One of my FSU law school professors in the early 1980s would tell a riddle during rivalry week.
"What do the University of Florida, and Ohio State University football have in common?"
And so, like you, it surprises me Florida is ranked #1 more times than UM, the all-time leader in wins in D-1.
And the answer to the riddle, in the early 1980s was, that neither team had ever won the SEC conference championship.
Yeah, Florida had always dropped that one game (often to UGA) to prevent any championships, then they actually won one in '84, only for it to be retroactively vacated in May the following year. Even Spurrier's '90 team's best record was ineligible, so the first official, permanent SEC title didn't happen for Florida until 1991.
Vanderbilt remains the only longtime SEC member to never win the conference.
Most jokes about Florida football are that college football didn't start in 1990, as many Florida fans like to cite, "since 1990" - the arrival of Spurrier and our winning ways. And it's true, since that year, the Gators are 3rd in win % in major college football and tied for 2nd in national championships, I believe, with 3. (Alabama has a bunch, then Florida, FSU, and Nebraska have 3, then all the other usual suspects have 2)
But if you go back to that 1984 team, Florida is still 6th nationally in win%. Hell you can go back to Florida's last winless season - 1979, and since then, the Gators are still 6th.
Anyways, the point is, Florida has played a helluva game of catchup, and its improvement has coincided with Wisconsin's. Just as OU and Texas' swoons were in the early-mid 90s, they've come roaring back. Wisconsin had a whole lot of nothing pre-1993, but have been a top-15 program since then. Now you have Miami and Nebraska trying to remain relevant, through multiple coaches. That's my real litmus test, whether it's a program being truly strong or truly struggling - does the success or struggle extend through multiple coaches. Florida's successful run included 3 HC, with 2 of them being elite. Our recent struggles have been through 2 coaches, and we maybe/probably have a good one now and are exiting the struggle.
Miami has struggled through 3 HCs lately, same with UNL.
And you have to be a program of a certain level to consider HCs with a .650 win% "struggling" - whether you call them helmets or big-boy programs or whatever - Temple and Iowa State would give their first born sons for a 3-year stretch of .650-ball. At these programs, you have to be .800 or above for the fans to stay enamored with you. .650 "sucks".