Florida State brings home first ACC title in seven years

Streeter Lecka

2,193.

That's the number of days since Florida State could last call itself the ACC Champion.

On January 1, 2013 when FSU takes the field in the Orange Bowl, it will have been 2,555 days since FSU last played in a BCS game.

Embarrassing.

Anticlimactic, but oh so necessary. After seven long years without winning the average (at best) conference that is the ACC, Florida State finally took home a conference title Saturday night.

No, a conference title does not excuse the poor play of the team at times this season.

It does not excuse a loss as a two-touchdown favorite to a 7-5 N.C. State team that ultimately fired its coach.

And a conference title does not erase getting manhandled at home by Florida State's biggest rival.

When the head coach focuses on process and not results in the bad times, he must also do so in the good times. And as will be thoroughly discussed for much of the offseason, the process was not where it should have been for much of the season.

But the conference title is quite important.

It's important because elite programs consistently contend for their conference title. And in weaker conferences, elite programs consistently win those titles. Florida State and the ACC certainly qualify.

Sure, Florida State's 18-6 ACC record in Fisher's three seasons is the best mark in the division during that span, and just a game off Virginia Tech's mark of 19-5. But trophies are given for championships, not for impressive records. Banners aren't hung for won-loss records or top-five finishes.

Hardware counts.

And in Fisher's third year at Florida State, he has finally brought home something for the trophy case.

I'm not sure if Florida State displays the trophy for the Atlantic Division Championship. It shouldn't. But a conference title belongs next to all the other conference titles, even in this league.

If the Seminoles stay in the ACC, the goal needs to be to play in the game more often than not, and to win more conference championship games than they lose.

One ACC title in three seasons is nothing to get excited about, but FSU fans would certainly have had a reason to get excited if the Seminoles didn't bring home the hardware.

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