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One of the perks of being a 'Nole fan is that there have been so many great teams and memories. That also makes it difficult to pick out a favorite team of all time. But that is today's issue and I cannot choose just one.
First on my list is the 1999 team. It's just awesome to see a team know it is better than everyone else and play like it. Weinke to Warrick. Jason Whitaker and Brett Williams kept Weinke clean. Corey Simon plugged the middle and allowed linebackers like Brian Allen to run free. FSU was voted #1 in every poll conducted, from pre-season to post. They were the first wire-to-wire champions of the BCS era. This video sums up the finale pretty well.
But two other teams were also special to me. First was the 2003 team. This was my first year as an FSU student. The schedule had a few quality opponents and a nice helping of cupcakes. Remember, this was before the ACC expanded, so Boston College, Miami (though FSU played them anyway), and Virginia Tech were not in play. FSU opened up at UNC with Greg Jones beheading Dexter Reid, 37-0. Then FSU played a classic over Georgia Tech, 14-13. I didn't know it at the time, but FSU was getting into a pattern of running up the score on bad teams, which would help to defend the offense from the critics who criticized it for averaging less than 12 points in FSU's three losses. The first of those losses came in the rain game to Miami, which also involved everyone crashing the gate as the system to redeem coupons for tickets was perhaps poorly planned. The season also saw a blowout win for FSU at Notre Dame, a horrific loss at Clemson in which some accused Bobby Bowden of throwing the game to save his son's job, and an awesome overtime win over NC State and Phillip Rivers. And of course, a win over the Gators in the Swamp, 38-34:
If 2003 was the start of the era during which FSU fans could depend on only one side of the ball (and I happen to think 2004 was when this era really started), 2009 was the same, only the sides were flipped. 2009 was a special season that I will always remember. After a decade of futility, FSU was finally addressing its problem. I felt sorry for the defensive players who had been let down by the program, but the offense had improved every year since 2006 and provided hope for the program going forward. The team was enjoyable to watch and all of the off-field or sideline dynamics made it all the more interesting to cover.
How about you? What were your favorite Florida State teams?