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UF: Looking back

By Times staff

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 25, 2000


Characterized by the return of alumnus Steve Spurrier as head coach, the 1990s clearly was Florida's most successful decade. The Gators won five Southeastern Conference titles, including four straight from 1993 to 1996; played for their first national championship in 1995, a 62-24 Fiesta Bowl loss to Nebraska; and won the 1996 national championship with a 52-20 Sugar Bowl victory against rival Florida State.

Florida's 102 victories in the decade ranked third behind Florida State (109) and Nebraska (108). Its average final ranking of 6.5 was second to FSU's 2.9.

Quarterback Danny Wuerffel won the 1996 Heisman Trophy, joining 1966 quarterback Spurrier as the only Gators to receive college football's most prestigious individual award. Eleven players were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, including two players each in 1995, '97, '98 and '99.

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