HOOVER, Ala. — The Florida Gators, coach Dan Mullen often says, are unique in how many rivals they have.
Florida State. Georgia. LSU. Tennessee (in theory, at least).
But what about Miami?
The Hurricanes and Gators haven’t met since 2013 and have only played six times this century. That lack of familiarity and history means their Aug. 24 matchup in Orlando probably won’t be as bitter as Miami-FSU or FSU-UF.
It is, nonetheless, a rivalry, at least according to the three UF players at SEC media days:
“Yes, I do feel like they are a rival, because it is an in-state game. We are trying to be the best team in Florida. To be that, we have to beat the best teams: UCF, Florida State, Miami. Whoever you want to put us against."
“Yeah. We don’t play often, and that’s one of the things that makes it so special. Two really good, in-state teams that became rivals. It is such a fun game. I love playing games that are highly anticipated, that you play a really good team. The University of Miami is a really good team, and the University of Florida is a really good team. When teams like that play, that’s what makes it so awesome. The stage is set for you, and you have to go out there and perform. That’s the kind of stage I like playing on. So, yeah, it will be fun.”
“Yeah, I do. Any school you play in Florida, those are the games that mean something. We know that we are going to get their best and that they will get our best."