Matchup: Florida vs. Florida State
Significance: Florida's First National Championship
The road to the 1997 national championship was an improbable one. The Gators started the year ranked fourth in the nation, but they would climb up to first in Week 4. They remained first until their annual matchup against Florida State.
The Gators would lose to the No. 2 Seminoles 24-21, seemingly ending their hopes of winning a national championship.
The Gators then won the SEC championship, beating Alabama 45-30, before receiving a little help from Texas, who beat Nebraska in the Big 12 championship. The Gators moved up to No. 3 in the polls and would face Florida State in the Sugar Bowl.
It would take a come back win from Ohio State over Arizona State to turn the Sugar Bowl into the de facto national championship. With No. 2 Arizona State losing, the No. 1 Seminoles and No. 3 Gators would decide who college football's best team was.
The Gators played an inspired game and would never trail, scoring 10 points in the first quarter and 14 every quarter after that, winning the game 52-20.
The national championship was the first in school history, and Steve Spurrier would become the first head coach to win a Heisman, coach a Heisman winner and win a national championship all at the same school.