10 Best Football Colleges in Florida in 2024


The best football colleges in Florida are excellently spread across Florida, proving the state’s love for football and how much football education is prioritized in Florida.

The state of Florida not only houses the best football teams but also has some of the most prestigious colleges and universities for football in the United States.


Attending a college in Florida is a great option; however, searching for the best colleges is always daunting as numerous institutions are dispersed in the State.

One of the greatest facets of attending a top football college is the satisfaction student athletes get after participating in or winning a major league. 


Beyond the sporting activities, football colleges in Florida are also known for their excellent academic programs; students do not have to worry about forfeiting quality education by attending a football college.

Whether a student or a football lover, you can’t go wrong with any Florida-based football college.

Does Florida Have Football Colleges?

You cannot research the best football colleges in the United States without finding Florida colleges amongst the top 10.


However, these football colleges and universities aren’t considered the best because of their football program but because of the traditions, academic life, and fanbase. 

Some of the best football colleges in Florida include the University of Florida, Florida State University, and Florida Southern College.

For Further Reading, check: 10 Best Football Colleges in South Carolina

How Many Football College Teams are in Florida?

With the football colleges and universities ranking as one of the best in the states, Florida also has some of the best college football teams playing excellently in competitive sports.

Although having 7 football programs, Florida has twenty-three (23) major football college teams representing the top colleges in the state.

Here’s a list of some of the college football teams arranged in alphabetical order.

  • ASA Miami Silver Storm
  • Central Florida Knights
  • Miami Hurricanes
  • South Florida Bulls
  • Florida Gators
  • Florida State Seminoles

Does Florida Have Ivy League Schools?

Although Florida has some of the best colleges and universities in the state and the United States, none belong to the Ivy League.

The Ivy League schools are known for their elite research centers, unique campuses, revenue generated, good athletic programs, and brilliant students. Using these metrics, some universities in Florida also meet these standards.

Also read, 10 Best Football Colleges in Illinois

What are the Best Football Colleges in Florida?

Every student awaits those special Saturdays in autumn when the skies are clear and perfect for the day’s game. This is one major wish of student-athletes to experience and partake actively at the stadium of their respective institutions.

There are no colleges that are described as the overall best. Still, some colleges and universities value the spirit of sportsmanship and uphold certain traditions deemed worthy by the students.

In no particular order, here are the 10 best football colleges in Florida.

You would also find these helpful: 10 Best Football Colleges in Ohio

#1 Florida State University 

Founded on January 24, 1851, Florida State University is one of the best public research universities in Tallahassee, Florida, United States.

The Florida State Seminoles are the Florida State University’s football team which is part of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Jimbo Fisher is the team’s head coach.

The Seminoles have produced over 200 All-Americans and 250 NFL players. The football team also has won over 500 games, including various bowl wins, and is known for being one of the toughest football teams in the NCAA, a major rival to many college football teams.

The football team’s uniform pays homage to the Seminole culture by using the Native American symbols of the arrow, a man on a horse, fire on the jersey and imprinted on the helmets. The school uniform colors are garnet and gold. 

The Seminoles play all of their home games at the Doak Campbell Stadium. The stadium has a seating capacity of 80,000. The main rivals of the football team are the Clemson Tigers, the Miami Hurricanes, and the Florida Gators.

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#2 University of Florida 

Home to one of the best football teams in Florida and the United States as a whole, The Florida Gators are a force to reckon with, and they are the football team of the University of Florida.

The Florida Gators are a member of part of the SEC and are located in Gainesville, Florida. Jim McElwain coaches the team.

This team, formed in 1906, has won 3 national and 8 conference championships. Some notable alumni are Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel, and Tim Tebow.

The Gators have 3 uniforms used interchangeably based on home and away games. The school colors are blue and orange, worn by the team’s costumed mascots, Albert and Alberta Gator, which are symbolic of the school animal, the alligator.

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, known as The Swamp,  is the official field for the Gators’ home games, with a seating capacity of 90,000. Gators’ major rivals are the LSU Tigers or the Georgia Bulldogs.

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#3 Miami University

The University, established in 1925, is classified as one of the doctoral universities for its quality research programs.

The Miami Hurricanes are the football team of the university.is the name given to the University and competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference?

