Florida State Seminoles football

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Florida State Seminoles football
2014 Florida State Seminoles football team
FSU Seminoles logo.png
First season1947
Athletic directorStan Wilcox
Head coachJimbo Fisher
5th year, 58–11 (.841)
Other staffLawrence Dawsey, Randy Sanders (OC)
Charles Kelly (DC)
Home stadiumDoak Campbell Stadium
Stadium capacity82,300
LocationTallahassee, Florida
ConferenceAtlantic Coast Conference
DivisionAtlantic Division
All-time record512–238–17 (.679)
Postseason bowl record26–15–2 (.628)
Playoff appearances1
Playoff record0–1
Claimed national titles3
(1993, 1999, 2013)
Unclaimed national titles10
(1980, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998)
Conference titles18 (3 Dixie, 15 ACC)
Division titles6
Heisman winners3
Consensus All-Americans42
Current uniform

Garnet, Gold, White, and Black

Fight songFSU Fight Song
MascotOsceola and Renegade
Marching bandMarching Chiefs
RivalsFlorida Gators
Miami Hurricanes
Clemson Tigers
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Florida State Seminoles football
2014 Florida State Seminoles football team
FSU Seminoles logo.png
First season1947
Athletic directorStan Wilcox
Head coachJimbo Fisher
5th year, 58–11 (.841)
Other staffLawrence Dawsey, Randy Sanders (OC)
Charles Kelly (DC)
Home stadiumDoak Campbell Stadium
Stadium capacity82,300
LocationTallahassee, Florida
ConferenceAtlantic Coast Conference
DivisionAtlantic Division
All-time record512–238–17 (.679)
Postseason bowl record26–15–2 (.628)
Playoff appearances1
Playoff record0–1
Claimed national titles3
(1993, 1999, 2013)
Unclaimed national titles10
(1980, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998)
Conference titles18 (3 Dixie, 15 ACC)
Division titles6
Heisman winners3
Consensus All-Americans42
Current uniform

Garnet, Gold, White, and Black

Fight songFSU Fight Song
MascotOsceola and Renegade
Marching bandMarching Chiefs
RivalsFlorida Gators
Miami Hurricanes
Clemson Tigers

The Florida State Seminoles football team represents Florida State University (variously Florida State or FSU) in the sport of American football. The Florida State Seminoles compete in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The team is known for its storied history, distinctive helmet, fight song and colors as well as the many traditions associated with the school.

Florida State has won three national championships, eighteen conference titles and six division titles along with a playoff appearance. The Seminoles have achieved three undefeated seasons and finished ranked in the top five of the AP Poll for 14 straight years from 1987 through 2000.

The team has produced three Heisman Trophy winners: quarterback Charlie Ward in 1993, quarterback Chris Weinke in 2000 and quarterback Jameis Winston in 2013. The Biletnikoff Award, presented annually to the top receiver in college football, is named for Florida State hall of famer, Fred Biletnikoff. Other awards presented to Florida State players include the Walter Camp Award, the Maxwell Award, the Davey O'Brien Award, the Lombardi Award, the Dick Butkus Award, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, the Lou Groza Award, the Dave Rimington Trophy and the Bobby Bowden Award. Florida State coaches have been honored with the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award, the Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award, the Home Depot Coach of the Year Award, the Broyles Award, and the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award. Many former Seminoles have gone on to have successful careers in the NFL.

The program has produced 212 All-Americans (forty-two consensus), 15 Academic All-Americans, and 250 professional players. Florida State has had five members inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, two members inducted into the College Football Coaches Hall of Fame and four members inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Seminoles have the tenth-highest winning percentage among all college football programs in Division I FBS history with over 500 victories. Florida State has appeared in forty-four postseason bowl games and rank ninth nationally for bowl winning percentage and fourth for bowl wins. The Seminoles' archrivals are Florida, whom they meet annually in the last game of the regular season, and Miami; both games are considered among the greatest rivalries in college football.[1] Recently, a rivalry with Clemson has developed and grown due to both teams competing yearly for the ACC Atlantic division.

The current head coach of the Seminoles is Jimbo Fisher, in his fifth year, and the team plays its home games on Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium, currently the 16th largest stadium in college football, and the largest stadium in the ACC, located on-campus in Tallahassee, Florida.



Florida State University joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in July 1991, and it is one of the fourteen current members of the ACC. Florida State is considered one of the teams that brought the conference to its pinnacle becoming the overall most successful program in the ACC. Since the ACC expanded from nine to twelve universities in 2005, and instituted divisional play in football, the Florida State Seminoles football team has competed in the ACC Atlantic Division.

Florida State plays an eight-game ACC football schedule. Six of these contests pit the Seminoles against the other members of the ACC Atlantic Division: Boston College, Clemson, Louisville, North Carolina State, Syracuse and Wake Forest. The conference schedule is filled out with an annual game against Miami and one additional foe from the ACC Coastal Division on a rotating basis between the other teams in the conference: Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh. Throughout a rotation schedule, Florida State plays each coastal division team at least twice every six years with possible meetings in the championship game in between regular season meetings. Florida State will also play Notre Dame as a home-and-home twice every six years per a conference agreement.

Key conference rivalries include the inter-divisional Florida State-Miami rivalry game with their permanent ACC Coastal Division foe, Miami, the Florida State–Clemson rivalry game which usually carries division implications, and the Florida State-Virginia game which is played on a rotating basis for the Jefferson-Eppes Trophy (this game was played on an annual basis until the ACC divided and the teams were placed in separate divisions).

In addition to the conference foes, the Seminoles face in-state rival Florida from the SEC at the end of the regular season. The two teams' emergence as perennial football powers in the 1980s and 1990s helped build the Florida–Florida State football rivalry into a game that has often held national title implications. Florida State remains the only team in the state of Florida to play both powers, Florida and Miami, meaning they are the only team in contention for the Florida Cup on a yearly basis.

The remaining dates on Florida State's regular season schedule are filled with various non-conference opponents that vary from year to year.

Doak S. Campbell Stadium[edit]

Doak Campbell Stadium

The Florida State Seminoles originally played their home games at Centennial Field until 1950. The Seminoles had an 8–4 record at Centennial, including two undefeated home records. The team currently play their home games at Doak Campbell Stadium, which has a capacity of 82,300. Florida State is 280–87–4 in 354 games played at Doak.

A view of the north end zone

The stadium, named after former Florida State President Doak S. Campbell, hosted its first game against the Randolph-Macon College Yellowjackets on October 7, 1950 with the Seminoles winning the game 40–7. At that time the facility had a seating capacity of 15,000. Florida State first began play at Centennial Field during the team's inaugural 1947 season and would continue to play there for the following two years (1948 and 1949). Doak Campbell Stadium, with its original capacity of 15,000 in 1950, was built at a cost of $250,000. In 1954, the stadium grew to a capacity of 19,000. Six thousand more seats were added in 1961. During the Bill Peterson era (1960–70), the stadium was expanded to 40,500 seats, and it remained at that capacity for the next 14 years. Since that time, the stadium has expanded to almost 83,000, largely due to the success of the football team under head coach Bobby Bowden coupled with the ever growing student body. It now is the largest football stadium in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

Bobby Bowden Field

Aesthetically, a brick facade surrounding the stadium matches the architectural design of most of the buildings on the university's campus. In addition to the obvious recreational uses, The University Center surrounds the stadium and houses many of the university's offices as well as The College of Motion Picture Arts, The Dedman School of Hospitality, and The College of Social Work. The field was officially named Bobby Bowden field on November 20, 2004 as Florida State hosted intrastate rival Florida. Florida State has been recognized as having one of the best gameday atmospheres in the country, and Doak Campbell Stadium has been named one of the top stadiums in college sports.[2]

Doak Campbell Stadium has been a great home field advantage for the Noles. Florida State is one of only three schools that can boast a decade home field unbeaten streak. The Seminoles never lost a home game from 1992–2001, a total of 54 games.

The record crowd for the stadium is 84,409 set during a game against the Miami Hurricanes on November 2, 2013.

