Florida, Florida State or Miami football will be the 2019 FBS Sunshine state champion

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 07: Quinton Dunbar #1 of the Florida Gators is tackled by Stacy Coley #3 of the Miami Hurricanes during a game at Sun Life Stadium on September 7, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 07: Quinton Dunbar #1 of the Florida Gators is tackled by Stacy Coley #3 of the Miami Hurricanes during a game at Sun Life Stadium on September 7, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

For the first time since 2013 Florida, Florida State and the Miami football programs will play each other in a round robin. The Seminoles play the Gators and Hurricanes every year. It’s up to Miami and Florida to play to complete the round robin.

There has been a lot of talk over the last month about which FBS teams should be playing each other in Florida. South Florida and the Miami football program drew some criticism last month in scheduling a 2-for-1 series that favors Miami.

The Hurricanes will host the Bulls in 2025 and 2028 and the teams will play in Tampa in 2027. The atmospheres should be dynamic for the two teams in Florida that play their home games in NFL stadiums. Miami has won five of the six meetings. That includes their last one in 2013.

In the present, the state of Florida’s three Power Five programs playing each other in a given year is good for the Gators, Hurricanes and Seminoles. The winner of the round robin in the three games will be crowned the winner of the Florida Cup aka the state championship of Florida.

The Florida Cup has not been awarded since Miami and Florida last played in 2013. The series has to be a complete round robin for the Cup to be awarded. The games played between Florida and Miami do not have to be played in the regular season. Bowl games count towards the Florida Cup being awarded.

The Florida Cup was not established until 2002. They did not retroactively award the cup in the many years that a round robin was played annually. The series was ended by Florida in 1989 after Miami athletic director Sam Jankovic and Florida AD and former Dolphins defensive coordinator Bill Arsbarger could not agree to a deal.

Jankovic discussed why the Hurricanes and Gators would not be playing annually any more with United Press International in 1987.

"“We will not play in Gainesville in 1990 and 1992 unless they come here in ’89. I think they’re making a big mistake in one, doing away with the series (on an annual basis) and secondly, it’s very, very unfortunate that we’ll go four (seasons) without playing as it stands."

The teams would go much longer than the anticipated four years without playing. Florida and the Miami football program ended their tradition of playing annually in 1987. They would not meet again until the 2001 Sugar Bowl after the 2000 season. Miami won going away 37-20.

Miami Hurricanes Football
Miami Hurricanes Football /

Miami Hurricanes Football

Florida cited responsibilities of the SEC schedule increasing from six to seven and eventually eight games when Arkansas and South Carolina were added to the conference in 1991. Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley explained the reason to ESPN in 2002.

"“We need six home games to run our program. To finance our program, if you don’t have six home games, you can’t balance your budget.”"

This year’s game came together because of the Camping World Kickoff Classic in Orlando. There have been reports that Miami and Florida are working on a deal to play a home and home series in the future. Florida State has continued to play both rivalries annually. Bobby Bowden spoke the importance of playing Florida and Miami.

"“We’ve been doing it all our lives, playing both of them. You look at the national championships we might have won had we not played Miami. One-point losses.Look at the number of times we lost to Florida. Nobody else in the country is playing both of them. This year, Tennessee is. But I’m glad to see them start playing each other again.”"

It’s somewhat understandable why Florida and Miami do not play every year. Playing two non-conference games against Power 5 programs in an emotionally charged atmosphere is difficult. It could hurt the Gators chances of getting into the College Football Playoff. Winning those games would increase their chances exponentially.

Florida State played Florida and Miami in non-conference annually until the Hurricanes joined the ACC in 2004. Miami football analyst Don Bailey junior gave a sound economic reason why Florida and Miami should play annually.

"“I’ll tell you how you know the game should be played. Try and get a ticket. If that isn’t proof, what else is? You can’t get a ticket for that ball game. You just can’t find it. I had people calling me a month ago for tickets."

The first three years the trophy existed it was awarded. Miami and Florida played in the regular season in 2002 and ’03. They met again in the Peach Bowl in 2004. The Hurricanes were dominant in that era going 7-0 against the Gators and Seminoles to capture the Florida Cup all three seasons.

Next. AAC Commish states their programs need 2-for-1 to play Miami. dark

Miami and Florida State met twice during the 2003 season. The Hurricanes won the regular season meeting 22–14 and defeated Florida State 16–14 in the Orange Bowl. Florida captured the Florida Cup with a sweep in 2008 and Florida State did the same in 2013.