Miami’s upset win over Florida is payback for ‘The Flop’

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The Florida-Miami game on Saturday may have been the last in a long, and sometimes strange, rivalry.

The schools have not scheduled future games for various reasons. Florida already plays Florida State every year and does not need another heavyweight game when all major conferences eventually go to nine-game league schedules in the era of the four-team playoff.

In my extended family, Miami’s 21-16 win Saturday was sweet for many reasons as it helped avenge the infamous “Flop” game of 1971.


Fran Curci, head coach of Miami at that time, is my mother’s first cousin. We have conversed many times about college football over the years and nothing riles Franny like “The Flop.”

Miami was getting crushed in the 1971 game at the Orange Bowl. Florida quarterback John Reaves, though, needed 10 yards to surpass Jim Plunkett’s all-time passing yardage mark.

Miami had the ball late and was inside Florida’s 10-yard line. To get the ball back so Reaves could break the record, Florida Coach Doug Dickey ordered Gator defenders to fall down and let Miami score.

Florida got the ball back and Reaves broke the record. Curci called it a bush league stunt and “the worst thing I have ever seen in college football.”

Gee, you sort of hate to see a rivalry like this end.


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