One notable feature of the team is its ability to produce stellar NFL players. Two former players have won the Heisman, and nine have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

The school uniform’s colors are green and orange for all games, with different jerseys for both home and away games.

The football team shares its home stadium, the Hard Rock Stadium, with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. This facility can hold up to 65,000 fans. The team’s rivals are the Florida Gators, the Florida State Seminoles, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, or the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

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#4 Florida International University 

Established in 1965, Florida International University is the second-largest university in Florida and the fifth-largest in the United States by enrollment.

Florida International University (FIU) intercollegiate sports teams, known as the FIU Panthers, compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and the Conference USA (C-USA).

FIU’s athletic teams have won five athletic championships, and Panther athletes have won various individual NCAA national championships.

The Panthers football team plays at FIU Stadium, known as The Cage by students. The traditional rivals of the FIU Panthers include Florida Atlantic University.

The official uniform colors are blue and gold, and the mascot’s name is Roary the Panther.

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#5 Florida Atlantic University 

This is one of the best universities situated in Boca Raton, Florida. It is also classified among the Doctoral Universities for its excellent research work.

The university’s intercollegiate sports teams, the Florida Atlantic Owls, compete in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and the Conference USA (C-USA).

 The Owls have won several titles and championships within the conference and division. In 2021, Florida Atlantic accepted the invitation to join the American Athletic Conference (AAC), which will become effective on July 1, 2023.

The official team colors are blue and red, and the mascots are Owlsley and Hoot the Burrowing Owls.

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#6 University of Central Florida 

The University of Central Florida, situated in Orlando, Florida, United States, currently has the second-largest student body of any public university in the United States.

The university’s official colors are black and gold, and its logo, The Pegasus, symbolizes the university’s vision of limitless possibilities.

The university’s sports teams are known as the UCF Knights and are represented by the mascot Knightro. The sports team competes in NCAA Division I and the American Athletic Conference.

The UCF Knights have won two conference championships and four division titles. In UCF’s first year in C-USA, the team experienced the fourth-best turnaround in NCAA history by winning the conference’s eastern division and earning its first bowl berth in the 4th Annual Hawai’i Bowl.

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#7 South Florida University

Founded in 1956, this school is the fourth-largest university in Florida and the 11th-largest public university in the United States by enrollment, with 50,830 students from over 145 countries.

The University’s sports teams are known as the South Florida Bulls and mainly compete in the American Athletic Conference of NCAA Division I. 

The varsity teams have won a combined 158 conference championships and six national championships. Athletes representing the Bulls have won an additional 21 individual and relay national championships.

The official colors are green and gold, the mascot is Rocky the Bull, and the football stadium is Raymond James Stadium, with a seating capacity of 65,000.

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#8 Jacksonville University (JU)

Situated in Jacksonville, Florida, United States, Jacksonville University is a private institute and a member of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida.

The University sports team participates in NCAA Division I in the Atlantic Sun Conference, except for the rowing program, which competes in the MAAC Conference (NCAA Division I), and the Men’s lacrosse program, which competes in the SoCon Conference (NCAA Division I).

The Dolphins competed in the Football Championship Series (FCS), winning two division titles and two conference championships. 

The official colors are Green and white, and the mascot’s name is Nellie the Dolphin.

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#9 Bethune–Cookman University

Bethune-Cookman University is a historically black university founded in 1904 and situated in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The Bethune–Cookman Wildcats are the football team representing the school in college football. The Wildcats compete in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). 

By the fall of 2021 season, they will compete in the East Division of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), after being members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) since 1979.

The University plays its home games at Daytona Stadium. The Wildcats have won two black college football national championships and seven MEAC titles in the history of their football program.

The official colors are maroon and gold with a mascot named Wil D Cat.

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#10 Florida A&M University 

Founded in 1887, Florida A&M University is the third largest historically black university in the United States by enrollment and the only public historically black university in Florida.

The Rattlers and Lady Rattlers are the athletic teams representing the university in college football. They are also members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference and participate in NCAA Division I-FCS.

The football team has won the Black College National Championship eight times, including six times under head coach Jake Gaither.

