Florida Gators football

Florida Gators football

TeamName = Florida Gators football

CurrentSeason = 2008 Florida Gators football team
ImageSize = 145px
HeadCoachDisplay = Urban Meyer
HeadCoachLink = Urban Meyer
HeadCoachYear = 4th
HCWins = 31
HCLosses = 8
HCTies =
Stadium = Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
StadCapacity = 92,000 aprx.
StadSurface = Grass
Location = Gainesville, Florida
ConferenceDisplay= SEC
ConferenceLink = Southeastern Conference
ConfDivision = East
FirstYear = 1906
AthlDirectorDisp = Jeremy Foley
AthlDirectorLink = Jeremy Foley
WebsiteName = GatorZone.com
WebsiteURL = http://gatorzone.com
ATWins = 618
ATLosses = 368
ATTies = 40
ATPercentage = .622
BowlWins = 16
BowlLosses = 19
BowlTies =
NatlTitles = 2
ConfTitles = 7
Heismans = 3
AllAmericans = 135
Color1 = Orange
Color1Hex = FF4A00
Color2 = Blue
Color2Hex = 0021A5
FightSong = Orange and Blue
MascotDisplay = Albert E. Gator
MascotLink = Albert E. Gator
MarchingBand = Pride of the Sunshine
PagFreeLabel = Outfitter
PagFreeValue = Nike
PagFreeLabel = Rivals
PagFreeValue = Florida State Seminoles
Georgia Bulldogs
Tennessee Volunteers
The Florida Gators football team represents the University of Florida in the Southeastern Conference's Eastern division. They play their home games at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (also known as Florida Field and "The Swamp") in Gainesville, Florida. In 100 years of play, Florida has been recognized as SEC champions seven times (finishing first in the conference an additional three times), were national champions of the 1996 and 2006 college football seasons, and went undefeated in the 1995 regular season, surviving a tough SEC schedule and vaunted rival, Florida State University.

Urban Meyer, in his fourth season in 2008, is the current head coach of the Gators.


Florida plays an eight-game Southeastern Conference schedule. Five of these contests pit the Gators against the other members of the SEC's Eastern division: Tennessee and Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt. The conference slate is rounded out with an annual game against LSU and two additional foes from the SEC's western division on a rotating basis. (Until 2003, the Gators also played Auburn every season with only one western conference team in rotation.)

Key conference rivalries include "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" in which Florida and Georgia play annually in Jacksonville, Florida (usually around Halloween), the matchup with Tennessee (usually in mid-September), and the game with South Carolina (usually in November). The later contest only became a rivalry in 2005, when former Gator coach and player Steve Spurrier took over the Gamecock program after a coaching stint in the NFL.

In addition to the conference foes, the Gators face in-state rival Florida State at the end of the regular season. The two teams' emergence as perennial football powers in the 1980s and 90s helped build the contest into a game that has often held national title implications. Prior to 1988, in-state rival Miami was also an annual opponent. But due to expansions in conference schedules, Florida and Miami have met only 3 times in the regular season since then. The remaining dates on Florida's regular season schedule are filled in with various non-conference foes which vary from year to year.

Unlike many other teams at the college and pro level, the Gators do not currently have any retired numbers from former players. The numbers of Gator Football Ring of Honor players Steve Spurrier (11) and Jack Youngblood (74) had been retired in the past, but the numbers were re-issued to players during Spurrier's time as Florida head coach.


Prior to the University of Florida's move from Lake City to Gainesville, football existed solely as a club sport at UF. With the passing of the Buckman Act in 1905, the campus moved to Gainesville and members of the rival Florida State College enrolled at UF since the school in Tallahassee became an all-women's school.Buoyed by their new enrollments, the Gators began varsity play in football in 1906 as the new Gainesville campus opened. They were coached by James Forsythe for three winning seasons. In 1909, G.E. Pyle took over coaching duties.

The 1910s saw the team face many of their current rivals for the first time. The first game against South Carolina was in 1911. When Florida joined the now-defunct Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1912, they faced Auburn for the first time, followed by Georgia in 1915. The Gators joined the Southern Conference in 1922, following their traditional rivals' departure from the SIAA a year earlier.

The Gators joined the Southeastern Conference in 1932, along with several other rivals from the Southern Conference—Georgia, Auburn, Alabama, and Georgia Tech.