Head coaches[edit]

Legendary coach Bobby Bowden on sideline

Florida State has had nine head coaches since organized football began in 1947. The team has played 751 games in their 66 seasons. In that time, six coaches have led the Seminoles in postseason bowl games: Don Veller, Tom Nugent, Bill Peterson, Larry Jones, Bobby Bowden, and Jimbo Fisher. Three of those coaches also won conference championships: Veller, Bowden, and Fisher. During his tenure, Bobby Bowden won two national championships with the Seminoles.

Bobby Bowden, who spent thirty-four years at Florida State, has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The current head coach is Jimbo Fisher, who was hired as offensive coordinator in January 2007 and promoted to head coach after Bowden's retirement.

1947Ed Williamson10–5.000
1948–1952Don Veller531–12–1.716
1953–1958Tom Nugent634–28–1.548
1959Perry Moss14–6.400
1960–1970Bill Peterson1162–42–11.587
1971–1973Larry Jones315–19.441
1974–1975Darrell Mudra24–18.182
1976–2009Bobby Bowden34304–97–4^.758
2010–presentJimbo Fisher558–11.841
Totals9 coaches67 seasons512–238–17.679

^ Bobby Bowden's record does not include 12 wins that were vacated that would otherwise make his record 316–97–4; vacated wins would give Florida State a record of 524–238–17


Pre-1947 (1902–1904)[edit]

Florida State College, forerunner of Florida State University played 3 years of intercollegiate football from 1902 to 1904. In 1905 the state legislature passed the Buckman Bill and Florida State College became Florida State College for Women. The University of Florida at Lake City moved to Gainesville and merged with the East Florida Seminary to form a new University of Florida. FSU did not play football again until 1947.

The 1902 and 1903 squads were coached by W.W. Hughes and had records of 2–1 (1902) and 3–2–1 (1903). The 1904 squad was coached by Jack Forsythe and had a 2–3 record.[3]

Early History (1947–1959)[edit]

Coach Nugent

The end of World War II brought enormous pressure on the university system in Florida, which saw an influx of veterans applying for college under the GI Bill. The Florida Legislature responded by renaming the Florida State College for Women the Florida State University and allowing men to attend the university for the first time since 1905. Football then returned to Florida State University, beginning in the 1947 season. From 1948 through 1959, the Seminole football program achieved much success under coaches Don Veller and Tom Nugent.

Ed Williamson, who introduced football to the school, served as the first coach of the Florida State Seminoles. In his first and only season with Florida State, the Seminoles posted an 0–5 record. Williamson has the worst record out of all the head coaches at Florida State and the only coach to have a winless mark.

As the second coach at Florida State, Don Veller coached at Florida State for five years and compiled a record of 31–12–1. Veller was the first coach to find success coaching the Seminoles. In 1950, Veller led the Seminoles to an 8–0 record, the first unbeaten season ever for any Florida college.

Once Veller left the school, Tom Nugent became the third coach at Florida State. He stayed at Florida State for six years and compiled a record of 34–28–1. In one of his most notable accomplishments, Nugent gave the Seminoles their first win over an SEC opponent with a 10–0 victory against Tennessee in 1958.

The fourth coach at Florida State was Perry Moss who coached the Seminoles for one year after compiling a 4–6 record. He became the second Florida State coach to leave the school with a losing record and the second to coach at the school for only one season.

Bill Peterson era (1960–1970)[edit]

With the arrival of head coach Bill Peterson in 1960, the Seminoles began their move to national prominence. Under Peterson's direction, the Seminoles beat the Florida Gators for the first time in 1964 and earned their first major bowl bid. Peterson also led the Seminoles to their first ever top ten ranking. During his tenure as head coach, Peterson also gave a young assistant by the name of Bobby Bowden his first major college coaching opportunity.[4]

Although not widely known, the Seminoles achieved their first ever number one ranking during this period. In October, 1964, the Dunkel College Football Index, a popular power index of that era, placed the Seminoles at the top of their poll after a stunning 48–6 win over highly ranked Kentucky (AP #5, Dunkel #3). Peterson would be named UPI national coach of the week after this program changing victory.[5][6] In an era of very few bowl games, Peterson’s innovative offensive system helped earn the Seminoles four bowl bids from 1964 through 1968. During this time, only Alabama and Mississippi appeared in more bowl games than did Peterson’s Seminoles. In 1968, Peterson's eighth year at the helm, the Seminoles claimed their third straight bowl bid as Florida State became the first major college in the state of Florida to earn such a distinction. The Seminoles would not repeat this feat again until the ninth season of the Bobby Bowden era.[7]

In the summer of 1967, Peterson also engineered another first for the Seminole program when he decided to begin the recruitment of African American football players. Apparently, he did so without approval from either the school president or its athletic director. On December 16, 1967, the Seminoles signed Ernest Cook, a fullback from Daytona Beach. Several months later, the Seminoles would sign running back Calvin Patterson from Dade County. Ultimately, Cook decided to switch his allegiance to Minnesota where he would become an All-Big Ten running back. In the fall of 1968, Patterson would become the first African American student to play for the Seminoles as a starter for the Florida State freshmen football team. In the fall of 1970, J. T. Thomas would become the first African American to play in a varsity game for the Seminoles.[8][9]

Larry Jones era (1971–1973)[edit]

Following Peterson's successful run, Larry Jones was appointed as the sixth head coach at Florida State. Jones coached for three years and compiled a record of 15-19, becoming the third Florida State coach to have a losing record.

Darrell Mudra era (1974–1975)[edit]

Coach Mudra

After the disappointing tenure of Jones, Darrell Mudra was hired to be the seventh coach of the Seminoles. Mudra lasted just two years and compiled a record of 4-18. He became the fourth head coach to have a losing record at Florida State.

Bobby Bowden era (1976–2009)[edit]

Coach Bowden

Under head coach Bobby Bowden, who came to Florida State from West Virginia, the Seminoles became one of the nation's most competitive programs, greatly expanding the tradition of football at Florida State. He is credited with Florida State's rise to prominence. The Seminoles played in five national championship games between 1993 and 2000, and claimed the championship twice, in 1993 and 1999. The FSU football team was the most successful team in college football during the 1990s, boasting an 89% winning percentage. FSU also set an NCAA record for most consecutive Top 5 finishes in the AP football poll – receiving placement 14 years in a row, from 1987 to 2000. The Seminoles under Bowden were the first college football team in history to go wire-to-wire (ranked first place from preseason to postseason) since the AP began releasing preseason rankings in 1936. On December 1, 2009 Bowden announced that he would retire from coaching after the Seminoles' upcoming bowl game on New Year's Day 2010 against West Virginia, Bowden's former team, in the Gator Bowl. His legacy has led to the creation of two awards in his honor, the Bobby Bowden Award, an award presented to college football players, and the Bobby Bowden National Collegiate Coach of the Year Award, an award presented to college football coaches.

Jimbo Fisher era (2010–present)[edit]

Coach Fisher

On January 5, 2010, Jimbo Fisher officially became the ninth head football coach in Florida State history. Fisher had been a member of the Florida State staff for three years, serving as offensive coordinator. He was named head coach-in waiting during the 2007 season. Fisher's ascension helped lead Florida State to a top-10 recruiting class in 2010 and the #1 and #2 recruiting class in the country, according to ESPN and Rivals. In his first season as head coach, Florida State went 10–4 with a 6–2 record in ACC conference play. The Seminoles went to their first ACC Championship Game since 2005, losing to Virginia Tech 44–33, and had their first ten win season since 2003. Fisher's first Florida State team notably beat its in-state rivals, the Miami Hurricanes 45–17 and the Florida Gators 31–7, for the first time since 1999. Florida State would go on to the Chick-fil-A Bowl, where they would beat Steve Spurrier's South Carolina team, 26–17. In his second season, Florida State went 9–4 with a 5–3 record in ACC conference play. The Seminoles defeated both of their in-state rivals for the second year in a row. Fisher's second Florida State team also defeated Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl. Fisher brought in another top-ranked recruiting class in 2012. In his third season, he led the Seminoles to their first conference title in seven years and defeated Northern Illinois to win the Orange Bowl. In the 2013 season, Jimbo Fisher guided his team to a perfect 14–0 record and a national championship with a comeback win against Auburn. In Fisher's fifth season with the Seminoles, he guided Florida State to another undefeated regular season and a playoff berth.


