The Florida State Seminoles football team represents Florida State University (variously Florida State or FSU) in the sport of American football. The Seminoles compete in the NCAA 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 four of the AP Poll for 14 straight years from 1987 through 2000. The 1999 team received votes from ESPN as one of the top teams in college football history.
The team has produced three Heisman Trophy winners: quarterbacks Charlie Ward in 1993, Chris Weinke in 2000 and 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 won by 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 218 All-Americans (45 consensus and 15 unanimous) and 250 professional players. Florida State has had six 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-eight 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. A rivalry with Clemson has developed and grown due to both teams competing yearly for the ACC Atlantic division.
The team is coached by Willie Taggart and plays its home games at Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium, currently the 20th largest stadium in college football, the 2nd largest in the ACC, located on-campus in Tallahassee, Florida.
Southern Miss vs. Florida State Independence Bowl Highlights (2017) - Southern Miss vs. Florida State: Seminoles quarterback James Blackman threw an Independence Bowl record 4 touchdown passes and running back Cam Akers set the FSU freshman single-season rushing...
Florida State College Eleven
As early as the 1890s, Florida State had a football team. Florida State University traces the start of its athletic program to 1902, when Florida State College played the first of its three seasons. From 1902 to 1904, the institution then known as Florida State College fielded a varsity football team called "The Eleven" that played other teams. The Florida State players wore gold uniforms with a large purple F on the front. Their pants were lightly padded, but their upper bodies were largely unprotected. Leather helmets with ear guards covered their heads, and shoehorn-shaped metal nose guards were strapped across their faces. In 1905, the state reorganized its secondary education under the Buckman Act and the football team moved to the University of Florida. In 1947, Florida's university system faced a heavy influx of returning soldiers taking advantage of the G.I. Bill. To accommodate the demand, on May 15, 1947, the Governor signed an act of the Legislature returning Florida State College for Women to coeducational status and naming it The Florida State University. This is recognized as the beginning of Florida State University's current American football program.
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. They played their first game against the Bainbridge Giants, a city team from Bainbridge, Georgia, defeating them 5â"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 6â"0 and losing the second 0â"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. The following year Jack Forsythe, later the first head coach of the Florida Gators, replaced Hughes as coach, and the Eleven won the unofficial "state championship" by defeating Stetson in Tallahassee. Jock Hanvey assisted Forsythe.
This would be The Eleven's last season, however, as the Florida State Legislature passed the Buckman Act, which reorganized Florida's six colleges into three institutions segregated by gender and race: a school for white males, a school for white females, and a school for African Americans. Florida State College became Florida Female College until 1909, when it became Florida State College for 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. Males who formerly attended Florida State College were required to transfer to the Gainesville campus, although 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).
Foundation of the modern team (1947â"1959)
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 to 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 0â"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 31â"12â"1. Veller was the first coach to find success coaching the Seminoles. In 1950, Veller led the Seminoles to an 8â"0 record, the first unbeaten season in school history.
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 34â"28â"1. In one of his most notable accomplishments, Nugent gave the Seminoles their first win over an SEC opponent with a 10â"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 4â"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 after leaving to coach in the CFL.
Bill Peterson era (1960â"1970)
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.
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 48â"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. 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.
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.
Larry Jones era (1971â"1973)
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 15â"19, becoming the third Florida State coach to have a losing record.
Darrell Mudra era (1974â"1975)
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 4â"18. He became the fourth head coach to have a losing record at Florida State.
Bobby Bowden era (1976â"2009)
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. 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 pollÂ â" 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' 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.
Rise to prominence
In the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, the Seminoles had 14 consecutive seasons with 10 or more wins and a top four finish, with a record of 152â"19â"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 (1987â"2000)
The 1987-2000 seasons are documented in the film The Bowden Dynasty: A Story of Faith, Family and Football and the book The Bowden Dynasty: A Story of Faith, Family and Football - An Insider's Account.
Academic cheating scandal
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. FSU vacated 12 football victories from the 2006 and 2007 seasons, Bowden finished his career with 377 career wins.
Jimbo Fisher era (2010â"2017)
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 2008 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 10â"4 with a 6â"2 record in ACC conference play. The Seminoles went to their first ACC Championship Game since 2005, losing to Virginia Tech 44â"33, and had their first ten win season since 2003. Fisher's first Florida State team notably beat both of its in-state rivals, the Miami Hurricanes 45â"17 and the Florida Gators 31â"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, 26â"17. In his second season, Florida State went 9â"4 with a 5â"3 record in ACC conference play. For the second year in a row, the Seminoles defeated both of their in-state rivals. 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 14â"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 had victories over both in-state rivals, Florida and Miami, in six of Jimbo Fisher's first seven seasons as head coach and won ten or more games in six of his eight seasons. Fisher resigned on December 1, 2017, to begin his tenure at Texas A&M.
