because there is a FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY and the UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA.
University of Fl is in Gainesville, FL (GO GATORS); Florida State University is in Tallahassee, FL (GO SEMINOLES)
Cause the person who came up with it has dyslexia. ;)
It could have been. They just decided to call it The University of Florida when it was established.
Historical precedent. Most universities in Europe had the city name after the word University so the first American universities followed this naming convention.
But, it actually doesn't matter. Florida Technological University in Orlando later changed it's name to University of Central Florida, so even the people in charge don't really know why.
My wife has a bachelor's and master's from OU (The University of Oklahoma). When she decided to change from being a science teacher to a librarian, she went back to school to get her media specialist's degree at the University of Florida. After finishing, and seeing the difference in the two colleges she attended, she now calls the University of Florida 'FU'! LO!