Dispelling the "Road Warrior" myth

In a recent thread, we once again saw a Bobby Bowden loyalist overreacting to the criticisms leveled by TN towards the latter part of Coach Bowden's career.  I take the view that Bud and Co. have simply been letting people know when the Emperor was out without his clothes.  It is not belittling the man's entire career to point out legitimate problems that were the result of Bobby's decisions and leadership style.  Bobby was a "CEO" coach, hence the tower for example.  That is fine, I can respect that.  The problem is, if that is the type of system that you run, then the things that you are accountable for consist of hiring decisions, firing decision, and other big picture stuff.  If you want to run the team from the tower, you better be willing to ride herd on the coaches you observe from on high and make sure they are producing the results you want.

Anyway, to the title of this post.  Scheduling and strength of schedule seem to have hit a nerve with some of the old timers.  I remember going to some games in the early 80's against some real patsies.  So, I though I would look back and jog my memory.  I remember 1981 as well as anyone.  This is the root of the Road Warrior reputation.  Time and again, the argument against scheduling soft OOC except for the game against Florida brings out the cries of blasphemy.  The old school guys want to return to the "glory days" when we would play anyone anywhere.  

How did FSU schedule in the 80's and 90's?  Lets look shall we?


In 1983, FSU played :

4-7 LSU

4-7 Tulane (FSU lost, but was later awarded a win by forfeit when Tulane played an ineligible player)

4-6-1 Cincinnati

3-8 Louisville

6-4-1 Az State

5-6 South Carolina

Went 1-3 against top 25 teams


1984 FSU schedule included:

2-9 East Carolina

5-6 Kansas

5-5-1 Memphis St.

3-8 Tulane

5-6 Az State

6-5 Temple

6-5 UT Chattanooga

Went 1-3 against top 25 teams


1985 FSU faced:

1-10 Tulane

2-7-2 Memphis St.

5-6 UNC

5-6 South Carolina

4-6-1 Western Carolina

6-5 Tulsa

Went 2-3 against top 25 teams


1986 FSU challenged:

4-7 Tulane

3-8 Wichita St.

3-8 Louisville

3-6-2 South Carolina

6-5 Southern Miss

6-5 Florida (Lost)

Went 0-3 against top 25 teams


1987 FSU’s 11-1 Seminoles included wins over

5-6 East Carolina

5-5-1 Memphis State

3-7-1 Louisville

6-4-1 Tex Tech

6-5 Southern Miss

6-6 Tulane

6-6 Florida

7-4 Furman (included as soft because of the teams it beat for those 7 wins.)


1988:  FSU as an independent went 11-1 again,

Beating the likes of

5-6 Tulane

3-8 East Carolina

4-7 La. Tech

3-8 Va. Tech

Only played 4 road games



10-2 season for the Noles with victories over:

5-6 Southern Miss

4-7 La State

4-8 Tulane

2-9 Memphis State

6-4-1 Va Tech

6-4-1 South Carolina

They also played 6 home games that year, and a neutral site game in Jax.


1990 included some strong teams, but also:

5-6 East Carolina

4-7 Tulane

5-6 La State

1-10 Cincinatti

4-6-1 Memphis State

12-3 Ga Southern, (lower div. school)

Once again, 6 home games and a neutral site game in Orlando


To be honest, I got tired of looking at all the schedule table and transcribing them.  The point is that after 1981, we scheduled more home games than away games, we kept an open date prior to the game against UF, and we played a lot of teams with weak records.  I didn't have time to dig into every team we played, but many of the teams we faced with winning records racked up wins against weak competition.  Yes we played some strong teams, several in fact each year.  We were also an independent and needed to do this to make up for a lack of conference play.  There were a lot of wins against 7-4 teams or 8-5 teams that equate to our current conference schedule against teams like Clemson, NC, GT, etc.

1981 created a myth, it is the exception to the rule.  schedule info courtesy of

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