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The Florida Cup semifinals and finals take place Saturday and Sunday in Gainesville, Fla. The Florida Cup is a friendly competition pitting the DI-AA schools from Florida against each other, culminating in a title game. It has no bearing on the postseason for any of the schools, as they all begin conference play in the spring semester, but bragging rights and the opportunity to improve are always on the line.
“It’s the same approach we’ve always used before – to develop a team and develop our rookies, so that we can be ready to play in the spring time,” said Florida coach Ken Simmons of his approach to the Florida Cup.
“And what we’ve found is a lot of the other Florida teams are the same way. If we get them something to play for in the fall, everybody plays a lot harder in the fall, and I think you may find, in that SIRC conference, you may have some Florida teams in the hunt this year.”
Two of those Florida teams who will be battling in the South Independent Rugby Conference next year play in the other semifinal – Florida International and Central Florida. The Bulls’ only loss this fall came at the hands of Florida, and the Panthers’ only loss was to Florida State.