1996 - Florida vs. Florida State
Despite both teams coming into the game 10-0, the top-ranked Gators were favored over the second-ranked Seminoles in Tallahassee. Steve Spurrierâ€™s pass-happy "Fun-n-Gun" offense had been rolling opponents all year and few thought even Bobby Bowdenâ€™s dynastic 'Noles could slow them. The general consensus was the winner of the Nov. 30 game would go on to play for the national championship and the loser would be relegated to a consolation bowl game.
Right out of the gate the Seminoles jumped all over the Gators, getting out to a 17-0 first-quarter lead. Having learned from Nebraskaâ€™s spanking of Florida in the Fiesta Bowl the previous year, FSU pressured Heisman-winning QB Danny Wuerffel all game, knocking him down an astounding 32 times. Wuerffel and the Gators were able to fight back, cutting the lead to 24-21 with 1:19 to go, but that would be the end of it. The Seminoles held on to win, thanks to their defense and Warrick Dunn, who contributed 185 yards on the ground.
Following the game, all the pieces fell into place to save Floridaâ€™s title hopes as they ended up in the Sugar Bowl, playing against top-ranked FSU in a rematch. With second-ranked Arizona State having lost in the Rose Bowl the night before, it became the de facto national championship game. Florida got its revenge and then some, routing the Seminoles 52-20 as Spurrier won his first national championship.