In 1949 the iconic cheerleader Mr. Two Bits attended his first game and began the tradition of leading the fans in the "two bits" cheer.

Florida had its first taste of long-term success in the mid-1960s, when Ray Graves set the team record for wins at Florida with 70, a record that stood for thirty years. Graves fielded one of his best teams in 1966, led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Steve Spurrier (during this time, Florida researchers developed the popular sports drink Gatorade and tested it on the Gators football team due to the humid conditions under which the team played). Graves retired after a 9–1–1 season in 1969 and Florida alumnus Doug Dickey took over the reins. Dickey had some success, going 58–43–2, but it wasn’t enough to keep his job after a 4–7 season in 1978.

Charley Pell took over for Dickey, bringing the Gators back to respectability on the field with troubles off of it. Though he began his career with an 0–10–1 season in 1979, the Gators turned it around with an eight-win season the following year, in which the team set an NCAA record for win differential (this has since been surpassed). Pell went 33-15 after the winless opening season, but he was fired during his (and, at the time, the Gators’) best season in 1984 in light of major NCAA violations.

Prior to the 1990s, the 1984 team was considered clearly the finest Gator squad ever. The offense was especially potent, with an offensive line dubbed "The Great Wall of Florida" (Crawford Ker, Jeff Zimmerman, Phil Bromley, Billy Hinson, and Lomas Brown) that paved the way for John L. Williams and Neal Anderson to run the ball and for quarterback Kerwin Bell to step in as a freshman and lead the team to a 9-1-1 record.

Galen Hall coached the team from the middle of 1984 to 1989 with much success, including an SEC title in 1984 and 1985, though these were to be stripped due to NCAA violations committed by Pell. Hall went 40–18 at Florida. He had his own violation scandal, however, and was fired during the 1989 season. Gary Darnell finished the season for him.

The '90s

The football team has been one of the winningest in Division 1-A since 1990, the year Spurrier returned to his alma mater as coach. That year, the Gators finished first in the SEC for the third time ever (the others being the title-stripped years of ’84 and ’85), but were ineligible for the SEC title. They won their first official SEC championship in 1991. The team played for the championship in the first ever SEC Championship Game in 1992 but lost to the eventual national champions, Alabama. The Gators went on to win the following four SEC Championship Games (1993-1996), leading Spurrier to quip as the team posed for their championship photo that "this is our annual team picture." [ [http://www.sptimes.com/2002/01/08/Sports/Spurrierisms.shtml Sports: Spurrierisms ] ] Spurrier broke his old coach—Ray Graves'—mark for wins as Florida coach in 1996.

The Gators had their first and only unbeaten regular season in 1995, but were denied a national championship in the 1995 Fiesta Bowl, later nicknamed the “Fiasco Bowl” for its lopsided score in favor of Nebraska (62–24).

Much of the team's offense returned following the bittersweet 1995 season. The 1996 team would end up setting dozens of UF's scoring records, as the Gators rolled over most of their opponents to start the season 10–0. The top-ranked Gators faced the #2 Florida State Seminoles on the road in Doak Campbell Stadium, the last regular-season 1-vs-2 matchup for a decade. Keyed by several blocking errors on offense and special teams, the Gators left Tallahassee with a 24–21 loss. But the pieces fell into place for Florida, as they beat the Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship Game, 45–30, and Texas upset Nebraska in the inaugural Big 12 Championship Game to clear the path for #4 Florida to become the best available opponent for the Seminoles in the Sugar Bowl (#2 Arizona State was contracted to play in the Rose Bowl). To have a shot at a national title, the Gators would need help in the Rose Bowl, which Ohio State provided by defeating #2 Arizona State on the last play, thus setting up the Sugar Bowl to crown a national champion. The Gators seized their unlikely opportunity, and Heisman trophy-winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel avenged the earlier loss and garnered game MVP honors in a 52–20 rout of the Seminoles.

The following season, in 1997, the Gators looked like they would reload for another title, beating heavily-ranked Tennessee at home and obtaining the #1 ranking. But the team struggled midway through their schedule, losing to LSU on the road and a 20-point loss to Georgia after having dominated both teams the previous year. Arguably the loudest, most intense game in The Swamp's history occurred later that year, as the 10th-ranked Gators upset their rivals, the top-ranked Florida State Seminoles in a 32-29 thriller that featured two last-minute lead changes.

