Many college football rivalries are marked by unique pieces of hardware. The Golden Egg trophy goes to the the winner of the Mississippi-Mississippi State game. The Minnesota-Wisconsin winner takes home Paul Bunyan’s Axe. LSU and Arkansas play for the Golden Boot. And the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is contested for the Okefenokee Oar.
Traditionally, the Florida-FSU rivalry has not awarded a trophy to its winner, at least not one that’s displayed in the public eye. Instead, the winning team has been known to celebrate with a severed head of its rival’s mascot (FSU walks around with an alligator head, and Florida dances with a decapitated Native American skull) after the game. But virtually unbeknownst to most Gator fans, Florida laid claim to not one, but two actual trophies by clobbering FSU 40-17 on Saturday night.
First, Florida earned the Makala Trophy as a result of its head to head win over the Seminoles. That trophy was designed with the intention of being paraded off the field, and while that has never materialized, the trophy does get presented at a bipartisan spring banquet to the winning school. (Side note: a little help here, Florida and FSU admins? Wouldn’t it be cool to see players of the winning team running around with it after winning?) So nevertheless, that’s +1 for the University of Florida’s hardware collection.
Secondly, Florida earned the Florida Cup Trophy by virtue of its 24-20 win over Miami back in August coupled with its aforementioned 40-17 conquering of the Seminoles this past weekend. The Cup, which was created in 2002, was designed to be a permanent trophy to the round robin winner between Florida, Miami and FSU. Because Florida and Miami only play intermittently, and because the Cup is awarded only in years in which Florida and Miami play each other, it has only been handed out six times. Also, because Florida and Miami are not scheduled to play again until 2024, the Cup will remain safely in the University of Florida’s possession for the next half decade (unless the Gators and Hurricanes are paired together in a bowl game before then).
It truly is great to be a Florida Gator. It never really isn’t, of course, but it’s especially great when you’ve got hardware to prove it.