|Florida Gators||Florida State Seminoles||Miami Hurricanes|
|Current Holder:||Florida State|
|Florida State (1)
2002 2003 2004
The Florida Cup (also known as the state championship of Florida) is the annual American football rivalry between the University of Florida Gators, Florida State University Seminoles and the University of Miami Hurricanes.
The trophy originated in 2002 by the Florida Sports Foundation, the official sports promotion and development organization of the state of Florida, and the Florida Championships Awards, Inc., is sponsored by the state of Florida given to either Florida State University, University of Florida or University of Miami for winning a round-robin against the other two teams in the same season (including bowl games if necessary). The idea of finally having a trophy for the round robin winner between the three schools was enthusiastically endorsed by then-governor Jeb Bush.
Along with the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy (given to the winner of the round robin between Army, Navy and Air Force) and the Michigan MAC Trophy (Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan), the Florida Cup is one of the very few three-way college football rivalries that presents a trophy to the winner. Currently and in the past, the schools have claimed "de facto" state championships with head to head wins over the school if that school beat the other instate school or with wins over both of their in-state rivals regardless of the fact if the other two schools have played each other or not.
Origins of the Rivalries
The University of Florida and the University of Miami began intercollegiate play in football in 1938. The rivalry expanded when Florida State played their first game against Miami in 1951. Florida State first played the University of Florida in 1958.
The trophy was created by the Baldwin Hardware Corporation. It is designed to be a unique piece of art as well as representative of the traditional power of Florida's major collegiate football teams. The Florida Cup stands approximately 24 inches (0.6 m) tall and is composed of several elements. The base is crafted from solid cherry with the outline of the State of Florida and the football at the top in gold-plated solid pewter. The football is mounted on three curved, swirling "pillars" made from silver-plated solid brass that represent the state's three powerhouse football programs—the University of Miami, Florida State University, and the University of Florida.
Conference affiliations and game scheduling
The rivalry between the three schools has traditionally been non-conference; it was only in 2004 that Miami moved to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), joining Florida State, which played its first season as a member of the ACC in 1992. Prior to this move, Miami was in the Big East Conference, which it joined in 1991. Before joining their respective conferences, both teams had been independent. Florida has been in their conference, the Southeastern Conference (SEC), for much longer, having been one of its charter members in 1932.
Although Florida State has played both Miami and Florida annually for roughly 50 years, Florida has refused to play Miami in an annual series since 1987. The Florida Cup has been awarded to the winner of the round-robin between the three Florida schools since 2002. Thus, the cup can only be awarded during years in which all three teams play against one another. Florida State defeated both Miami and Florida in 2010, 2011 and 2014 but was denied three additional Florida Cups because Florida and Miami did not play each other those years. The award has been given only five times.
Miami won the first three Florida Cups awarded, having played Florida in the 2002 and 2003 regular seasons, and the 2004 Peach Bowl. Florida won its first Florida Cup in 2008, and Florida State won the 2013 Florida Cup with wins over Florida and Miami in the regular season.
Future Cup years
The Florida Cup was most recently awarded in 2013, as Florida and Miami played in the regular season. 2013 will be the last year the Florida Cup is awarded for a while (unless Florida and Miami are paired together in a bowl game), since Florida and Miami must play each other in order for the trophy to be handed out.
Three way tie
Should the three way rivalry end in a tie (if Florida, Florida State and Miami all go 1–1 against the other two schools), the trophy would then go to the team that allows the fewest total amount of points against the other two. If all three teams beat each other, and two of the three schools have given up the same number of points (and that number of points is lower than the number of points allowed by the third school) then the trophy goes to the school that won the head to head matchup with the other team it's tied with.
Should all three teams have given up the same amount of points in the games against each other, the trophy then goes to the team that scored the most points against the two teams.
If that number is also tied (and the only way that this is possible is if all three teams won one game and lost the other game by exactly the same score), then, the award is officially shared between the three schools, and all three schools receive official recognition as state champion; however, the previous winner retains possession of the trophy until the next season in which it is awarded.
Split Match ups
Should two teams play each other multiple times in the same season (in the case of Florida and Florida State, first in the regular season and then again in a bowl game, or in the case of Florida State and Miami, first in the regular season and then again in the ACC Championship Game or in a bowl game) and the two teams split the match ups, the school that amasses the better combined score against that opponent in those two match ups gets recognized as the winner between those two schools in the round robin standings among the three schools. Should the two schools beat each other by the same margin in the two games, the team that surrendered fewer total points in the two match ups against that opponent is recognized as the winner, and if the two schools beat each other by the same final score, the team with the greater margin of victory over the third team in the rivalry receives recognition as the winner.
If all the above criteria are still tied in the case of teams meeting multiple times in a season, the award is shared between those schools, and all three schools receive official recognition as the state champion. However, the team that last won the award outright retains possession of the trophy.
Results shown are when all three schools have played each other in an athletic year or when a clear de facto champion can be crowned. A de facto state champion has been named 25 times since Florida, Florida State and Miami fielded intercollegiate football, most recently in 2014.
Florida victories are colored ██ blue. Florida State victories are colored ██ garnet. Miami victories are colored ██ green. Ties are white. Years in which the Florida Cup trophy was awarded are in bold.
|Season||State Champion||Florida–Florida State||Florida–Miami||Florida State–Miami|
Note: * denotes 2004 Orange Bowl
- Florida–Florida State football rivalry
- Florida–Miami football rivalry
- Miami–Florida State football rivalry