Having won five SEC titles in six seasons in 1996, the Gators had trouble keeping pace with their amazing run in the conference later in the decade, going three seasons before capturing the title again in 2000. The Gators looked prime to return to the SEC Championship Game as favorites in 2001, but lost a heartbreaker to the Tennessee Volunteers on a game postponed to December due to the attacks of 9/11.

The 2000s

Following the 2001 season, Spurrier left the program to try his hand at coaching in the National Football League. After a much-publicized and much-scrutinized coaching search, former Gator assistant coach Ron Zook was hired as his replacement. Zook's squads were known for their inconsistency; they handed Nick Saban's Louisiana State team its only loss in its 2003 national championship season and Georgia its only loss in 2002, while going winless against the state of Mississippi, Miami, and in its bowl games. Zook was fired midway through the 2004 season after an embarrassing loss to Mississippi State, but was allowed to finish out the regular season. After Zook was relieved of duties for taking the open job at Illinois, defensive coordinator Charlie Strong served as interim coach for the 2004 Peach Bowl against Miami (FL), becoming the first African-American head football coach at Florida and the second in SEC history. Jeremy Foley, Florida's athletic director, found a much higher profile candidate to replace Zook in national coach of the year, Urban Meyer of Utah.

Meyer was announced as Florida Football's new head coach in December 2004. His first season in 2005 was an improvement at 9-3, including a bowl win against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Though the team managed to sweep its three biggest rivals (Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida State) for just the fourth time in school history, they missed out on a chance to play in the SEC title game after a devastating loss to Spurrier's new team, South Carolina.

In 2006, the Gators were victorious in the SEC Championship Game against Arkansas, winning their first title since the 2000 season. The Gators were selected to play in the BCS Championship Game against the Ohio State Buckeyes, which was played on January 8, 2007. They beat the No. 1 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, 41–14, for their second national title.

A month after the national championship, the Gators celebrated signing arguably their second #1 recruiting class in as many years. [http://rivals100.rivals.com/TeamRank.asp?type=0&sort=0&year=2007]

Tim Tebow became the full time starting quarterback for the 2007 season. The Gators started off the season 4–0 and were ranked as high as #3. However, a midseason stretch in which the team lost 3 of 4 games to conference foes put an end to hopes of a repeat national championship.

While the Gators finished with a relatively disappointing 9–4 record and #13 final ranking, Tim Tebow's outstanding performance earned him many post-season awards, including the Heisman Trophy. He was the first underclassman to receive the award.


Florida State

Sometimes referred to as "The Battle for the Governor's Cup", the yearly meeting of Florida State has, since 1964, alternated yearly between the Gators’ field and the Seminole’s home turf of Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee.


Commonly known as "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party", the official name of the rivalry with Georgia is the "Florida-Georgia/Georgia-Florida Game" due to a reluctance to promote alcohol consumption. Currently, the game is held at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida, usually on the last Saturday in October. The designated "home" team alternates from year to year, with ticket distribution split evenly between the two schools. In past years, fans from Florida and Georgia were assigned seats grouped in alternating sections of the stadium, and the contrasting colors worn by the fans created a "beach ball" visual effect in the stands. Recently the seating arrangement has split the stadium lengthwise and fans sit on the side corresponding to the sideline their team occupies.

The game was first held in Jacksonville in 1915 in the teams' second meeting (won by Georgia 39–0). The game has been held in Jacksonville every year since 1933, except for 1994 and 1995, when the contest was held on the respective schools' campus stadiums due to the rebuilding of Jacksonville Municipal Stadium for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars. During that time Florida scored the most points any team has put up against Georgia in the Bulldog's home stadium.


Sometimes called the "Third Saturday in September", Florida and Tennessee have faced off in September every season since 1990, except 2001, when the game was rescheduled to December due to the September 11th terrorist attacks. In addition, they met 21 times prior to 1991. Under the old, 10 team SEC, the teams would play on a rotation of two years on, two years off. With the SEC splitting into two divisions in 1992, the teams now play each season. Both are members of the SEC's East Division, and until 2002, were the only teams to represent that division in the SEC Championship Game.


