Remembering Bowl Games against Future ACC Mates

by | Aug 27, 2018 | ACC, FSU


Picture Credit: Sports Illustrated


One of the unique things about FSU bowl history is that some opponents would become conference mates in the future. No one had any idea that in a few short years after the 1999 national championship game that Virginia Tech would become a conference mate. One interesting thing to note is that only one bowl game was against an ACC Charter member. It will always be interesting to ponder if a past/future bowl opponent could become a conference mate. So let us look back at the multiple times where Florida State would compete in a bowl game against a future conference mate. 


1983 Peach Bowl Florida State vs. North Carolina 

The 1983 season for Florida State was a struggle, as they barely made it to a bowl game. The week before they were blown out by in state rival Florida. Which led them to limping into the game with a record of 6-5. Coming into the game the Tar Heels were a favorite to win, as they came in with a record of 8-3. North Carolina was ranked #3 in the middle of the 1983 season, until three straight losses kicked them out of the polls.

Even with the three losses, FSU’s hopes to win seemed dim. Especially with the fact of a sophomore quarterback had to start the game, and it was his first start. His name was Eric Thomas from Valdosta Georgia.

Coming into the game at Atlanta Stadium, it seemed as if the turf was frozen, that is how cold it was. If you go back and rewatch the game, FSU had an option style attack. The weather limited the passing game, but the Noles ran North Carolina straight out of the stadium. 265 offensive yards out of 364 were on the ground for the Noles. While FSU dominated the ground on offense, they did the same on defense. The defense limited the UNC offense to a measly 32 rushing yards. FSU would go on to win the Peach Bowl 28-3, and beat UNC one more time (1985) before joining the ACC in 1992.

Fun Fact: Famous FSU alum Burt Reynolds bought the team new jerseys before the Peach Bowl


1999 BCS National Championship Game FSU vs Virginia Tech

Every Florida State fan can tell you about this game, as it was one of the most magical games in FSU History. Anytime you win a national championship it is one of the best moments for your program. What no one could have predicted was that in five short seasons, Virginia Tech would become a conference mate.

While Virginia Tech has had solid success they have not been able to get to the height of another national championship game. While the ACC is not always the toughest conference, it is way more difficult to reach the national championship in the current ACC than what VT saw in the Big East.


2002 Gator Bowl Florida State vs. Virginia Tech

This Gator Bowl would be a rematch of the 1999 National Championship game and an important day for Bobby Bowden. With a win against Virginia Tech, it would place him tied in all time wins with Paul Bear Bryant. Coming into the game Florida State was ranked #24 and Virginia Tech was ranked #15.

The 2002 Gator Bowl would be all about Javon Walker, who would later go on to have a great NFL career with the Packers. Javon who is featured in the gif above dominated the bowl game with four receptions for 195 yards. This led Florida State to a 30-17 Gator Bowl win.

After this bowl season conference realignment rumors would start popping up, and Virginia Tech was at the center of it. In two more seasons they would jump ship from the Big East to the ACC.

2004 Orange Bowl Florida State vs. Miami 

One of the tougher bowl losses to suffer in Florida State history came to the Miami Hurricanes. At the time of the game it was official that this would be last contest Miami would sport the Big East logo. After the game the Miami football program was heading towards the Atlantic Coast Conference. Florida State and Miami being in the same conference is still a fresh thing for many Seminole fans.

Knowing the Canes were heading into the conference the next season, it was not a good way to welcome them for the Noles. With another missed kick in the fourth quarter FSU ended up losing this game 14-16.


Extra Credit

These list of games do not belong within the main article but they do deserve to be mentioned. Notre Dame is apart of the Atlantic Coast Conference in every way except for football, and that started in 2013. Revenue is shared with Notre Dame, so we will inclue them in our extra credit section.

1996 Orange Bowl Florida State 31 Notre Dame 26

2011 Champs sports Bowl Florida State 18 Notre Dame 14


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