Florida State College Eleven[edit]

1899 West Florida Seminary football team at College Hall; College Hall was located at the present site of the Westcott Building on the campus of Florida State University.

Florida State University traces the origins of its modern American football team to 1947, after the school became coeducational following more than forty years as a white women's college. However, football had been played at the school prior to its 1905 reorganization as a women's college. The sport was played at the school, which was known as the West Florida Seminary until 1901 and as Florida State College from 1901 to 1905. This includes a 3-1 record against what would later become the University of Florida.[3] In 1904 Florida State would be the first team to beat all other football teams in Florida, becoming the state's first football champion.[3]

Florida State College football in 1902

In 1902 Florida State College students, supported by president Albert A. Murphree, organized the school's first official football club to play against other schools and teams. The team was known as the "Florida State College Eleven" and W. W. Hughes, professor of Latin and the head of men's sports at the school, served as the first coach.[10] They played their first game against the Bainbridge Giants, a city team from Bainbridge, Georgia, defeating them 5–0. The team then played back-to-back matches against Florida Agricultural College (which later merged into what is now the University of Florida) one week apart, winning the first 6–0 and losing the second 0–6. The following season student enthusiasm grew even more, and the Eleven arranged a full schedule of six games. They competed against teams such as the University of Florida in Lake City (as Florida Agricultural College was then called), Georgia Tech, and the East Florida Seminary (another school that merged into the University of Florida), and finished the season by competing against Stetson College in Jacksonville for The Florida Times-Union's Championship Cup.[11] The following year Jack Forsythe replaced Hughes as coach, and the Eleven won the unofficial "state championship" by defeating Stetson in Tallahassee.[12]

This would be the Eleven's last season, however, as the Florida State Legislature passed the Buckman Act, which reorganized the state's colleges, and Florida State College became the Florida Female College (later Florida State College for Women), a school for white women. Four other institutions (including the University of Florida in Lake City and the East Florida Seminary) were merged into the new white men's-only University of the State of Florida in Gainesville. Many of Florida State's male students, including members of the fraternity system and the football team transferred to the new university.[13] In 1906 the new school established its first official football team led by former Florida State College coach Jack Forsythe. Several former FSC players transferred to Grant University (now the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga), with five joining Grant's football team. In 1909 several veterans of the FSC Eleven founded a city team named the Tallahassee Athletics, but this folded after one season. Except for this, until 1947 Tallahassee's only organized or collegiate football team were the team from the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes (now Florida A&M University).[14]

Rise to Prominence[edit]

In the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, the Seminoles had 14 consecutive seasons with 10 or more wins and a top five finish, with a record of 152–19–1 between these years (11 of their 19 losses were decided by seven points or less), and one of the best home records of the era. FSU's accomplishments in these 14 seasons included 11 bowl wins, nine ACC championships in nine years, two Heisman Trophy winners, and two national championships.

The Dynasty (1987–2000)[edit]

YearRecordAP or Coaches Poll RankChampionshipsBowl
198711–12ndWon Fiesta
198811–13rdWon Sugar
198910–23rdWon Fiesta
199010–24thWon Blockbuster
199111–24thWon Cotton
199211–12ndACC ChampionsWon Orange
199312–11stACC Champions, National ChampionsWon Orange
199410–1–14thACC ChampionsWon Sugar
199510–24thACC Co-ChampionsWon Orange
199611–13rdACC ChampionsLost Sugar
199711–13rdACC ChampionsWon Sugar
199811–23rdACC Co-ChampionsLost Fiesta
199912–01stACC Champions, National ChampionsWon Sugar
200011–24thACC ChampionsLost Orange


Florida State has ended their football season ranked 36 times in either the AP or Coaches Poll.[15]
Top-10 finishes are colored ██

AP Poll began selecting the nation's Top 20 teams in 1939. Only the Top 10 teams were recognized from 1962-1967. The AP Poll expanded back to the Top 20 teams in 1968. In 1989, it began recognizing the Top 25 teams.

UPI/Coaches Poll began selecting its Top 20 teams on a weekly basis in 1950 before expanding to the nations's Top 25 teams in 1990.

Notable games[edit]


National championships[edit]

FSU's National Championship trophies

Florida State has appeared in six National Championship games winning three titles from the 1993, 1999 and 2013 seasons. Coach Bobby Bowden won his first national title in the 1994 Orange Bowl game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The second national title came in the 2000 Sugar Bowl against the Virginia Tech Hokies. The win capped Bobby Bowden's first and only "perfect season" and the Florida State Seminoles were the first team to go wire-to-wire as the #1 team in the polls that year.

1993Bobby BowdenAP, Coaches12–1Orange BowlFlorida State 18, Nebraska 16
1999Bobby BowdenBCS, AP, Coaches12–0Sugar BowlFlorida State 46, Virginia Tech 29
2013Jimbo FisherBCS, AP, Coaches14–0BCS National Championship GameFlorida State 34, Auburn 31
Total National Championships3

Florida State has also played in three other National Championship games in which they have lost:

1996Bobby BowdenBowl Alliance11–1Sugar BowlFlorida 52, Florida State 20
1998Bobby BowdenBCS11–2Fiesta BowlTennessee 23, Florida State 16
2000Bobby BowdenBCS11–2Orange BowlOklahoma 13, Florida State 2
Total National Championship Appearances6

The Seminoles have been named national champions on 10 additional occasions by various selectors.[16] Five of these selections (1980, 1987, 1992, 1994, 1996) are recognized by the NCAA but not claimed by the university.[17] The other five selections (1988, 1989, 1990, 1997, 1998) are not claimed by the university nor are they recognized by the NCAA.[18]

1993 season[edit]

For detailed information on the team's 1993 season, see 1993 Florida State Seminoles football team.

The Seminoles entered 1993 with a number one ranking and were led by quarterback and eventual Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward.

Florida State cruised to a 9–0 record with their closest game being an eighteen-point win over Miami. The only loss of the season came at second-ranked and undefeated Notre Dame by a score of 31–24, in one of the greatest games in college football history. Despite the loss, Florida State still went on to play for the national title, beating Nebraska in the Orange Bowl with a field goal in the final seconds to claim the school's first national title.

1999 season[edit]

For detailed information on the team's 1999 season, see 1999 Florida State Seminoles football team.

After falling short in the national title game against Tennessee in 1998, the Seminoles began the 1999 season ranked first in the country.

Florida State would go on to complete just the second undefeated season in school history and became the first team in history to be ranked number one for an entire season. The Noles would clinch their second national title with a victory over Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl.

2013 season[edit]

For detailed information on the team's 2013 season, see 2013 Florida State Seminoles football team.
The Florida State Seminoles defeated the Auburn Tigers at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

After the 2012 season, FSU lost six coaches from their coaching staff. Defensive coordinator Mark Stoops left his position at Florida State to take the job as head coach at Kentucky. D.J. Eliot left his position as defensive ends coach to join Stoops at Kentucky as defensive coordinator. Eddie Gran, who served as running back coach and special teams coordinator as well as associate head coach, also left the staff to serve as offensive coordinator at Cincinnati. Offensive coordinator James Coley left Florida State to take the same position at Miami. Greg Hudson, an assistant head coach left his position to become the defensive coordinator at Purdue. Quarterbacks coach Dameyune Craig left Florida State to return to Auburn, his alma matter.

