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Look how badly Miami has collapsed after losing to FSU for the last 7 years

One way or another, Miami could turn the tide this year.

Florida State v Miami Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Miami-Florida State football series is historically even. In 61 games dating to 1951, the Hurricanes are 31-30. For in-state rivals who play every season, it’s a real dead heat.

But not recently. Florida State’s won seven in a row. Jimbo Fisher’s built a national power while Miami floundered under Randy Shannon and Al Golden, and the Seminoles have delivered a steady mix of blowouts and gut-punch thrillers.

The teams play again Saturday in Tallahassee (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). It’s a reschedule, with this game originally set for Sept. 16 and moved because of Hurricane Irma. Under Mark Richt, Miami’s going to try to avoid a) losing again, and b) staging a complete collapse afterward.

Miami before and after losing to FSU: 2010-2016

Year Pre-FSU FSU and post-FSU Finished
Year Pre-FSU FSU and post-FSU Finished
2010 3-1 4-5 7-6
2011 5-4 1-2 6-6
2012 4-3 3-2 7-5
2013 7-0 2-4 9-4
2014 6-3 0-4 6-7
2015 3-1 5-4 8-5
2016 4-0 5-4 9-4
Total 0.727 0.444 0.584

There’s some noise here.

Miami is like most Power 5 teams in scheduling easy non-conference opponents at the beginning of every season. Most of the Canes’ peers are going to have better records at early points in the years, too. In some of these years, Miami’s been just so-so before losing to FSU, and the drop-offs after have been slight.

But sometimes, the post-FSU nosedive has been stunning:

  • In 2013, Miami reached No. 7 in the AP Poll before a visit to No. 3 Florida State. This was the Jameis Winston FSU team, so there was no shame in getting beaten, 41-14. There was more shame in losing back-to-back games after that to unranked Virginia Tech and Duke, both by three scores. The Canes also took a 36-9 thrashing in the Russell Athletic Bowl against Louisville.
  • In 2014, there was nothing good about the 0-4 finish. After going down to No. 2 FSU, the Noles took three unranked losses in a row to Virginia, Pitt, and South Carolina. The last was in Shreveport, an insult added to an already grievous injury.
  • After 2015’s game, the Noles made fun of “FIRE AL GOLDEN” banners with a tweet, and then the Canes went on to lose by 58 to Clemson.
  • In 2016, Miami started 4-0 under Richt, who’d just replaced Golden. The Canes had a great quarterback in junior Brad Kaaya, and they’d worked their way to 10th in the AP Poll. The FSU loss started a four-game slide, the blemish on a 9-4 season. It happened on a freaking blocked extra point, just so salt could be furiously rubbed into the Canes’ wounds.

This year, Miami’s probably going to be fine afterward, either way.

This is among the hardest game on the Canes’ schedule, even though FSU hasn’t been nearly itself since losing QB Deondre Francois in the first game of the season. Even with freshman James Blackman under center, winning at Doak Campbell Stadium is hard.

If you’re looking to convince yourself that Miami will get blown out and then unravel over the coming weeks, that’s fine. But it requires a belief that Miami’s not going to handle most of the next few teams on its schedule: Georgia Tech (which could be tricky), Syracuse, and North Carolina. It’s not exactly murderer’s row, and the Canes look much improved over their Golden version.

The Canes have some harder games later in this season, when they’ll get Virginia Tech and Notre Dame. Maybe they’ll lose those. But unless they get blown out by FSU on Saturday, it won’t change their status as top-tier competitors in the ACC Coastal. A rematch in the conference championship game will be possible no matter what.