At the start of this century, a Florida vs. Miami game would be talked about as two national championship contenders facing off. For much of this decade (save UF’s 2012 season), the Gators and Hurricanes have been out of the national championship conversation.

Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi recently asked Steve Spurrier if he thinks the Sunshine State’s Big 3 (Florida, Florida State and Miami) will get to being perennial national championship contenders.

“That’s a good question, Mike,” Spurrier replied on ‘Open Mike.’ “Everyone else has improved their facilities so much, I think we’re in the process of improving our facilities here at Florida, and I think certainly we have a chance to get back into those days. FSU and Miami, I can’t speak for them. I’m not around their programs that much.

The Head Ball Coach then touched on the current contenders and what Florida needs to do to join that club.

“But, it does appear that the Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma and those guys, they’re there every year. We have to change the recruiting process somehow and make sure that us Gators are up there in the top five in recruiting, and that’s really how you go about that, having really super teams every year,” Spurrier said.

Florida’s last top five recruiting class on the 247Sports Composite came under Will Muschamp in 2013. Jim McElwain signed classes ranked No. 21 (2015 transition class), No. 12 (2016) and No. 11 (2017). Dan Mullen’s classes have ranked No. 14 (2018 transition class) and No. 9 (2019). Mullen’s 2019 class has had multiple transfers (Chris Steele, Jalon Jones) and non-qualifiers (Arjei Henderson, Diwun Black and Deyavie Hammond). Mullen’s 2020 class with commitments currently ranks No. 13 nationally.

[H/T Swamp247]