Former Alabama assistant coach, Jeremy Pruitt, joined the Florida State staff as the new defensive coordinator, replacing Mark Stoops. Former Tennessee assistant coach Sal Sunseri was hired as defensive ends coach. Former Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster was hired as tight ends coach. Former South Carolina assistant coach Jay Graham was hired as running backs coach. Former Georgia Tech Defensive coordinator Charles Kelly was hired as linebackers coach and special teams. Randy Sanders was hired as quarterbacks coach.[19][20]

Prior to the start of the season, wide receiver Greg Dent was suspended indefinitely following an arrest and subsequent charge of sexual battery.[21][22] Just days later, Tight end transfer Kevin Haplea suffered a torn ACL during workouts, ruled to be out for the season.[23] During the offseason, tight end Nick O'Leary (grandson of Jack Nicklaus) was involved in a motorcycle accident but recovered by the start of the season and started for the Seminoles' first game against Pittsburgh. Just before fall practice, tight end Christo Kourtzidis chose to transfer. At the start of fall practice, freshman tight end Jeremy Kerr suffered a knee cartilage tear leaving him sidelined for an undetermined amount of time. In August, wide receiver Willie Haulstead was released from the team after being named academically ineligible.[24] Running back Mario Pender was also declared ineligible due to academics.[25] Jarred Haggins, a wide receiver, suffered a knee stress fracture in practice causing him to miss the season.[26]

Despite the numerous coaching changes and off the field incidents, Florida State would go on to become the highest scoring team in FBS history by scoring 723 points in a single season en route to their third national championship. The 2013 Seminoles would hand then third ranked Clemson their worst home loss, set a new attendance record at Doak Campbell Stadium of 84,409 against the seventh ranked Miami Hurricanes, and set a school scoring record of 80 points in a game against the University of Idaho behind freshman quarterback and eventual Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston.

Conference championships[edit]

ACC Title trophies

Florida State is first among all ACC programs in terms of conference championships.

Conference Affiliations

In the first year of the program, Florida State competed as an independent program without conference affiliation. They were members of the Dixie Conference for three years before returning to independence. They would remain this way until 1992 when, after being courted by several conferences including the Southeastern Conference, they opted to join the Atlantic Coast Conference which is the same conference that they compete in today.

1948DixieDon Veller7–14–0
1949DixieDon Veller9–14–0
1950DixieDon Veller8–02–0
1992ACCBobby Bowden11–18–0
1993ACCBobby Bowden12–18–0
1994ACCBobby Bowden10–1–18–0
1995ACCBobby Bowden10–27–1
1996ACCBobby Bowden11–18–0
1997ACCBobby Bowden11–18–0
1998ACCBobby Bowden11–27–1
1999ACCBobby Bowden12–08–0
2000ACCBobby Bowden11–28–0
2002ACCBobby Bowden9–57–1
2003ACCBobby Bowden10–37–1
2005ACCBobby Bowden8–55–3
2012ACCJimbo Fisher12–27–1
2013ACCJimbo Fisher14–08–0
2014ACCJimbo Fisher13–18–0
Total Conference Titles18
† Denotes co-champions

Divisional championships[edit]

The Seminoles lining up to kick a field goal in the conference title game

Divisional play began in the Atlantic Coast Conference at the start of the 2005 football season following the addition of Boston College. Florida State leads the ACC Atlantic Division with six titles and five appearances in the ACC Championship Game. Florida State defeated Virginia Tech of the Coastal Division in the inaugural game in 2005, losing to Virginia Tech in 2010, beating Georgia Tech in 2012, Duke in 2013 and Georgia Tech in 2014.

YearDivisionCoachACC CG ResultOpponentPFPA
2005ACC AtlanticBobby BowdenWVirginia Tech2722
2008ACC AtlanticBobby Bowden Boston College won the divisional tiebreaker  
2010ACC AtlanticJimbo FisherLVirginia Tech3344
2012ACC AtlanticJimbo FisherWGeorgia Tech2115
2013ACC AtlanticJimbo FisherWDuke457
2014ACC AtlanticJimbo FisherWGeorgia Tech3735
Totals:6 4–1 163123
† Denotes co-champions

Individual accomplishments[edit]

Individual national award winners[edit]



Individual conference awards[edit]



Bobby Bowden (1993, 1997)

Heisman Trophy[edit]

Chris Weinke won the Heisman Trophy after leading the Seminoles to a national title.

Currently, three Florida State players have been awarded the Heisman Trophy, Charlie Ward in 1993, Chris Weinke in 2000 and Jameis Winston in 2013. Quarterback Casey Weldon finished as runner-up in 1991. Other Heisman finalists from Florida State include:[27] running back Greg Allen (7th place, 1984), defensive back Deion Sanders (8th place, 1988), quarterback Charlie Ward (6th place, 1992), linebacker Marvin Jones (4th place, 1992), running back Warrick Dunn (9th place, 1995; 5th place, 1996), wide receiver Peter Warrick (6th place, 1999), and quarterback Jameis Winston (6th place, 2014).

Top 5 finishes in the Heisman Trophy voting
1991Casey WeldonQB5032nd
1992Marvin JonesLB3924th
1993Charlie WardQB2,3101st
1996Warrick DunnRB3415th
2000Chris WeinkeQB1,6281st
2013Jameis WinstonQB2,2051st

Hall of Fame inductees[edit]

College Football Hall of Fame inductees[edit]

Charlie Ward has been inducted into the hall of fame.
College Football Hall of Fame inductees
Year InductedNamePositionCareer
1988Ron SellersWR1966–68
1991Fred BiletnikoffWR1962–64
2000Darrell MudraCoach1974–75
2006Bobby BowdenCoach1976–2009
2006Charlie WardQB1989, 1991–93
2009Ron SimmonsDT1977–80
2011Deion SandersCB1985–88

Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees[edit]

NFL Hall of Fame inductees
Year InductedNamePositionCareer
1988Fred BiletnikoffWR1965-1978
2011Deion SandersCB1989–2000, 2004-2005
2014Derrick BrooksLB1995–2008
2014Walter JonesOL1997–2008

Consensus All-Americans[edit]

212 Florida State players have been honored as All-American players with thirty-five[28] being awarded as consensus All-Americans. Seven Florida State players have been two-time consensus All-Americans.

Consensus All-Americans
1964Fred Biletnikoff25WR
1967Ron Sellers34WR
1979–1980Ron Simmons51DL
1983Greg Allen26RB
1985Jamie Dukes64OL
1987–1988Deion Sanders2CB
1989LeRoy Butler6CB
1991–1992Marvin Jones55LB
1991Terrell Buckley27CB
1993Charlie Ward17QB
1993–1994Derrick Brooks10LB
1993Corey Sawyer8CB
1994Clifton Abraham2CB
1995Clay Shiver53C
1996Peter Boulware58DE
1996Reinard Wilson55DE
1997Sam Cowart1LB
1997Andre Wadsworth85DE
1998–1999Sebastian Janikowski38K
1998–1999Peter Warrick9WR
1999Corey Simon53DL
1999Jason Whitaker68OL
2000Tay Cody27CB
2000Snoop Minnis13WR
2000Jamal Reynolds58DE
2003–2004Alex Barron70OL
2010Rodney Hudson62OL
2011Shawn Powell45P
2012Bjoern Werner95DL
2013Lamarcus Joyner20S
2013Bryan Stork52C
2013Jameis Winston5QB
2014Roberto Aguayo19K
2014Tre' Jackson54OL
2014Nick O'Leary35TE

Honored Jersey Numbers[edit]

Deion Sanders was inducted into the hall of fame, also having his number retired.
Florida State Seminoles Retired Numbers
2Deion SandersCB1985–88
10Derrick BrooksLB1991–94
16Chris WeinkeQB1997–2000
17Charlie WardQB1989–93
25Fred BiletnikoffWR1962–64
27Terrell BuckleyCB1989–91
28Warrick DunnRB1993–96
34Ron SellersWR1966–68
50Ron SimmonsDT1977–80

Four year Lettermen[edit]

Bob Crenshaw award[edit]

The Tallahassee Quarterback Club[29] sponsors an award that is given in memory of a special Seminole football player whose courage and fighting spirit was an inspiration to others.

The award is given in the memory of Robert E. (Bob) Crenshaw who played football from 1952 to 1955. The 175 pounds offensive lineman was the captain of the team in 1954 and a student leader. He was killed in a jet crash in 1958.[30] The plaque's inscription reads: "To the football player with the Biggest Heart." The recipient is chosen by his teammates as the man who best exemplifies the qualities that made Bob Crenshaw an outstanding football player and person.

