Florida Gators Football
By Space Coast Daily // October 12, 2019
Florida competed in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
They play their home game at Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (the university’s “The Swamp” on the Gainesville campus).
The current head coach of the team is Dan Mullen. The Gators have won three national championships and eight SEC titles in the history of 112 seasons of Florida football.
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The University of Florida was founded in 1906 in Gainesville and dropped its first official varsity football team.
In 112 years of football, Florida has played in more than 40 bowl games; won three National Championships (1996, 2006 and 2008) and eight Southeastern Conference Championships (1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2006 and 2008) and produced three Heisman Trophy winners, more than 90 first teams are All-Americans and 50 National Football League (NFL) first-round draft choices.
Florida football team association competed for its first various seasons as an independent before getting joined in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1912.
They moved to the Southern Conference in 1922 and then left in 1932 with a dozen other schools to establish the new Southeast Conference (SEC). Florida is currently one of the fourteen-member institutions in the SEC, and the football team has competed in the SEC Eastern Division since league play began in 1992.
Florida plays an eight-game SEC schedule, with six games against other Eastern Division teams: Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and Vanderbilt.
The schedule is filled with an annual game against Louisiana State and a rotating SEC Western Division team. As of 2003, the Gators also played Auburn every season, but competition in the rivalry is now a frequent occurrence as part of the SEC’s rotating rival system.
Florida has also played in the state rival Florida State every year since 1958, usually faced in the last game of the regular season.
The two teams that emerged as perennial football powers during the 1980s and 1990s helped build the Florida-Florida State rivalry into a sport that often has national-title implications.
Prior to 1988, in-state rival Miami was also an annual rival; Due to the extended conference schedule, the Florida-Miami rivalry has been renewed only three times in the regular season and twice in Bowl games since.
The remaining dates of Florida’s regular schedule are filled by non-conference opponents who change from year to year.
The football program eventually moved to a modern stadium in 1930, when the university built the 22,000-seat Florida Field south of Fleming Field.
In 1989, the name was extended to “Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium” to honor alumnus and sports beneficiary, Ben Hill Griffin.
In 2016, former player and coach Steve Spurrier was honored by associating his name with the field name; It is now officially known as “Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.”
The facility is also commonly known as “The Swamp”, a nickname Spurrier coined in 1992 when he was Florida’s head ball coach. Florida Field has been renovated and expanded several times over the decades and has a capacity of approximately 90,000.
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