ABC Sports, home of the Bowl Championship Series and the National Championship game, will televise a primetime Labor Day match-up between two of college football's top programs, the Seminoles of Florida State and the Hurricanes of Miami -- in each of the next two college football seasons. The announcement was made today by Loren Matthews, senior vice president of Programming, ABC Sports, Dave Hart, athletic director of Florida State University, Paul Dee, athletic director of the University of Miami and John Swofford, Commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
ABC Sports will televise Florida State at Miami nationally on Labor Day Monday, September 6, 2004, and Miami at Florida State on September 5, 2005, both nights at 8:00 p.m., ET. This year's ABC college football schedule features Miami at Florida State on October 11.
"This great rivalry will conclude an exciting holiday weekend marking the beginning of another outstanding season of college football on ABC Sports," said Mr. Matthews. "It is also a terrific prelude to ABC's NFL Monday Night Football. We appreciate the cooperation of the schools and the Atlantic Coast Conference."
Mr. Hart said: "I cannot think of a more appropriate manner to usher in an expanded Atlantic Coast Conference than to open the football season against the Miami Hurricanes on Labor Day in front of a full national television audience. Despite the existing and long-standing national appeal of this rivalry, it rises to a new level as a conference game between two of college football's most successful programs. This match-up, as well as the ACC's new position within the college football landscape, will serve as a worthy topic of conversation throughout next summer, as the countdown to FSU vs. Miami unfolds. We're excited to be a part of such a milestone event."
"We are extremely excited to bring one of college football's greatest rivalries to Monday night football. Monday night football has become an American institution and the University of Miami is elated and proud to be a part of it," said Mr. Dee.
Mr. Swofford said: "We are pleased that ABC has decided to televise the Miami-Florida State football game in its prestigious Labor Day Monday night primetime slot for the next two years. The Florida State-Miami rivalry has developed into one of the best in all of college football, and this game should be an exciting beginning to what will be an historic year for the Atlantic Coast Conference."
Miami leads the 46-year-old series against Florida State 26-20. The game has been decided by three points or less eight times in the history of the series. The Hurricanes have won the last three meetings, while the Seminoles won five in a row from 1995-1999.
Florida State, currently 2-0 on the season, has enjoyed unprecedented success under legendary head coach Bobby Bowden, the nation's second-winningest active head coach with 334 wins. Over the past 11 years, FSU has claimed (either outright or shared) 10 ACC Championships and earned national titles in 1993 and 1999.
The Miami Hurricanes have enjoyed a rich history of success in college football, having earned five National Championships (1983, 1987, 1989, 1991 and 2001). Miami, 2-0 on the season, moved up to No. 2 in the rankings after they overcame a 23-point deficit to defeat Florida 38-33 last week. The Hurricanes are 26-1 under third-year coach Larry Coker, who earned National Coach of the Year honors in 2002.