When Florida and Miami play each other, the War Canoe Trophy is up for grabs. The one-time annual rivalry halted after the 1987 season, and the two schools wouldn't play each other again until the 2001 Sugar Bowl. Florida and Miami would play a home-and-home series in 2002 and 2003, and again in the 2004 Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Florida won the first leg of a home-and-home series in 2008, ending a six game losing streak against the Hurricanes. Their next scheduled regular season meeting will be in 2012. The Hurricanes lead the all time record against the Gators 28–26.


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National Championships

eason-by-Season Records [http://www.gatorzone.com/football/history/yby_scores.pdf]

All-time record vs. annual opponents

Notable alumni

*Carlos Alvarez, All-American wide receiver
*Neal Anderson, former Pro Bowl running back
*Reidel Anthony, former NFL WR
*Trace Armstrong, former NFL defensive end
*Dallas Baker, current wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers
*Kerwin Bell, former NFL and CFL QB and head coach, Jacksonville University
*Scot Brantley, former NFL linebacker, current radio analyst
*Alex Brown, defensive end for the Chicago Bears
*Lomas Brown, seven-time Pro Bowl selection and likely NFL Hall of Famer
*Reche Caldwell, wide receiver for the St. Louis Rams
*Kevin Carter, defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
*Wes Chandler, former Pro Bowl wide receiver
*Mo Collins, former NFL OL
*Cris Collinsworth, former NFL wide receiver and current sports broadcaster
*Channing Crowder, current Miami Dolphins linebacker
*Earl Everett, current linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons
*Ciatrick Fason, former NFL RB
*Derrick Gaffney, former NFL WR
*Jabar Gaffney, wide receiver for the New England Patriots
*Chan Gailey, reserve college QB, former college head coach
*Earnest Graham, starting running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
*Jacquez Green, former NFL wide receiver
*Rex Grossman, quarterback for the Chicago Bears
*Ike Hilliard, wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
*Lindy Infante, former RB and NFL head coach
*Chad Jackson, wide receiver for the New England Patriots
*Darrell Jackson, WR for the Denver Broncos
*Terry Jackson, former NFL RB
*Ellis Johnson, former NFL defensive tackle
*Jevon Kearse, DE for the Tennessee Titans
*Crawford Ker, former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman
*Kelvin Kight, wide receiver for the New England Patriots
*Chris Leak, quarterback of the 2006 championship team
*Wilber Marshall, former NFL Pro Bowl linebacker
*Shane Matthews, former NFL QB, coach in the All American Football League
*Tony McCoy, former NFL DT
*Jeff Mitchell, former NFL center
*Jarvis Moss, defensive end for the Denver Broncos
*Mike Mularkey, former NFL tight end, former NFL head coach
*Ricky Nattiel, former WR for the Denver Broncos
*Reggie Nelson, defensive back for the Jacksonville Jaguars
*Louis Oliver, former strong safety for the Miami Dolphins
*Jesse Palmer, former CFL and NFL quarterback, and Bachelor, now a sports commentator
* [http://www.nfl.com/players/playerpage/302213 Mike Pearson] , former NFL offensive lineman
*Mike Peterson, middle linebacker for the Jacksonville Jaguars
*John Reaves, former NFL and collegiate All-American quarterback
*Errict Rhett, former running back in the NFL
*Brian Schottenheimer, reserve college QB, current offensive coordinator, New York Jets
*Ian Scott, defensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles
*Lito Sheppard, 2-Time Pro Bowler, cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles
*Brandon Siler, linebacker for the San Diego Chargers
*Emmitt Smith, the NFL's all-time leading rusher and probable NFL Hall of Famer
*Ryan Smith, former All-American cornerback
*Jimmy Spencer, former NFL DB and current assistant coach for the Denver Broncos
*Steve Spurrier, Heisman Trophy winner, coach of Florida's 1996 National Champion Team, former head coach of the Washington Redskins, current South Carolina coach
*Max Starks, offensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers
*Fred Taylor, running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars
*Travis Taylor, wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings
*Ben Troupe, tight end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
*Dale Van Sickel, member of the College Football Hall of Fame
*Kenyatta Walker, former NFL OT
*Gerard Warren, defensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders
*Tavares Washington, offensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers
*Dee Webb, former NFL defensive back
*John L. Williams, former Pro Bowl RB
*Danny Wuerffel, QB of Florida's 1996 National Champion Team, Heisman Trophy winner, former NFL QB, namesake of the Wuerffel Trophy
*Jack Youngblood, NFL Hall of Famer
* Jeff Zimmerman, former NFL offensive lineman

