The Florida Gators have been one of the most successful teams in all of college football throughout their 100 plus years of existence as a team, compiling 685 victories. That tradition of success has been at one of its highest points in history over the last decade. The Gators won their first ever bowl game way back in 1912 with a victory in the Bacardi Bowl. However, it wasn’t until the 1920’s when the Gators rose to the national consciousness, even leading the country in points scored with 338 in 1928. In 1933 the Gators were one of the founding members of the new Southeastern Conference, or as it’s more commonly known the SEC, and have been a member ever since but it wouldn’t be until 1984 until they won their first SEC championship. After their first bowl appearance in 1912 the Gators had to wait 40 years before they made another, defeating Tulsa 14-13 in the Gator Bowl. Once the 1960’s came around the Gators started to rise to the level of success they are now known for.
That success coincided with the arrival of a star quarterback named Steve Spurrier in 1962. Spurrier would be a three year starter for the Gators and won the Heisman trophy in 1966. On top of that he led Florida to a Gator Bowl win. The Gators would go on to have success in the 70’s and 80’s but they wouldn’t reach the pinnacle of the sport until Spurrier returned to Gainsville as a coach in 1990. The highlight of his tenure was the 1996 season when the Gators finished 12-1 and rolled over in state rival Florida State 52-20 in the Sugar Bowl. The Gators would end the season ranked #1 overall and be crowned National Champions. Florida would have a few down years by their standard until 2005 when Urban Meyer arrived. In his second season at the helm Meyer would lead Florida to the National Championship game where they upset the top ranked Ohio State Buckeyes 41-14.
The 2007 season was the beginning of the Tim Tebow era leading the Gators. In his first season as the starter he broke the SEC record for total offense and became the first sophomore to ever win the Heisman trophy. One year later, Tebow led the Gators to another championship when they defeated Oklahoma 24-14.
Florida Gators Recent Bowl Game History
In 2012 the Gators were upset in the Sugar Bowl by rising star and future first round pick Teddy Bridgewater and the Louisville Cardinals. While the score was close at 33-23 the Cardinals never looked uncomfortable and the victory was rarely in doubt. The 2013 season was a disaster for Florida, ending the season 4-8 which included a loss to Georgia Southern. It was the first time the Florida Gators ended a season without appearing in a bowl game since 1990.