Records and results[edit]

Year-by-year results[edit]

Florida State has completed fifty-two winning seasons, including twenty-two seasons of double digit wins.

National ChampionsCollege Football PlayoffConference ChampionsDivision ChampionsBowl Season

Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, C = Conference

*1Tulane was forced to forfeit their win over FSU in 1983 due to an ineligible player.
*2Five (5) wins and two (2) conference wins in the 2006 season vacated due to using ineligible players
*3All Seven (7) wins and four (4) conference wins in the 2007 season vacated due to using ineligible players

Undefeated seasons[edit]

Florida State has completed three "perfect seasons" in its history as well as having gone through the regular season undefeated six times.

YearCoachRegular SeasonFinal Win/Loss
1950Don Veller8–08–0
1979Bobby Bowden11–011–1
1996Bobby Bowden11–011–1
1999Bobby Bowden11–012–0
2013Jimbo Fisher12–014–0
2014Jimbo Fisher12–013–1
Total Undefeated Seasons3

The Seminoles have gone through conference play unbeaten twelve times.

YearCoachConference Record
1948Don Veller4–0
1949Don Veller4–0
1950Don Veller2–0
1992Bobby Bowden8–0
1993Bobby Bowden8–0
1994Bobby Bowden8–0
1996Bobby Bowden8–0
1997Bobby Bowden8–0
1999Bobby Bowden8–0
2000Bobby Bowden8–0
2013Jimbo Fisher8–0
2014Jimbo Fisher8–0
Total Undefeated Conference Seasons12

All-time bowl record[edit]

This is a partial list of the five most recent bowl games Florida State has competed in. For the full FSU bowl game history, see List of Florida State Seminoles bowl games

Florida State has played in 44 bowl games in its history and has a 26–15–2 record in those games. Florida State has played in 33 consecutive bowl games, the longest active streak. The Seminoles are the ninth most successful bowl team in history. Florida State's two most common opponents in bowl play have been Oklahoma and Nebraska. The Seminoles are 1–3 against Oklahoma in bowl games and 4–0 against Nebraska. Florida State's most common bowl destination has been the Orange Bowl (9 trips). Its second most common bowl destinations have been the Sugar Bowl and the Gator Bowl (6 trips each). Florida State owns the record for most consecutive bowl game victories with 11, between 1985 and 1996, as well as the longest unbeaten streak with a 13-0-1 record from 1982-1996. Florida State has the fifth most bowl wins among all FBS teams. Coach Jimbo Fisher has a 4-1 record in bowls.

The Seminoles have played in 21 major bowls, compiling an 11-10 record. Florida State played in eight BCS games (third most all-time) including four BCS National Championships. Florida State also played in three Bowl Coalition games and three Bowl Alliance games. The Seminoles have made one appearance in the College Football Playoff.

2010December 31, 2010Chick-fil-A BowlFlorida State 26South Carolina 17
2011December 29, 2011Champs Sports BowlFlorida State 18Notre Dame 14
2012January 1, 2013Orange BowlFlorida State 31Northern Illinois 10
2013January 6, 2014BCS National Championship GameFlorida State 34Auburn 31
2014January 1, 2015Rose BowlOregon 59Florida State 20


YearSeedAway TeamHome TeamBowlResult
20143Florida StateOregonRose BowlL, 20-59
Total Appearances10–1

All-time record vs. current ACC teams[edit]

The Seminoles in a conference matchup with Virginia Tech

Florida State holds a winning record against every current and former ACC school except for Miami and Pittsburgh, who hold slight advantages.

Florida State became conference opponents with Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia and Wake Forest in 1992. Miami and Virginia Tech became conference opponents in 2004, Boston College in 2005, Pittsburgh and Syracuse in 2013. Louisville will be a conference opponent in 2014. Florida State was 21-2 against the University of Maryland prior to their departure for the Big 10 Conference. Notre Dame is a member of the ACC in all sports but maintains football independence while playing a required number of ACC teams each year.

Boston College8140.636Won 519572014[31]
Clemson2080.714Won 319702014[32]
Duke172001.000Won 1719922013[33]
Georgia Tech1491.604Won 219552014[34]
Louisville1320.867Won 119522014[35]
Miami28310.475Won 519512014[36]
North Carolina1521.861Lost 119832010[37]
NC State231110.676Won 219522014[38]
Notre Dame*620.750Won 319812014[39]
Pittsburgh450.444Won 119712013[40]
Syracuse710.875Won 719662014[41]
Virginia14130.824Won 119922014[42]
Virginia Tech23121.653Won 119552012[43]
Wake Forest2661.803Won 319562014[44]

*Notre Dame is an associate member of the ACC with a scheduling agreement in football
*1Denotes one (1) win vacated during the 2006 and 2007 seasons
*2Denotes two (2) wins vacated during the 2006 and 2007 seasons

All-time record vs. non-conference opponents[edit]

Abilene Christian1–219531957
Arizona State3–119711984
Brigham Young4–019912010
Central Florida1–019951995
Charleston Southern1–020112011
Colorado State1–119721974
Delta State1–019511951
East Carolina7–019801990
George Washington1–019611961
Georgia Southern2–019881990
Iowa State1–119752002
Jacksonville NAS1–019511951
Jacksonville State1–119472009
Kansas State3–019701977
Louisiana State7–219681991
Louisiana Tech2–219521999
Michigan State2–019871988
Middle Tennessee1–019911991
Mississippi College3–019481950
Mississippi State7–219661979
Murray State1–020122012
New Mexico State1–019641964
North Texas2–019761977
Northern Illinois1–020132013
Ohio State3–019811998
Oklahoma State4–119582014
Penn State1–12–119672006
San Diego State0–219731977
Savannah State1–020122012
South Carolina16–319662010
South Florida1–120092012
Southern California2–019971998
Southern Illinois1–019821982
Southern Mississippi13-8–119521996
Sul Ross State1–019511951
Tennessee Tech1–119471958
Texas A&M4–019671998
Texas Christian1–219631965
Texas-El Paso0–119551955
Texas Tech4–119661987
Utah State1–019751975
Virginia Military Institute2–119521954
West Alabama1–119481949
West Virginia3–019822010
Western Michigan11–019912006
Whiting Field NAS1–019491949
Wichita State2–019691986
William & Mary1–119591950

*1Denotes win vacated during the 2006 and 2007 seasons
*2Denotes vacated Penn State win
*3Denotes win via forfeit

Future opponents[edit]

Intra-division opponents[edit]

Florida State plays the other six ACC Atlantic opponents once per season.

Even Numbered YearsOdd Numbered Years
vs Boston Collegeat Boston College
vs Clemsonat Clemson
at Louisvillevs Louisville
at NC Statevs NC State
at Syracusevs Syracuse
vs Wake Forestat Wake Forest

Non-division opponents[edit]

Florida State plays Miami as a permanent non-division opponent annually and rotates around the Coastal division among the other six schools.[45]

vs Miamiat Miamivs Miamiat Miamivs Miamiat Miamivs Miamiat Miamivs Miamiat Miami
at Georgia Techvs North Carolinaat Dukevs Virginia Techat Virginiavs Pittsburghat North Carolinavs Georgia Techat Virginia Techvs Duke

Non-conference opponents[edit]

vs Texas State
Sep. 5th
vs Ole Miss
Sep. 5th
(Orlando, FL)
at Florida
Nov. 25th
at Notre Dame
Nov. 10th
vs Boise State
Sep. 7th
at Boise State
Sep. 12th
vs Notre Dame
Sep. 6th
vs Florida
Nov. 26th
at Florida
Nov. 25th
at Notre Dame
vs South Florida
Sep. 26th
at South Florida
Sep. 24th
vs Florida
Nov. 24th
at Florida
Nov. 30th
vs Florida
Nov. 28th
at Florida
Nov. 27th
vs Florida
Nov. 30th
vs Chattanooga
Nov. 21st
vs Florida
Nov. 29th
at Florida
Nov. 28th



Florida State's traditional rivals are the University of Florida Gators and University of Miami Hurricanes.

