New Year’s Day has usually had another name for ‘Nole Nation – Gameday. FSU holds a record of 11-8 on New Year’s Day. While Florida State missed out on a bowl game for the first time in 36 seasons, fans should expect this year to be an exception rather than the rule. We should still celebrate, though, the feats of prior Seminole Legends. Let’s look back at some of the more memorable Nole Year’s Day Bowls!
The Gator Bowl is Doak East
Did you know that that Florida State is 6-0-1 in the Gator Bowl all-time? Of those seven games, three were played on New Year’s Day – all Seminole victories. FSU beat Virginia Tech in 2001 game, West Virginia in 2005, and then sent the Legend himself into the sunset by defeating West Virginia again in 2010.
While the Gator Bowl isn’t a BCS or NY6 Bowl Game, there is still prestige in winning. The first Gator Bowl Game was in 1946, making it just older than Florida State’s football program. Janurary 1, 2010 was magical, witnessing the end of the career of the Best – Bobby Bowden and Mickey Andrews, The Gator Bowl matched up Coach Bowden’s two major coaching stops – FSU and WVU. The Seminoles played an inspired game, sending their coaches out on top.
(Editor’s Note: I remember eating the traditional Southern New Year’s Day meal while watching this game, and seeing Bobby Bowden plant the spear after watching Mickey Andrews plant it against UF brought tears to my eyes and gave me the most severe case of goosebumps I’d ever experienced.)
Florida State has played against Nebraska four times on New Years Day, of which the Huskers have exactly Zero wins. These were no piddly games either – two games in the Fiesta Bowl, and two in the Orange Bowl. One of those Orange Bowls earned FSU its first National Championship in ’93. With the way Nebraska returned to Lincoln, it’s no wonder FSU has never received a return trip from the Fightin’ Corn.
While the ’93 game is the one most of the Seminole Faithful remember, the three-point win against Nebraska in 1988 was the catalyst for the Dynasty Years to come.
Revenge Against Notre Dame
On January 1, 1996, #8 Florida State entered the Orange Bowl against #9 Notre Dame. Defeating the Irish was important for many reasons. First, FSU was on a ten-game Bowl Winning Streak. This win ran that streak to eleven – a record which might never be broken. It also gave the ‘Noles another year of top-four finishes, as a loss would have bounced them from the top-ten. This game also avenged the loss to Notre Dame in ’93 – the lone blemish on an otherwise perfect season. This game was close, but was dominated by wide receiver Andre Cooper. He was named the offensive MVP of the Orange Bowl, and is even inducted into the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame.
Winning the National Championship
I don’t think words on a simple blog could do this justice. In lieu of words, I give you this GIF.
Florida State on New Year’s Day
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