Florida

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The Swamp is known as one of the loudest stadiums in college football, and all sports for the matter. The Swamp, legally known as Ben Hill Griffin stadium is home to the Florida Gators, who in recent years have become a national powerhouse in the college football world. They have become arguably the most dominant college football team over the last 15 years and are perennial national champion favorites.

Florida was a respectable team from its early beginnings in 1906; however they never gained the national respect that the school from Gainesville had craved since their entrance into the Southeastern conference in 1932. However, that all changed in 1990 when the team hired former Heisman Trophy quarterback and alumnus Steve Spurrier to lead the team to the dominance they have craved.

Little did Florida know the monster they created when they hired the visor-launching Spurrier to take over their program. Spurrier turned the program into one of the most successful and feared program in the nation. In fact, since 1990 the team is the most winningest program in all of college football, an outstanding feat considering the amount of talent and parity in college football during this time frame.

It did not take long for Florida to improve their status as a great football team winning a conference championship in 1991, a trend that would continue for the foreseeable future. Florida played in the inaugural SEC Championship game in 1992; however they would lose to eventual national champion Alabama in that game. However, the conference and nation had been put on notice that the Gators were here to stay in the country's elite teams.

From 1993 to 1996 the team played in all the SEC Championship games and they won all of them claiming four straight conference titles, which is a feat that has not been repeated to this day by any team in the SEC. These four years are considered by some experts as the most successful of any college football program in the past 25 years. The team not only won conference titles but also did so in a dominating fashion.

These dominant years culminated with the school's first National Championship in 1996, being led by the nation's number one offense anchored by Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel. The team won the National Championship by easily defeating Florida State, who had beaten them previously in the season, however they were able to avenge that loss by beating their in-state rivals 52-20 in the Sugar Bowl. The team would play well and would win two more conference championships before Spurrier resigned in 2001 to follow his dream to coach in the NFL.

Following the unexpected exit of Spurrier the team replaced him with NFL assistant coach Ron Zook, who would bring the program back to the mediocrity that they experienced before Spurrier took the helm. Zook would only last three years and was fired during the 2004 season and the school looked to be heading for a freefall that no one could help them recover from.

However, Athletic Director Jeremy Foley would hire Urban Meyer to take over the program and the team has returned and even surpassed the success they had in the 90's. Urban Meyer who has coached the team since 2005 has led the team to two national championships in just four years and the team has returned to the top of the football landscape and look poised to continue their dominance for years to come.

Writer and editor, Freddie Brister, is a former high school football coach of 25 years. His love of the game of football is reflected in his words and memories of growing up in the South and playing football in the back yard with his brother, cousins and neighborhood friends. His biggest thrill is watching former high school players he has coached play at the college level. His favorite pastime is watching college football on tv and attending the games in person every chance he gets. Freddie Brister is a huge fan of the SEC and the Florida Gator. Check out his Florida Gator Merchandise or his Florida State Store

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