Rivalry history[edit]

Clemson2080.714Won 319702014[32]
Florida23342.407Won 219582014[47]
Miami28310.475Won 519512014[36]
Virginia14130.824Won 119922014[42]

*1Denotes one (1) win vacated during the 2006 season


Former coach Bill Peterson and University of Florida assistant coach Gene Ellenson exchanging the Governor's Cup

Florida State plays for three trophies: the Florida Cup, the Governor's Cup, and the Jefferson–Eppes Trophy.

Florida Cup[edit]

See also: Florida Cup

The Florida Cup is the American football trophy sponsored by the state of Florida given to either the Florida State University Seminoles, the University of Florida Gators, or the University of Miami Hurricanes for winning a round-robin against the other two teams in the same season (including bowl games if necessary).[48]

It was created in 2002 by the Florida Sports Foundation, the official sports promotion and development organization of the state of Florida, and the Florida Championships Awards, Inc. The idea of finally having a trophy for the round robin winner between the three schools was enthusiastically endorsed by then governor Jeb Bush. Along with the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy (given to the winner of the round robin between Army, Navy and Air Force), the Florida Cup is one of the very few three way rivalries that presents a trophy to the winner.

The Florida Cup was awarded to the Florida State Seminoles in 2013, as Florida and Miami played in the regular season. However, unless the Gators and Hurricanes meet in a bowl game, this will be the last year they play for a long time, as Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley is reluctant to add Miami as an annual opponent due to alleged financial and scheduling concerns. Unless Florida and Miami are paired together in a bowl game, it remains to be seen when the next time the cup will be on the line. Thus, 2013 was the last year that the Florida Cup was awarded.

Makala Trophy[edit]

A separate trophy, the Makala Trophy, is also awarded to the winner of the Florida–Florida State game at the winning team's spring scrimmage.

Jefferson-Eppes Trophy[edit]

The Jefferson-Eppes Trophy is awarded to the winner of the Florida State–Virginia game. This game was played annually from 1992 through 2005, but since the conference split into divisions, the teams meet twice every six years. Florida State has been awarded the trophy fourteen times. Florida State is the current trophy holder after their win in Tallahassee in 2014.


The Florida Gators are the main rival of the Florida State Seminoles. Florida State and Florida have played each other 58 times. The game alternates between Florida's home stadium, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field in Gainesville, Florida and Florida State's home stadium, Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida. The Gators hold a 34-23–2 all-time lead against the Seminoles. This is due to the series beginning with Florida dominating for the first decade but since then it has been more balanced and most of the games have been close.Since the hiring of Bobby Bowden, Florida State has gone 21–18–1 against the Gators. During the Bobby Bowden era, Florida State went 17-18-1. Current Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher is 4–1 against the University of Florida.


FSU vs UM at Doak Campbell

The rivalry dates to 1951, when the Miami Hurricanes defeated the Seminoles 35–13 in their inaugural meeting. The schools have played uninterrupted since 1966, with Miami holding the all-time advantage, 31–28. Florida State holds a 8–3 advantage since the Hurricanes became a conference foe in 2004. Current Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher is 5–0 against the University of Miami.

During the 1980s and 90s, the series emerged as one of the premier rivalries in college football. Between 1983 and 2013, the Hurricanes and Seminoles combined to win 8 national championships (5 for Miami, 3 for Florida State) and played in 16 national championship games (83, 85, 86, 87, 89, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96, 98, 99, 00, 01, 02, 13). The rivalry has been popular not only because of its profound national championship implications and the competitiveness of the games but also because of the immense NFL-caliber talent typically present on the field when the two teams meet. The famous 1987 matchup featured over 50 future NFL players on both rosters combined.

The games have been characterized by remarkable team speed, big plays, hard hitting, and missed field goals. In 2004, the intensity of the rivalry was dialed up another notch when Miami joined the Atlantic Coast Conference and the teams became intra-conference rivals.

The rivalry is a television ratings bonanza, accounting for the two highest rated college football telecasts in ESPN history. The 2006 game between Miami and FSU was the second most-viewed college football game, regular season or bowl, in the history of ESPN, averaging 6,330,000 households in viewership (6.9 rating). It trailed only the 1994 game between Miami and FSU, which notched a 7.7 rating.[49]


The Noles and Tigers compete for the Atlantic division title.

Florida State has a rivalry with Atlantic Division foe Clemson Tigers. Florida State leads the all-time series 19–8. Current Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher is 4–1 against Clemson University. Florida State dominated the contests through most of the 1990s but 1999 marked a milestone as the hire of Bobby Bowden's son Tommy led to the first meeting, in 1999, which was the first time in Division I-A history that a father and a son met as opposing head coaches in a football game. During the time Tommy coached at Clemson the game was known as the "Bowden Bowl" Bobby won the series in the 9 years it played before Tommy's resignation, winning 5–4 with all four losses within the last five seasons. Tommy's four wins in the series remain the only times the son has ever beaten the father when facing off as head coach in any of America's four major sports.[citation needed]

One sticking point in the rivalry remains that a proud Clemson Tiger program that was strong in the 1980s had won 6 of the past 11 ACC titles from 1981–91. 1991 would be the last ACC Championship the Tigers would win until 2011 as Florida State entered the ACC in 1992 and proceeded to win the next 9 ACC Championships in a row, and 12 of the next 14 in the series. The Tigers advanced to the 2009 ACC title game for the first time since its inception in 2005 but a late Georgia Tech victory, which was later vacated, lengthened the Tigers' title drought.


The Seminoles also have a rivalry with the Virginia Cavaliers. Florida State and Virginia compete for the Jefferson-Eppes Trophy. The two schools have played for the trophy since its creation in 1995. It has been awarded a total of 18 times, with FSU receiving it 14 times (FSU vacated its 2006 win). The Seminoles hold the all-time advantage 14–3. Current Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher is 2–1 against the University of Virginia. Because of conference expansion, the teams no longer play annually; the teams last met in 2014, and they will meet once again during the 2019 season.[50]


Cheerleaders are a part of the pageantry of college football.

Many Florida State traditions are associated with athletics events, especially football, such as Osceola and Renegade, the planting of the spear at midfield during pregame, the lighting of the spear on the night before games, the FSU Fight Song, the Marching Chiefs, the FSU Hymns, the War Chant, and the Tomahawk Chop. Fans of the Florida State Seminoles are known as The Tribe, a nod to the nickname that the team carries.

In July 2011, Florida State won an ESPN SportsNation poll for Best Pre-game Tradition.[51]

Osceola and Renegade[edit]

Osceola and Renegade

Osceola and Renegade are the official symbols of the Florida State Seminoles. During home football games, Osceola, portraying the Seminole leader Osceola, charges down the field at Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium riding an appaloosa horse named Renegade, and hurls a burning spear at midfield to begin every game.

Marching Chiefs[edit]

Marching Chiefs performing at the UF game in 1981

The Marching Chiefs is the official marching band of the Florida State Seminoles. The band plays at every home game as well as at most away games (Clemson, Miami, South Florida, and Florida) as well as any Championship or Bowl game. There are upwards of 470 members in the band. The Marching Chiefs holds the claim to being the world's largest collegiate marching band.

Fight Song[edit]

The FSU Fight Song is one of the most widely recognized college tunes in the country.

The Florida State University fight song first appeared as a poem by Doug Alley, a student at the school, in the Florida Flambeau.[52] The Professor of music Thomas Wright then saw the poem in the newspaper and wrote a melody to it. During the 1950 homecoming halftime show, during a dedication ceremony naming the stadium, the band premiered the song.

War Chant[edit]

The Seminole War Chant was first used in a 1984 game against Auburn.[53] The chant was started in FSU's Marching Band - The Marching Chiefs, originally by members of the percussion section. The melody is based on the 1960s cheer, massacre.[54] The chant has also become associated with the tomahawk chop.

The War Chant would be adopted by the Atlanta Braves when FSU football alumnus Deion Sanders joined the team, and has been used ever since. It is also used by the NFL team the Kansas City Chiefs, Mexican soccer club Santos Laguna and the Turkish soccer club Galatasaray S.K..

FSU Hymns[edit]

The Marching Chiefs perform the school hymn after each home game.