Notable current players

*Percy Harvin, starting wide receiver, first Gator player to have 100+ yards receiving and rushing in the same game
*Tim Tebow, starting quarterback, first player in NCAA history to score 20+ rushing and passing touchdowns in the same season, first underclassman to win the Heisman Trophy
*Cameron Newton, reserve quarterback
*Major Wright, starting safety
*Dustin Doe, starting outside linebacker
*Brandon Spikes, starting middle linebacker


ee also

*University of Florida Athletic Association

External links

* [http://www.gatorzone.com/football/ Gatorzone.com] , official website

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Florida Gators football, 1990-1999 — 1992 NCAATeamFootballSeason Year=1992 Team=Florida Gators Conference=Southeastern Conference Division=East ShortConference=SEC CoachRank=11 APRank=10 Record=9 4 ConfRecord= HeadCoach=Steve Spurrier OffCoach= DefCoach= OScheme= DScheme=… …   Wikipedia

  • Florida Gators football, 1930-1939 — 1932 NCAATeamFootballSeason Year=1932 Team=Florida Gators Conference=Southern Conference Division= ShortConference=SoCon CoachRank= APRank= Record=3 6 ConfRecord= HeadCoach=Charles Bachman OffCoach= DefCoach= OScheme= DScheme=… …   Wikipedia

  • Florida Gators football, 1950-1959 — 1952 NCAATeamFootballSeason Year=1952 Team=Florida Gators Conference=Southeastern Conference Division= ShortConference=SEC CoachRank= APRank=15 Record=8 3 ConfRecord= HeadCoach=Bob Woodruff OffCoach= DefCoach= OScheme= DScheme=… …   Wikipedia

  • Florida Gators football, 1960-1969 — 1962 NCAATeamFootballSeason Year=1962 Team=Florida Gators Conference=Southeastern Conference Division= ShortConference=SEC CoachRank= APRank= Record=7 4 ConfRecord= HeadCoach=Ray Graves OffCoach= DefCoach= OScheme= DScheme= StadiumArena=Florida… …   Wikipedia

  • Florida Gators football, 1970-1979 — 1972 NCAATeamFootballSeason Year=1972 Team=Florida Gators Conference=Southeastern Conference Division= ShortConference=SEC CoachRank= APRank= Record=5 5 1 ConfRecord= HeadCoach=Doug Dickey OffCoach= DefCoach= OScheme= DScheme=… …   Wikipedia

  • Florida Gators football, 1980-1989 — 1982 NCAATeamFootballSeason Year=1982 Team=Florida Gators Conference=Southeastern Conference Division= ShortConference=SEC CoachRank= APRank= Record=8 4 ConfRecord= HeadCoach=Charley Pell OffCoach= DefCoach= OScheme= DScheme= StadiumArena=Florida …   Wikipedia

  • Florida Gators football, 1910-1919 — 1912 NCAATeamFootballSeason Year=1912 Team=Florida Gators Conference=Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association Division= ShortConference=SIAA CoachRank= APRank= Record=5 2 1 ConfRecord= HeadCoach=G.E. Pyle OffCoach= DefCoach= OScheme= DScheme …   Wikipedia

  • Florida Gators football, 1920-1929 — 1922 NCAATeamFootballSeason Year=1922 Team=Florida Gators Conference=Southern Conference Division= ShortConference=SoCon CoachRank= APRank= Record=7 2 ConfRecord= HeadCoach=William Kline OffCoach= DefCoach= OScheme= DScheme= StadiumArena=… …   Wikipedia

  • Florida Gators football, 1940-1949 — 1942 NCAATeamFootballSeason Year=1942 Team=Florida Gators Conference=Southeastern Conference Division= ShortConference=SEC CoachRank= APRank= Record=3 7 ConfRecord= HeadCoach=Thomas J. Lieb OffCoach= DefCoach= OScheme= DScheme=… …   Wikipedia

  • 1996 Florida Gators football team — NCAATeamFootballSeason Year=1996 Team=Florida Gators ImageSize= Conference=Southeastern Conference Division=East ShortConference=SEC CoachRank= 1 APRank= 1 Record=12 1 ConfRecord=9 0 HeadCoach=Steve Spurrier OffCoach= DefCoach=Bob Stoops… …   Wikipedia

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