If you’re a Florida State fan reading this, you probably saw the headline and laughed out loud. How could this stressful season possibly be more fun than a 2013 campaign that might have been the best in program history?
And if you’re a non-FSU fan reading this, you’re probably wondering how any fan of the Seminoles still has a healthy, beating heart after all the close calls the team has endured this year.
But looking back, FSU fans have to admit that this season has been a lot more fun than last year’s national championship run.
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Off the field, it has been a rough year, without a doubt. It isn’t fun to be chided by fans of other teams everywhere we go, but deep down, we know any of those people would stand by their university if they were going through similar issues. So we listen to those folks who want to tell us we’re wrong to continue cheering for our beloved school. Then we smile and do our best to ignore the swirling sanctimony.
It’s not fun being the villain, no matter how much some might insist it is. Being the media darling is always more pleasant; FSU fans didn’t get to make that choice.
But on the field, it’s been such a thrilling ride.
In 2013, FSU obliterated its challengers. Their average margin of victory was 42 points, and most games were over by the end of the first quarter. Is it relieving to breeze through most of the schedule without being tested? Absolutely.
But was it fun? Heck no.
In 2014, FSU fans have cursed and stress-eaten their way through nailbiter after nailbiter, but each game has been 60 minutes of edge-of-your-seat roller-coaster rides.
And how funny it is that FSU has struggled so mightily in the first quarter of nearly every game this season after being so dominant in the opening 15 minutes of last year’s games. In 2013, if you missed the first quarter, you essentially missed all of the action from the Seminoles’ starters. In many games, the first-teamers didn’t even play in the second half.
However, if you missed the first quarter of FSU’s 2014 games, you just missed the most stressful part of the game. You only missed the part of the game when they dug themselves into holes.
In some instances, it was because of those holes that we didn’t realize how dominant the ‘Noles were in the following three quarters. Against NC State, when the Seminoles were down 24-7 after one quarter, they stormed back to go on a 48-17 run in the final three frames. On a Thursday night in Louisville, the ‘Noles trailed 24-7 again before going on a 35-7 run to overcome what was the nation’s No. 1-ranked defense at the time.
Such was the story in several games this year, but as FSU fans will tell you, while many folks took note of FSU’s starts as a sign of weakness, it was the way they finished that showed their strength. Amidst all the setbacks, all the injuries and all the distractions off the field, Florida State found a way to win every game on its schedule – something nobody else in the country could do.
That’s why I’ll be the first to tell you that anything the Seminoles do in the first-ever College Football Playoff is a bonus.
If Florida State repeats as national champions, it will just be the cherry on top of a really sweet season.