The Daily Nole

Fun Fact Friday: FSU Football Won at Least Nine Games Following Each of Last Two Years it Missed a Bowl

Bill Pearce/FSU athletics

Less than two months now separate us from Florida State kicking off the 2019 campaign in Jacksonville against Boise State.

While the Broncos won 10 games a season ago, the Seminoles were suffering through their first losing season since 1976. For the first time since 1981, FSU failed to make a bowl.

For people as old as their mid-30s, the 5-7 campaign in 2018 marked the first time that the Seminoles missed a bowl for their entire lives. It was only the third time since 1976, but history suggests that there is hope for 2019.

On each of the previous two occasions where Florida State failed to make a bowl game, it responded with at least nine wins the following season. The most recent occurrence was 1982.

The Seminoles went 6-5 in 1981, but responded with a 9-3 campaign. After falling to No. 2 Pittsburgh and Dan Marino in Week 2 of the 1982 season, FSU responded with seven straight wins, including a 24-7 victory at Miami. The Seminoles did drop their final two regular season games, but finished the year with a 31-12 victory over West Virginia in the Gator Bowl to finish No. 13 in the final AP Poll and 10th in the final UPI Poll.

Prior to that was 1977. After going 5-6 in 1976 under a head coach, who like Willie Taggart, was in his first season, the Seminoles responded with their first 10-win season in program history.

With a young Bobby Bowden, then 48, at the helm, Florida State finished the year 10-2 and capped the season with a 40-17 romp over Texas Tech in the Tangerine Bowl. Prior to that, the Seminoles capped the regular season with an emphatic 37-9 victory over Florida in Gainesville — their first over the Gators in a decade.

What 2019 holds for Taggart and FSU remains to be seen, but there is reason to believe that 2018 was more of an exception for the Seminoles than the rule. FSU has question marks along the offensive and defensive lines and at linebacker, but made coaching changes this offseason expected to help in those areas. The Seminoles also have what appears to be a favorable home schedule.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson. Like The Daily Nole on Facebook. To pitch an idea, author a post or to learn more about The Daily Nole, email Mike Ferguson at

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