to remind them that if I were a Miami fan, I probably wouldn’t want to be remembering anything past November.)

Miami is in a favorable position of its own to start the season, garnering top ten nods and being selected as the preseason favorite to win the ACC Coastal for the second straight year. Mark Richt, who wants you to know he’s a super cool guy by admitting that he got caught with some sort of illicit possession while at Miami (just admit you were hitting the slopes, Christian Boy), will do his best to not hilariously fail short of expectations once more, especially not as the school that booted him for it continues to thrive in his absence.

The Hurricanes, too, have a relatively manageable schedule, though a daunting Week 3 road trip to Toledo stands out. The ACC is as deep as ever, but Miami’s lucky enough to deal mostly with the bottom half of the league. They’re currently favored in every game, and while that likely shouldn’t change much, let’s just see if modern trends continue.

No. 8 Miami takes on No. 25 LSU on Sunday in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The game will be broadcast at 7:30 p.m. on ABC, with a spread of 3.5 currently in Miami’s favor.

Florida

Remember that time when Florida went 4-7? Like literally four years after going 4-8? And then they hired the biggest goober in the world to replace a man who will forever be associated with humping sharks? And then that goober proceeded to crater the recruiting profile of the university, falling further behind in the talent race behind not just intrastate rivals, but intradivision ones as well?

And then a player turned a frying pan into a weapon in an epic saga vs. the legendary, mythical, all-powerful Tay-Bang?

I think, seriously, the happiest that a Florida fan has gotten from football over the last few years has been from the firing of a coach, so I guess it’s at least it’s nice that they’ve gotten that feeling twice, with a third surely to come as soon as the faithful start foaming at the mouth demanding Spurrier’s clone on the sideline following the Gators’ third-straight shellacking at the hands of Kirby Smart’s terrifying five-star repository.

Believe or not, the prospects of Florida’s season aren’t that dreary. The Gators will tarnish and spit upon the concept of football in very nearly every game this season, courtesy of Feleipe Franks’ signature brand of struggle ball, but barring miracles from Tennessee or Vanderbilt or sudden decision on Kentucky’s end to not do everything in its power to avoid winning a football game when playing Florida, they should be looking at a winning record come season’s end. How close it will come to being considered a winning record is still to be seen.

Florida kicks off its season vs. Charleston Southern, 7:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.

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Questions? Comments? Trash talk? Leave ‘em below, and I’ll see y’all at the same time next week.