From Alligator Army
This is our biggest rival. On the football side, Florida and Florida State fight for the same recruits and each game is a chance to show the most talented high schools in America that Gainesville or Tallahassee is the best place to attend.
For those of us in the stands or alumni/students, this is class warfare. The histories of Georgia and Georgia Tech, South Carolina and Clemson are far more controversial than Florida and Florida State. But, there is a much greater difference in academics and culture between UF and FSU than the previously mentioned rivalries.
The University of Florida is the Flagship University; Florida State is the Safety School. We have an elite teaching hospital and brain research center; FSU has a circus and wanted a chiropractic school in a money grab to stay ahead of the surging USF and UCF medical programs. I will admit, UF grads can be snobs. But we've earned it.
FSU was originally the women's college and UF was the men's college. This changed after World War II. That is why older alums and fans still look at Miami and Auburn (former annual rivals) with more disdain than current generations.
The rivalry did not become a big deal until the 1970s and the success of Bowden, Florida's rebirth in the 1980's (and NCAA sanctions that followed), and Spurrier never defeating Bowden in Tallahassee.
Florida fans take a lot of pride in that Ron Zook's only victory against FSU was on the day they dedicated "Bobby Bowden Field" in Tallahassee.
The last time FSU won in the series was 2003, when an ACC officiating crew handed the game to FSU with six blown calls. If you wonder why college football has the "review everything" replay system, that game is the reason.
Defeating FSU would be the sixth consecutive win in the series for Florida and might finally send Bobby Bowden to the retirement home, since he can't beat Urban Meyer. Tim Tebow, the greatest player to come out of Florida's high schools, would finish 4-0 against the Seminoles, 3-0 as a starter. UF fans will be pleased, but Alabama is the bigger concern a week later in Atlanta.
A loss would be the worst in Florida's history. There is precedent as UF's upset victory in 1997 over FSU ended the Seminoles' undefeated season and chance at a National Championship.
If FSU wins, it would be payback for that game. It might finally send Bobby Bowden to the retirement home since he finally beat Urban Meyer. Yeah, win or lose, they all want Bowden gone.
Note: This post was originally made last year, but I felt the sentiments in this rivalry have not changed