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Tuesday, July 29, 2008
The ACC loves to hate Miami


Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

You might remember a game that was staged as Good vs. Evil.

Penn State, the clean-cut athletes in their suits and ties -- a.k.a. the poster boys for what college football players should be -- against Miami, the chest-thumping, trash-talkin' program whose players showed up for the 1987 Fiesta Bowl dressed in fatigues for a war of, well, morality.

If there is a reason for Miami to be deemed as the most hated team in the ACC, it's because of its longstanding tradition of Evil -- and this T shirt.

When the Bullies of the Big East joined the ACC, somebody somewhere deemed it the "All Canes Conference."

So, no, the brash attitude did not disappear with Jimmy Johnson, or the 11- and 12-win seasons.

If wins alone were enough to determine the most hated team, the award would go to Florida State, but the Seminoles were more feared than hated during their prime. Did Bobby Bowden deal with his share of off-field incidents? Certainly.

But none that rivaled this.

The infamous brawl between Miami and FIU in 2006 had to make ACC commissioner John Swofford cringe. You buy the wins, you buy the reputation, too.

Has outsiders' disgust for Miami fizzled with its 7-6 and 5-6 records? You bet. Does that mean opposing fans actually LIKE this program anymore? No. In fact it's become an opportunity to point the finger and say the Hurricanes are the reason the ACC is "down."

There was another T-shirt sold at last year's game between Miami and Florida State, targeted toward Seminoles fans and meant to be an insult to the Hurricanes. It had the word THUGS across the front, with every letter in green but the U, which of course, was the U logo.
Miami fans wanted to know where they could get one.

They embrace everything the U stands for.

Love it or hate it.