Daniels: Gators, Noles And Canes And The Florida Cup You've Never Heard Of

Florida State v Miami

Photo: Getty Images

Saturday marks the 66th time that FSU and Miami will play on the football field. The Canes hold a 35-30 edge in the series that has produced some of the greatest games in college football over the years.

There have been wide rights and wide lefts. There have been top-10 matchups, rap videos and the attention of the college football world on some of these games over the years.

But sadly, this Saturday's game will not be part of the Florida Cup. You know, the Florida Cup. No, not a soccer competition at Camping World Stadium. The football Florida Cup. You say you don't know of the football Florida Cup.

The Florida Cup is the trophy the Gators, Seminoles and Canes play for each year....that would be each year they all play each other.

The Gators captured the last Florida Cup back in 2019 because they beat FSU and Miami that season to claim two wins.

Introduced in 2002 by then Governor Jeb Bush, the Florida Sports Foundation-who promotes sports in Florida(tough one there)- created the trophy and promoted the idea of this annual competition hoping it would spark the Gators and Miami to schedule an annual game. That didn't happen.

From 1958 to 1987 the three teams played each other for all but three years. But then, Florida dropped Miami to play "a more national non-conference schedule" which never happened. The Miami went to the Big East and FSU to the ACC and scheduling changed. Miami and FSU became a conference game in 2004 and the state mandates FSU and Florida play every year. But there is nothing other than a willingness to schedule a Florida-Miami game, nothing requires the two to play and they have played just seven times since 1987.

But the Florida Cup has been won three times by Miami(2002, 2003, 2004), twice by Florida(2008, 2019) and once by FSU(2013). The Florida Cup has allowed bowl matchups to count if it completed the round robin and that happened two times.

I know what you are screaming about: "what if there is a split with each team claiming a win and a loss?"

Well, glad you asked. The tiebreaker in that scenario is the team who gives up the fewest points is declared the winner of the Florida Cup. What if teams have played twice in a season, which has happened, then what is the tiebreaker? If you truly are asking yourself this, you need to stop reading this column now and seek help.

But I have bad news for all of us. The Florida Cup will only be awarded two more times in 2024 and 2025. Those are the years where all three are scheduled to play each other in a season but because there is no annual Florida-Miami game, the Florida Cup will end after the 2025 season. I know. I know. It is hard to believe.

Ranking right up there with the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy(Army, Navy, Air Force), the Beehive Boot(BYU, Utah, Utah St.) and the Michigan Mac Trophy(Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Western Michigan)- the Florida Cup will soon leave this list of great gridiron competition. 

Enjoy while we can, because we will be left with only memories after the 2025 competition. What could have been....what could have been...

Final thought: St. Augustine is the oldest city in the country, founded in 1565. Jamestown, Virginia is the second oldest city created in 1607. Santa Fe, New Mexico is third on the list founded in 1610.

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