This is the ninth installment in a new series about Syracuse's impending move to the ACC. Previous rival profiles: Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, NC State, Maryland, Virginia.
Syracuse's well-documented move to the ACC of course comes with a host of new friends to play with. While several are neither "new" nor "friends," still consider these posts your primer on which teams, schools, players and coaches you'll be hating from 2014 (2013?) until the next time college football decides to realign.
In our latest profile, we get more acquainted with a school that, unlike us, never got rid of its offensive Native American mascot. And chances are they never will. It's the Florida State Seminoles.
School: Florida State University
Location: Tallahassee, Fla.
Stadium:Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium (capacity: 82,300) | Donald L. Tucker Center (capacity: 12,100)
Football & Basketball Titles: 2 (both football; 1993 and 1999)
Notable Football Alums: Fred Biletnikoff, Derrick Brooks, Lee Corso, Warrick Dunn, Deion Sanders
Notable Basketball Alums: Dave Cowens, Sam Cassell, Bob Sura, Toney Douglas, Charlie WardSyracuse football's second golden era, most of which occurred in the 1990s, pales in comparison to Florida State's. I just wanted to get that out of the way in the onset, so as not to startle any of us. From 1987 through 2000, the Seminoles piled up wins unlike any team had before or since. In those 14 seasons, they won at least 10 games each time, and never finished any lower than fifth. Once they joined the ACC, they won at least a share of nine straight titles -- a fact the rest of the league still isn't thrilled about. There's also the two national titles and two Heisman trophy winners; of which, one of them (Charlie Ward) would go on to play basketball for the New York Knicks. During this sustained period of success, Syracuse would feel the Seminoles' wrath twice, in ugly affairs that saw us outscored by a grand total of 87-24. Historically, we're just 1-5 against FSU, with the only win coming in 1966 -- not long before Gatorade was discovered, and the state of Florida learned how to play football.
As is the case with the large majority of our new conference brethren, Syracuse fares much better against the Seminoles on the basketball court than we do on the gridiron. All-time, we're 3-1 against Florida State, though our latest encounter (the 1997 NIT) saw us drubbed out 82-67 in front of under 6,000 fans in the Carrier Dome. Has anyone currently reading this ever been to the Dome when there were so few people in attendance? A horrifying thought, really. Throughout their history, FSU basketball has been mostly unimpressive, getting to the NCAAs just 13 times. That said, they lost to UCLA by just five points in the 1972 title game, and this year will be their 14th trip to the Big Dance, and third straight one, to boot. We'll regard this recent run of mild success as "promising," and move along.
Syracuse and Florida State sit even in the title count, at two apiece, but it's likely the argument's a wash. No matter what you bring up -- Ernie Davis, Jim Brown, Donovan McNabb, 1987 -- in football, it won't hold a candle to State's accomplishments. Regardless of their basketball team being very relevant in 1972, it's only been mildly so since then. SU's accomplishments since Florida State's 1972 run: one National Championship, three Final Fours, 32 trips to the NCAAs and five conference tournament titles. In other news, it's improbable you'll ever find a Seminoles basketball fan to discuss this disparity with.
John Cassillo authors Atlantic Coast Convos, which chronicles ACC (Plus Syracuse & Pittsburgh) football. Check out the blog, and follow him on Twitter: @JohnCassillo