The Florida A&M Rattlers have won 29 Conference Championships and 13 national college football titles. The official colors are green and orange, and they play football games at the Bragg Memorial Stadium.

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What are the Division 1 (d1) Football Colleges in Florida?

A myriad of colleges and universities are resident in the state of Florida. Among these institutions are schools classified as Division 1 (d1) by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Florida is home to thirteen (13) Division I colleges. Here’s a list of the schools that qualify as D1 colleges in Florida.

Bethune-Cookman University 

  • Team: Bethune-Cookman Wildcats
  • City: Daytona Beach
  • Conference: Southern West Athletic Conference (SWAC)

Florida International University 

  • Team: FIU Panthers
  • City: Miami
  • Conference: Conference – USA ( (C- USA)

University of Florida

  • Team: Florida Gators
  • City: Gainesville
  • Conference: Southeastern Conference (SEC)

Florida A&M University

  • Team: Florida A&M Rattlers and Lady Rattlers
  • City: Tallahassee
  • Conference: South West Athletic Conference (SWAC)

Florida Atlantic University

  • Team: Florida Atlantic Owls
  • City: Boca Raton
  • Conference: Conference – USA 

(C – USA)

Florida Gulf Coast University

  • Team: Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
  • City: Fort Myers 
  • Conference: Atlantic Sun

Florida State University

  • Team: Florida State Seminoles
  • City: Tallahassee
  • Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

Jacksonville University

  •  Team: Jacksonville Dolphins
  •  City: Jacksonville
  •  Conference: Atlantic Sun 

University of Miami

  • Team: Miami Hurricanes
  • City: Coral Gables
  • Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

The University of North Florida

  • Team: North Florida Ospreys
  • City: Jacksonville
  • Conference: Atlantic Sun

The University of South Florida

  • Team: South Florida Bulls
  • City: Tampa
  • Conference: The American

Stetson University

  • Team: Stetson Hatters
  • City: DeLand
  • Conference: Atlantic Sun

University of Central Florida

  • Team: UCF Knights
  • City: Orlando 
  • Conference: The American

Also Read: 10 Best Football Colleges in California

What is the Division 2 (d2) Football Colleges in Florida?

Division 2 (d2) is one of three divisions of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), a member-led organization focused on college athletics. 

D2 student-athletes are eligible for partial scholarships, and most fund their college education through athletic scholarships, academic aid, need-based grants, and employment earnings.

There are 13 division 2 schools in the state of Florida. 

Barry University

  • City: Miami
  • Acceptance Rate: 91%

Eckerd College

  • City: St. Petersburg
  • Acceptance Rate: 68%

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

  • City: Daytona Beach
  • Acceptance of Rate: 65%

Flagler College

  • City: St. Augustine
  • Acceptance Rate: 57%

Florida Institute of Technology

  • City: Melbourne
  • Acceptance Rate: 65%

Florida Southern College

  • City: Lakeland
  • Acceptance Rate: 50%

Lynn University

  • City: Boca Raton
  • Acceptance Rate: 70%

Nova Southeastern University

  • City: Fort Lauderdale
  • Acceptance Rate: 79%

Palm Beach Atlantic University

  • City: West Palm Beach
  • Acceptance Rate: 95%

Rollins College

  • City: Winter Park
  • Acceptance Rate: 67%

Saint Leo University

  • City: Saint Leo
  • Acceptance Rate: 60%

University of Tampa

  • City: Tampa
  • Acceptance Rate: 47%

University of West Florida

  • City: Pensacola
  • Acceptance Rate: 42%

For detailed information on D2 schools in Florida, click here

What are the Division 3 (d3) Football Colleges in Florida?

NCAA Division 3 colleges are known for their smaller, more intimate campuses, strong emphasis on academics, and ability to provide student-athletes with a well-rounded college experience.

Most student-athletes choose D3 schools in Florida because they want to balance athletics and academics. 

Also, student-athletes and their parents noted that schools competing at higher division levels wouldn’t provide adequate opportunities to focus on academics.

However, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is a college athletics association for small colleges and universities in North America.