Odell Haggins interim period (2017)
Odell Haggins became Florida State's first African-American head coach on December 1, 2017, and coached in his first game the next day against Louisiana Monroe. The Seminoles won, extending their bowl streak to an NCAA record 36 seasons. He went on to coach the Seminoles in the bowl game, leading them to a win and their 41st consecutive winning season.
Willie Taggart era (2018-present)
On December 5, 2017, Willie Taggart left Oregon to become the new head coach at Florida State.
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.
- Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1902â"1904)
- Independent (1947)
- Dixie Conference (1948â"1950)
- Independent (1951â"1991)
- Atlantic Coast Conference (1992â"present), Atlantic Division since 2005
Florida State has had thirteen head coaches since organized football began in 1902. Bobby Bowden, who spent thirty-four years at Florida State, is the winningest coach in school history and has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. During his tenure, Bobby Bowden won two national championships with the Seminoles, while Jimbo Fisher won one.
^ Bobby Bowden's record omits 12 vacated victories including 1 bowl victory, that would otherwise make his record 316â"97â"4.
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.
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 9â"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 31â"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.
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.
After the 2012 season, FSU lost six coaches including defensive coordinator Mark Stoops 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.
Unclaimed national championships
The Seminoles have been named national champions on 10 additional occasions by various selectors. Five of these selections (1980, 1987, 1992, 1994, 1996) are recognized by the NCAA but not claimed by the university. The other five selections (1988, 1989, 1990, 1997, 1998) are not claimed by the university nor are they recognized by the NCAA.
Florida State is second among all ACC programs in terms of conference championships.
Divisional play began in the Atlantic Coast Conference at the start of the 2005 football season. 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.
Doak S. Campbell Stadium
The Florida State Seminoles originally played their home games at Centennial Field until 1950. The Seminoles had an 8â"4 record at Centennial, including two undefeated home records. The team currently play their home games at Doak Cambell Stadium, which has a capacity of 79,560. Florida State is 294â"92â"4 in 390 games played at Doak Campbell.
The stadium, named after former school president Doak Sheridan Campbell, hosted its first game against the Randolph-Macon College Yellowjackets on October 7, 1950 with the Seminoles winning the game 40â"7. At that time the facility had a seating capacity of 15,000. 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 (1960â"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 second largest football stadium in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
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.
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 1992â"2001, a total of 54 games, and have completed twenty-three undefeated seasons at their home stadiums, including twenty-one at Doak Campbell.
The record crowd for the stadium is 84,409; set during a game against the Miami Hurricanes on November 2, 2013.
â One win vacated during the 2006 season
The Florida Gators are the main rival of the Florida State Seminoles. Florida State and Florida have played each other 62 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 34â"26â"2 all-time lead against the Seminoles. Since the hiring of Bobby Bowden, Florida State has gone 24â"19â"1 against the Gators. During the Bobby Bowden era, Florida State went 17â"18â"1. Jimbo Fisher led the Seminoles to five straight wins against the Gators, their longest winning streak in the series.
The rivalry dates to 1951, when the Miami Hurricanes defeated the Seminoles 35â"13 in their inaugural meeting. The schools have played uninterrupted since 1966, with Miami leading the series 32â"30. Florida State holds an 10â"4 advantage since the Hurricanes became a conference foe in 2004.
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 15 national championship games (1983, 85, 86, 87, 89, 91, 92, 93, 96, 98, 99, 2000, 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 ACC 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 (a 6.9 rating). It trailed only the 1994 game between Miami and FSU, which notched a 7.7 rating.
Florida State has a rivalry with Atlantic Division foe Clemson Tigers. Florida State leads the all-time series 20â"11. The Seminoles 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 was played before Tommy's resignation, taking 5 of those games with all four losses within the last five seasons.
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 1981â"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 Seminoles also have a rivalry with the Virginia Cavaliers. Florida State and Virginia compete for the Jeffersonâ"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 14â"3. 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.
The Florida Cup is the 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).
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.
A separate trophy, the Makala Trophy, is also awarded to the winner of the Floridaâ"Florida State game at the winning team's spring scrimmage.
The Jeffersonâ"Eppes Trophy is awarded to the winner of the Florida Stateâ"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.
Florida State has ended their football season ranked 38 times in either the AP or Coaches Poll.
Top-10 finishes are colored ââ