The Florida State Seminoles are the champions of college football once again. It’s taken a while for that to sink in for me. After the Seminoles won, I had a hard time deciding on what I was going to write about. I didn’t want to wax poetic about this year’s magical season. I didn’t want to discuss the Heisman Trophy-winning, redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston (aka Chainus Jameis, aka Jameis and the 12 Disciples, aka Jameis of Nazareth. And most recently, “Hei5man” Winston). I didn’t want to do a recap of the game because, at this point, readers have likely seen that ad nauseam. I spent all week trying to decide why the victory was so sweet, and it ended up being a culmination of small things instead of any one thing in particular.
Firstly, there was the way the game was won. Being down 21-3 at one point knowing it could’ve easily been 31-3 was depressing, to say the least. For the last month, ESPN analysts focused on two topics regarding the game: 1) FSU hadn’t been in any close games this year so they weren’t sure how FSU would respond, and 2) Auburn was 6-0 in games decided by one possession. Being a lifelong FSU fan, I’ve seen the way my team has handled adversity. More often than not, Florida State ended up on the wrong side of the scoreboard. To see this team fight back, watching Timmy Jernigan give everything in his body to play defense at the end of the game, jumping off the couch when Levonte “Kermit” Whitfield ran 100 yards down the field to give FSU its first lead of the game, then witnessing Kelvin Benjamin turn a poor performance into a game-winning touchdown catch? Beautiful.
Secondly, there was the lack of respect shown for FSU as the #1 team in the country. The ACC, for all intents and purposes, is not a conference full of football powerhouses. That much we can agree on. However, what people fail to realize is good football is good football. On social media, I saw FSU being compared to the likes of Ohio State this year, Notre Dame last year and a host of other teams that benefited greatly from weak schedules. I understood the surface-level comparisons, especially when ESPN is constantly writing about FSU’s strength of schedule being 64th in the nation. The ACC might be a weak football conference, but when FSU runs through the entire schedule with an average margin of victory at 40+ points, the B.S. needs to stop. Good football conference or not, running off 13 victories where the closest opponent lost by two touchdowns is something that needs to be respected. Also worth mentioning is this FSU team broke the record for most points scored in college football history, despite running only 67 offensive plays per game. That’s insane.
Thirdly, there’s the little matter of SEC dominance. I spent the last month arguing with SEC fans about what was going to happen in the BCS Championship game. It should be noted that I said “SEC” fans and not “Auburn” fans. I think I only argued with one fan of the Auburn Tigers. Everyone else banded together under the label of “conference pride,” and man, to say that was annoying would be an understatement. I was arguing with Crimson Tide fans, about Auburn beating FSU, because ... well, “SEC.” Cheering for rivals is a sports sin, but apparently, the SEC is free from said sin. Alabama losing to Oklahoma and Auburn losing to FSU, the mighty teams of the SEC losing to the teams from the “lesser conferences” makes the not-too-mature person in me giggle with delight. The state of Alabama is 0-2 in BCS title games. Yes. That makes me smile.
Lastly, there’s a feeling of vindication. Last year, after losing to NC State, I wanted Jimbo Fisher fired. I was tired of FSU underachieving, tired of watching all that talent go to waste, tired of feeling like FSU was never going to the title game and tired of waiting for the glory days to return. When I tell you I prayed for a season like this, for a QB like Jameis, for the offense/defense/special teams to finally be on the same page, I’m not joking. I literally got down on my hands and knees and prayed for this team to happen. Even if nobody else could see it, Jimbo had a plan. He wasn’t just here to coach a football team, he was here to build a program. He wasn’t worried about winning the year with a team, he was looking for sustained dominance over the future. Knowing that my beloved alma mater and favorite sports team of all levels of sports is in the hands of a man who’s putting us in a position to compete on a year-to-year basis is a comforting feeling. It’s the most comfort I’ve had in fanhood in a long time.
In conclusion, the victory on Monday wasn’t simply just about the game. It was being able to come from behind for the victory, to finally earn the respect for our record-breaking season, the ending of the SEC’s “reign of terror” and to see that Jimbo has really brought the program back to its feet. Oh. One last thing. Tre Mason's — this year’s Heisman finalist — touchdown run that ended with the Heisman pose, only for him to sit on the sideline and watch as the Heisman Trophy winner led his team to victory? Gratifying in a “I’m cheating on my girlfriend with my favorite movie star and my girlfriend is still going to love me afterward” kind of way. Karma sure is a bitch, isn’t it?
Pop-culture, fiction, and social issues writer over on RealGoesRight.Com. And now I do video games over on OurcadeGames.com. My hobbies include long walks in the park, tweeting entire days away, and creating strategies on how to get my girlfriend out of Target in ten minutes or less.