The Florida State Seminoles are headed to Pasadena to play in the first ever College Football Playoff. FSU will face Oregon on January 1.
Despite being the only undefeated team in college football, and being winners of 29 straight, the Seminoles did not receive the No. 1 seed, falling behind both Alabama and Oregon.
Florida State is also the only team to play 12 teams from the Power 5 conferences (including Notre Dame), and the Seminoles faced nine bowl-bound teams.
The knock against the Seminoles? The lack of dominance. A perception partially shaped comparisons to their historically dominant 2013 season.
Plus, while the Seminoles scheduled what in most years would have been a murderous non-conference slate of Florida, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State, the trio combined to lose 16 games in 2014, though it was still tougher than the non-conference foes scheduled by teams like TCU, Baylor, Ohio State and Alabama.
Florida State has faced adversity on the field in 2014 due to injury. While the 2013 team stayed remarkably healthy, this version of the Seminoles has not. At least 10 of FSU's 22 starters have missed a game or more with injury.
But Jimbo Fisher loves his team's resiliency and ability for one area to step up when another goes down, as his Seminoles are 7-0 in single-score games:
It's been amazing what this team has accomplished, and in a lot of ways maybe more amazing than ‑‑ last year's team was dominating, this year's team, to me the word is more amazing. It really is, the resiliency which they have. They compete together. They excel together. They've had some struggles together, and I this think that's what makes them so tight. But they're a family, and as a coach, the goal is to build your organization into a group who genuinely cares about each other. If there's one thing about this team and any team I've ever been around, it truly cares for each other. It loves, trusts and believes in each other, by how they practice, how they carry themselves off the field, when one guy is down, the others pick him up. And I'm not talking about on the field. On the field there's no question. If we need to run it, we run it. If we pass it, we pass it. If we play defense, special teams, whatever they do that, but off the field they are there for each other. They genuinely care about each other. And everybody says what's the secret? There's no secret. Just a lot of hard work, a lot of blood, sweat and tears but there's a lot of caring that goes on. It's a family. This team is an elite team. It's 13‑0, 13 wins, no losses, no matter what happens to us. And its resiliency to be unbroken is amazing to me, because it takes everybody's best shot and looks you in the eye and just keeps playing. Doesn't say anything, just keeps doing its job, and to me as a coach that's the greatest compliment. I'm blessed to be able to coach them, I'll say that. I really am. They teach me as much as I ever teach them. I'm very lucky to have them and I'm looking forward to where this takes us and what we can still achieve, but they played one heck of a football game.