The FSU Hymns include the alma mater (High O'er Towering Pines), hymn (Hymn To the Garnet and Gold), and fight song of The Florida State University.

Spirit Walk[edit]

A relatively new tradition, started under the Fisher regime, the War Path takes place before all home games. The walk includes the Marching Chiefs and Golden Girls marching and greeting fans from the College Town district on Madison Street to the stadium.[55]

Sod Cemetery[edit]

Florida State Football's Sod Cemetery is the final resting place for over 90 Sod Games.

For Florida State Football, "sod games" and the Sod Cemetery have been a rich part of the Seminoles college football history, commemorating many of the greatest victories. Away from home and against the odds, Florida State sod games represent the most difficult battles on the football field. The Sod Cemetery stands as a tribute to those triumphs.

In 1962, as the Seminoles completed their Thursday practice in preparation to face Georgia at Sanford Stadium, Dean Coyle Moore – a long-time professor and member of FSU's athletic board – issued a challenge: "Bring back some sod from between the hedges at Georgia." On Saturday, October 20, the Seminoles scored an 18–0 victory over the favored Bulldogs. Team captain Gene McDowell pulled a small piece of grass from the field, which was presented to Moore at the next football practice. Moore and FSU coach Bill Peterson had the sod buried on the practice field as a symbol of victory. A monument was placed to commemorate the triumph and the tradition of the sod game was born.

Before leaving for all road games in which Florida State is the underdog, all road games at the University of Florida and all ACC championship and bowl games, Seminole captains gather their teammates to explain the significance of the tradition. Victorious captains return with a piece of the opponent's turf to be buried in the Sod Cemetery inside the gates of the practice field.[56] In recent years, as the Florida State program has been successful, games of significance regardless of whether or not the Seminoles are the underdog, can be designated a "sod game." This most recently occurred in 2013 when the Seminoles traveled to Clemson, South Carolina in what was called the biggest game in ACC history. The Seminoles defeated Clemson, 51–14, in what was the biggest margin of victory in Clemson's Memorial Stadium.


Uniform design used through the 2013 season

Florida State's uniforms are considered[according to whom?] among the most iconic in the sport of college football. The uniforms pay respect to the Seminole culture using tribal influences with Native American symbols representing an arrow, a man on a horse, and fire.[57] The team's jersey and helmet have remained relatively unchanged throughout the years. In a poll conducted by ESPN, Florida State was chosen to have the best college helmet.[58]

College Gameday[edit]

The Seminoles have appeared on ESPN's College Game Day 32 times since 1993, with 6 bowl appearances. The first ever broadcast of the show took place in South Bend, Indiana when then #1 FSU traveled to play the #2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish in what was called the Game of the Century. Florida State is 17–15 in games played when College GameDay has traveled to Seminole games. Florida State has hosted the program 11 times, the most by any ACC school. The most recent visit came in 2014 when Notre Dame played in Tallahassee. The Seminoles have a 7–4 record when Gameday is on campus.

Current coaching staff[edit]

NamePositionSeasons at FSUAlma Mater
Jimbo FisherHead Coach8th (5th as Head Coach)Salem College (1989)
Rick TrickettAssistant Coach/Offensive Line8thGlenville (1972)
Odell HagginsAssociate Coach/Defensive Line21stFlorida State (1993)
Charles KellyDefensive Coordinator/Secondary2nd (1st as Defensive Coordinator)Auburn (1990)
Lawrence DawseyCo-Offensive Coordinator/Passing Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers8th (1st as Offensive Coordinator)Florida State (1991)
Randy SandersCo-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks2nd (1st as Offensive Coordinator)Tennessee (1988)
Brad LawingDefensive Head Coach/Defensive Ends1stLenoir-Rhyne (1979)
Tim BrewsterTight Ends Coach/Recruiting Coordinator2ndIllinois (1984)
Bill MillerLinebackers1stTexas-Arlington (1978)
Jay GrahamRunning Backs/Special Teams Coordinator2ndTennessee (2004)
Vic ViloriaStrength and Conditioning4thSouthern Methodist (2002)
Bob LaCivitaDirector of Player Personnel8thIndiana University of Pennsylvania (1971)
Mark RobinsonDirector of Football Operations2ndAppalachian State (2003)
Jake PfeilHead Football Athletic Trainer11thFlorida State (2000)

Individual program records[edit]

Warrick Dunn holds rushing records at Florida State.

Offensive records[edit]

Rushing records[edit]

Passing records[edit]

Receiving records[edit]

Kicking records[edit]

Return records[edit]

Defensive records[edit]

Famous football alumni[edit]

Former Seminole Lee Corso on College GameDay

NFL players[edit]

Seminoles in the NFL
NFL Draft selections
Total selected:247
First round:40
NFL achievements
Super Bowl Participants:69
Super Bowl MVPs2
Pro Bowl Selections:76
Pro Bowl Coaches:1
Christian Ponder is one of many former Florida State players in the NFL.

Florida State has sent 247 players to the National Football League since 1951. This includes 40 first-round draft picks. Andre Wadsworth holds the record as the highest Seminole taken in the NFL Draft as he was selected with the third overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals in the 1998 draft.[66] Eleven players, a school record, were taken in the 2013 NFL Draft.[67]

Currently Florida State has 50 players active in the NFL[68]

PlayerYear DraftedRoundPositionCurrent NFL Team
Chad Abram2014UndraftedFBDetroit Lions
Kelvin Benjamin20141st (28)WRCarolina Panthers
Anquan Boldin20032nd (54)WRSan Francisco 49ers
Nigel Bradham20124th (105)LBBuffalo Bills
Terrence Brooks20143rd (79)SBaltimore Ravens
Everette Brown20092nd (43)DEPhiladelphia Eagles
Brodrick Bunkley20061st (14)NTNew Orleans Saints
Tank Carradine20132nd (40)DESan Francisco 49ers
Tony Carter2009UndraftedCBDenver Broncos
Antonio Cromartie20061st (19)CBArizona Cardinals
Everett Dawkins20137th (229)DTTampa Bay Buccaneers
Darnell Dockett20043rd (64)DEArizona Cardinals
Andre Fluellen20083rd (87)DTDetroit Lions
Devonta Freeman20144th (103)RBAtlanta Falcons
Graham Gano2009UndraftedKCarolina Panthers
Letroy Guion20085th (152)DTGreen Bay Packers
Mike Harris20126th (176)CBNew York Giants
Geno Hayes20086th (175)LBJacksonville Jaguars
Dustin Hopkins20136th (177)KNew Orleans Saints
Rodney Hudson20112nd (55)CKansas City Chiefs
Sebastian Janikowski20001st (17)KOakland Raiders
Brandon Jenkins20135th (162)LBWashington Redskins
Timmy Jernigan20142nd (48)DTBaltimore Ravens
Christian Jones2014UndraftedLBChicago Bears
Greg Jones20042nd (55)FBHouston Texans
Lamarcus Joyner20142nd (41)CBSt. Louis Rams
EJ Manuel20131st (16)QBBuffalo Bills
Demonte McAllister2014UndraftedDTSeattle Seahawks
Anthony McCloud2013UndraftedDTArizona Cardinals
Jacobbi McDaniel2014UndraftedDTCleveland Browns
Nick Moody20136th (180)LBSan Francisco 49ers
Terrence Parks2012UndraftedLBWashington Redskins
Christian Ponder20111st (12)QBMinnesota Vikings
Lonnie Pryor2013UndraftedFBTampa Bay Buccaneers
Xavier Rhodes20131st (25)CBMinnesota Vikings
Patrick Robinson20101st (32)CBNew Orleans Saints
Garrison Sanborn2009UndraftedLS/CBuffalo Bills
Kenny Shaw2014UndraftedWRCleveland Browns
Ernie Sims20061st (9)LBArizona Cardinals
Antone Smith2009UndraftedRBAtlanta Falcons
Rodney Smith2013UndraftedWRMinnesota Vikings
Telvin Smith20145th (144)LBJacksonville Jaguars
Bryan Stork20144th (105)OCNew England Patriots
Chris Thompson20135th (154)RBWashington Redskins
Lawrence Timmons20071st (15)LBPittsburgh Steelers
Leon Washington20064th (117)RBTennessee Titans
Dekoda Watson20107th (217)LBDallas Cowboys
Menelik Watson20132nd (42)OTOakland Raiders
Bjoern Werner20131st (24)LBIndianapolis Colts
James Wilder Jr.2014UndraftedRBCincinnati Bengals
Vince Williams20136th (206)LBPittsburgh Steelers
Kamerion Wimbley20061st (13)DETennessee Titans



