The trophy was designed to be a unique piece of art as well as representative of the traditional power of Florida's major collegiate football teams. The Florida Cup stands approximately 24 inches (0.6 m) tall and is composed of several elements. The base is crafted from solid cherry with the outline of the State of Florida and the football at the top in gold-plated solid pewter. The football is mounted on three curved, swirling "pillars" made from silver-plated solid brass that represent the state's three powerhouse football programs—the University of Miami, Florida State University, and the University of Florida.
The rivalry between the three schools has traditionally been non-conference; it was only in 2004 that Miami moved to the Atlantic Coast Conference, joining Florida State in same conference, which played its first season as a member of the conference in 1992. Just prior to this move Miami was in the Big East Conference, which it joined in 1991. Both teams had been independent prior to joining their respective conferences. Florida has been in the Southeastern Conference for much longer, having been one of its charter members in 1932.
Although Florida State, for roughly 50 consecutive years, has played both Miami and Florida annually, Miami and Florida was previously played annually from 1938 until 1987, and is now played intermittently. The Florida Cup is awarded to the winner of the round-robin between the three Florida schools. Thus, the cup can only be awarded during years in which all three teams play against one another.
Miami won the first three Florida Cups awarded, having played Florida in the 2002 and 2003 regular seasons and the 2004 Peach Bowl. Florida won its first Florida Cup in 2008, when it beat both Miami and Florida State.
The Florida Cup will next be awarded in 2013, as Florida and Miami are scheduled to play each other in the regular season. However, unless the two Gators and Hurricanes meet in a bowl game, this will be the last year they play for a long time, as both Florida athletic directorJeremy Foley and Miami athletic director Blake James have both expressed concern with adding the other team as an annual opponent due to problems with their schedules. Thus, 2013 will be be the last year the Florida Cup is awarded for awhile, since Florida and Miami must play each other for the award to be handed out.
Should the three way rivalry end in a tie (if Florida, Florida State and Miami all go 1-1 against the other two schools), the trophy would then go to the team that allows the fewest total amount of points against the other two. Should all three teams have given up the same amount of points, the trophy then goes to the team that scored the most points. If that number is also tied (and the only way that this is possible is if all three teams won one game and lost the other game by the exact same score), then, the award is shared, and all three schools receive official recognition as state champion; however, the previous winner gets to keep the trophy until the next season in which it is awarded.
Rankings under final scores indicate a team's AP Poll ranking prior to that game. Rankings next to a champions name indicate that team's ranking in the final AP Poll for that season. Teams are unranked unless otherwise indicated.