The Daily Nole

Athletic Year in Review: FSU Nets Six Top-10 Programs

Jeff Romance/FSU athletics

Another outstanding athletic year for Florida State has come to a close. Unfortunately for FSU, it did not result in any national championships, but four of the 18 athletic programs for the Seminoles claimed conference titles and each of them reached postseason.

Stanford took the Directors’ Cup for a 23rd year in a row with Ohio State finishing second, Florida third, USC fourth and North Carolina fifth. FSU finished at No. 13, which was second among ACC schools.

For the 2016-17 athletic year, 12 of the 18 Florida State programs finished ranked. Six finished in the top 10.

Here’s a look at how each program finished in the final rankings. Conference champions are in blue:


Beach volleyball was the highest ranked finisher for Florida State, coming in at No. 4 in the final AVCA Coaches Poll. The Seminoles won the CCSA conference crown and advanced deep into the NCAA Tournament before losing a heartbreaking 5-set decision to Hawaii.

Three other women’s sports claimed top-10 finishes. Women’s golf was a pleasant surprise at No. 6, although the Seminoles finished just 20th at the NCAA Championships. FSU’s women’s hoops team reached the Elite Eight for a second straight year before again falling to eventual national champion South Carolina.

FSU softball tied a school-record with 55 wins and won a fourth straight ACC title. Unfortunately for the Seminoles, they were one win short of a second straight trip to the Women’s College World Series. Florida State dropped the final two games of the best-of-three Tallahassee Regional after taking the opener against LSU.

It was also LSU, who ended the season of the highest-ranked FSU men’s team — baseball. The Tigers beat the Seminoles twice in the College World Series before losing to eventual national champion Florida in the championship series.

FSU baseball being the highest ranked men’s program would have been unthinkable more than a month ago. Entering the final series of the regular season against then No. 2 Louisville, the Seminoles were just 12-14 in ACC play and in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time in four decades.

After taking both games of a rain-shortened series, FSU went 4-0 in the ACC Tournament to win a second conference title in three years and earn the opportunity to be a regional host. After grinding through the Tallahassee Regional and sweeping Sam Houston State in the Tallahassee Super Regional, FSU went 1-2 in Omaha.

For Florida State on the gridiron, it was also a case of coming on late. Through eight games, FSU sat at just 5-3 and was just 2-3 in conference play. The Seminoles won their final four regular season games and sneaked into a New Year’s Six bowl where they topped Michigan 33-32 to finish with a 10-3 record and a No. 8 national ranking.

FSU soccer had what some might consider a disappointing season after opening the year as the nation’s No. 1 team. The Seminoles failed to reach the College Cup after five straight appearances, being defeated in the second round of the NCAA Tournament by Utah. Even in a down year however, FSU still claimed an ACC title.

FSU volleyball reached the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament after an improbable upset of rival Florida on Dec. 3. The Seminoles rallied from two sets down in Gainesville to win, 13-25, 16-25, 25-23, 25-19, 15-12. FSU would fall to Stanford in four sets.

On the women’s side, track and field notched a top-15 finish. Men’s golf and swimming and diving each finished in the top 25. FSU’s men’s hoops fizzled late in the year, but still reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years. FSU fell one win shy of a school-record and tied its highest seeding ever in the ACC Tournament as the conference’s No. 2.

Heading into next season, the reasons for optimism about Florida State as an athletic program are many. Four teams will look to defend their conference crowns while others like soccer, beach volleyball and football will be expected to compete for something bigger.

While the 2016-17 athletic year is part of FSU history, the first athletic event for next year is less than two months away as FSU soccer hosts UNC-Greensboro on Aug. 18.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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