The Florida State Seminoles have no mascot. It is referred to as a symbol, Osceola and Renegade, which is portrayed usually by a student with paint on his face. The Seminole Tribe of Florida officially sanctions the use of the Seminole as Florida State University’s nickname and of Osceola as FSU's symbol.[69]

Shoe controversy[edit]

Florida State University gained the nickname 'Free Shoes University' from then Florida head football coach Steve Spurrier in 1993 after a scandal in which agents were found to have bought more than $6,000 worth of shoes for Seminole players.[70][71] Although the university suspended five players for several games the NCAA did not find that major rules had been violated.[72]

Academic cheating scandal[edit]

In Spring 2007, several FSU athletes including football players were accused of cheating in an online music history class. The NCAA ruled that Florida State was guilty of major violations, announced that it would reduce scholarship limits in 10 sports and force Florida State to vacate all of the victories in 2006 and 2007 in which the implicated athletes participated and placed the university on probation for four years.[73] Florida State appealed parts of the decision.[74]

On January 5, 2010 the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee denied FSU's appeal and ruled that all penalties, including vacating up to fourteen wins during the 2006–2007 seasons, would remain in effect. FSU officials responded that they were surprised and disappointed by the NCAA decision and felt that their own investigation and self-imposed penalties were sufficient. The NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee responded that "the cooperative efforts of the university in the academic cheating scandal involving 61 Florida State athletes failed to outweigh the aggravating factors in the case."[75] The games to be vacated will be determined by certifying in which of the 14 games any of the 25 ineligible players competed.[76] A total of 12 wins were eventually vacated in all.[77]

Sexual assault allegation[edit]

On November 14, 2013, it was announced that the Florida State Attorney’s Office would re-open an investigation involving freshman quarterback Jameis Winston with regard to an alleged sexual assault that was originally filed on December 7, 2012.[78] The incident involving Winston was originally investigated by the Tallahassee Police Department and closed in February 2013 with no charges being filed.[79][80] The Tallahassee Police Department has posted its report, containing the alleged victim's initial statement, online.[81] The local prosecutor, William N. Meggs, was highly critical of the Tallahassee police,[82] and stated that the police "just missed all the basic fundamental stuff you are supposed to do", although he added that a better investigation might have yielded the same result. According to the New York Times, there was virtually no investigation at all, either by the police or the university. Important evidence was lost.[83] On December 5, 2013, it was announced that the State Attorney's Office had completed its investigation and would not be filing charges.[84] In April 2014, the New York Times published a lengthy article on what it called "a flawed rape investigation".[85] According to that article, Georgia Cappleman, the chief assistant state attorney, said "I have personal concerns about what happened in that room that night, but that’s completely separate from whether I’m able to prove a crime occurred." On October 11, 2014, FSU made a public statement in the case, in the form of an open letter sent to "members of the Florida State University community" and the media.[86] According to CBS Sports, Winston's relationship with the FSU administration (except the Athletic Department) has become "adversarial", and head coach Jimbo Fisher has resisted pressure from above to suspend Winston.[87] Fox Sports reported that FSU gave documents concerning the alleged sexual assault to Winston's attorney before giving them to the local prosecutor's office, and stated that FSU is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, concerning whether the university’s administrators complied with the requirements of the federal gender-equity law known as Title IX, which requires schools to immediately investigate allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence.[88][89] The Office for Civil Rights confirmed that Florida State is one of 91 schools under Title IX investigation but declined to comment further.[90]

FSU held a disciplinary hearing on December 2-3, 2014 to determine whether Winston was guilty of four charges of violating the FSU Student Conduct Code, two for sexual misconduct and two for endangerment. FSU employed former state Supreme Court justice Major B. Harding, who had no link to Florida State, to conduct the hearing. He reviewed over 1,000 pages of testimony and evidence. According to the victim's opening statement, she clearly pleaded with him to stop. She said she has faced death threats, her parents' home and work addresses have been made public, purportedly by angry Seminoles fans, and that she felt she had to withdraw from Florida State; she has since enrolled at another college.[91][92] Winston and his Seminole player roommates Chris Casher and Ronald Darby, who were eyewitnesses to the alleged assault,[93] refused to answer questions at the hearing; under the FSU Student Conduct Code they were not required to. Winston made a five-page written statement, in which he stated that the victim had "demanded" $7,000,000 from him, and answered two brief questions by Harding, stating that "moaning" showed the alleged victim's consent.[94]

On December 22, 2014, the results of the hearing were announced. Harding found that the evidence presented by both sides was "irreconcilable", that accuser and Winston's versions of events had equal credibility, and that, therefore, the burden of proof was not met. He cleared Winston of all charges of violating the FSU Student Conduct Code.[95][96] Harding's concluding statement has been posted online by Fox Sports.[97]

Law enforcement accusation[edit]

On October 10, 2014, an in-depth article in the New York Times stated that what happened with Winston was "far from an aberration" at FSU, because "the police on numerous occasions have soft-pedaled allegations of wrongdoing by Seminole football players". The Tallahassee Police have opened an Internal Affairs investigation.[98]

Domestic violence allegation[edit]

On October 25, 2014, the Tallahassee Police Department received an email from Florida State general counsel Carolyn Egan about social media posts that accused running back Karlos Williams of physically assaulting his pregnant ex-girlfriend or on about October 22.[99] On October 27, 2014, Tallahassee police announced that Williams was under investigation,[100] and according to the police report,[101] the alleged victim stated on Facebook:

Domestic violence is NEVER okay. And I have learned why women keep secrets and scared [sic] to come forward, I'm ashamed to say I did the same thing. But I am ready to speak up for women in situations life [sic] myself. I pray one day everyone see [sic] your true colors and for what you really are. This was done to me 2 nights ago by a man I have lived with for two years and bared [sic] two children by. Hopefully therapy will help you one day fix this and your sons never even work their hands to hurt a women [sic], mind you a pregnant woman, to this extent.

Three pictures which appeared to show bruising on someone's arm were posted with this comment.

Head football coach Jimbo Fisher canceled his previously scheduled news conference that day, and called this "another false report" and said that "that is about as far from the truth as there is".[102] The alleged victim, who had taken down the Facebook posting "because of all the feedback",[103] refused to give a statement to police and requested that no charges be filed, although under Florida law, the alleged victim's position does not preclude domestic violence charges.[104] On October 27, the alleged victim announced that she was withdrawing as a student at FSU.[99] On November 11, the Tallahassee Police Department annnounced that it was no longer investigating the allegations, and that unless "new information comes forward", it considered the matter "open/inactive at this time".[99]

Hit and run accident investigation[edit]

On October 5, 2014, starting cornerback P. J. Williams drove his car into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Both cars were totaled. Rather than remaining at the scene, as Florida law requires, he and his passengers, who included Ronald Darby, the team's other starting cornerback, "fled", although he returned to the scene later. The Tallahassee Police Department, who initially labeled the accident a hit and run, and found that Williams was driving with a suspended license, decided to issue Williams only two traffic tickets. No sobriety test was administered, and the case did not show up in the city's public online database of police calls, which the police called a technical error. According to the New York Times, the police report did not indicate if the police asked if he had been drinking or why he had fled, and the report minimized the impact of the crash on the driver of the other car. Florida State University Police were contacted by the Tallahassee police, and sent two ranking officers, including the shift commander, to the scene, but omitted it from its online police log, comparing it to an instance when campus officers responded to a baby opossum falling from a tree. University policy requires that a police report must be completed and submitted whenever officers respond to an outside request for police assistance, but none was filed.[105]


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External links[edit]