Updated at 5 p.m.
It will have been six years since their last meeting, but it looks like the Florida Gators and Miami Hurricanes will play football again – in a venue that makes all too much sense for both teams.
Florida and Miami are “close” to signing an agreement that would see the teams open the 2019 season at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, according to the Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi.
Should the deal get signed, it would be the Gators’ second season-opening neutral-site game in three seasons with Florida schedule to take on Michigan in Arlington, Texas, to kick off 2017.
Update – 5 p.m.: Hurricanes athletic director Blake James told the Palm Beach Post that he would not refer to an agreement to play the game as “close,” but he does find terms of a proposed deal – including an equal allotment of tickets and a significant financial package – “attractive” to his program.
Orlando’s Citrus Bowl, which has already agreed to terms with Florida State and Ole Miss for 2016 and Alabama and Louisville for 2018, always made perfect sense as the venue for UF and UM to play their next game.
Not only is the renovated stadium located between both colleges, the neutral-site game will allow the Gators to bring home a substantial check, making it more palatable for the athletic department to give up what would otherwise be a home game.
Miami is 29-26 all-time against Florida with the Canes defeating the Gators in seven of their last eight meetings, most recently in 2013 (21-16). UF’s sole win in the series since 1985 came during its national championship season of 2008 (26-3).