The D3 Football colleges in Florida are as follows

  • Ave Maria University, Ave Maria
  • Florida College, Temple Terrace
  • Florida Memorial University, Miami Gardens
  • Florida National University, Hialeah
  • Keiser University, West Palm Beach
  • St. Thomas University, Miami Gardens
  • Southeastern University, Lakeland
  • Warner University, Lake Wales
  • Webber International University, Babson Park

This will also interest you: 10 Best Football Colleges in Texas

What are the Best Junior Colleges in Florida for Football? 

Frequently, student-athletes opt to compete in a junior college football program after their senior year in high school. 

Junior colleges allow many athletes to develop their football skills and gain experience from competing against older, more experienced football players. 

Junior college football teams compete at a high level. In addition, playing at a junior college allows athletes to get two years of experience playing against college-level athletes, which can help them prepare for the severity of four-year collegiate football. 

Here’s the list of the best junior colleges for football in Florida.

  1. ASA College, Miami
  2. Broward College, Davie
  3. Chipola College, Marianna
  4. Daytona State College, Daytona Beach
  5. Florida State College at Jacksonville 
  6. Gulf Coast State College, Panama City
  7. Lake-Sumter State College, Leesburg 
  8. St. John River State College, Palatka
  9. South Florida State College, Avon Park
  10. Florida Gateway College, Lake City

Also Read: 10 Best Football Colleges in the UK

How to Join a Football Club in Florida

The question of how to join a professional football club must have crossed the minds of every young player. Although it may seem difficult to join these top clubs because they are highly selective and usually have limited spaces for a few players, it is not impossible if only you are willing to take the risk.

Here are five (5) ways to successfully join the football club of your dreams in Florida.

For Further reading, click: 10 Best Football Colleges in Georgia

Apply to a Football College

Football colleges are institutions that would help develop your football skill while exposing you to competitive sports at a higher level. 

Aside from sporting activities, these colleges provide quality academic programs, creating a balance between academics and football activities. It is certainly the best of both worlds.

At such major competitions, scouts and agents from top clubs are invited to watch these young talents. Usually, after their college, the best athletes are usually offered positions to be on the top Florida clubs’ teams.

Get a Football Agent

A football agent serves as a middle man between football clubs and young players. The major function of an agent is to look for the best offers from football clubs for his client. This also stern to getting sponsorships, endorsement, and ambassadorial deals for their clients.

Some notable football agents in Florida include

  • Matthew Brock: Fort Myers, Florida
  • Bret Kanis: Pensacola, Florida
  • Martinus Rolle: North Lauderdale, Florida
  • Raphael Roumain: Miami, Florida
  • Najee White: Jacksonville, Florida

This is also helpful: 10 Best Football Colleges in New York

Join a Football Academy 

All top football clubs in the state of Florida own a football academy. It will interest you that in certain cases, only if you are extremely good, you get an automatic entry into the senior football team to play in major leagues.

Football academies are established to help nurture and improve the football skill of young players, training them on how to play as a team and teaching them the rudiments of football.

Paris Saint-Germain Academy, Florida Football Training Academy, Liverpool FC International Academy, and Juventus Academy Miami.

Also Read: 10 Best Football Colleges in Virginia

Attend Tournaments and trials

Tournaments and trials are occasional events hosted by football clubs in a bid to get young talents. These events are usually free and open to the public.

Scouts, football agents, managers, and coaches are invited to these tournaments, an avenue to choose players who would play as football team members.

Players are advised to research upcoming tournaments and trials within their location.

Join a Local Team

Local teams are usually the foundation of talents. Football players can express themselves at the grassroots level in these teams.

The coaches of these teams always know how to detect the best from the herd. Scouts are always lurking around these teams and are closely connected to the coaches and managers of these teams.

The dream of many is to play for top clubs like Florida Gators, Miami Dolphins, and Florida Panthers.


Football is one of the best sports in the world and Florida also partakes in the thrill that the game of football brings.

Having the perfect college experience is one of the best feelings for student-athletes. This is why we have provided relevant information on the best football colleges in Florida that meet all the requirements of a standard football college.

Another Interesting Read: 10 Best Football Colleges in Colorado

Frequently Asked Questions 

Are football tournaments free?

Football tournaments are usually free, but a token may be requested as the registration fee.

How many Division 1 (d1) college football teams are in Florida? 

Eight (8) college football teams are at Division 1 level in Florida.


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