Clemson–Florida State football rivalry
|First meeting||November 7, 1970
Florida State 38, Clemson 13
|Latest meeting||November 7, 2015
Clemson 23, Florida State 13
|Next meeting||2016 in Tallahassee|
|All-time series||Florida State leads, 20–9|
|Largest victory||Florida State, 57–0 (1993)|
|Longest streak||Florida State, 11 (1992–2002)|
|Current streak||Clemson, 1 (2015–present)|
The Clemson–Florida State football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Clemson Tigers football team of Clemson University and Florida State Seminoles football team of Florida State University. The schools have played each other annually since 1992. Both universities are members of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), and since the ACC initiated divisional play in 2005, both teams have competed in the ACC's Atlantic Division. For several years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the matchup was known alternatively as the Bowden Bowl for the father, former head coach Bobby Bowden of the Seminoles, and the son, Tommy Bowden, formerly head coach of the Tigers.
Clemson and FSU first played in 1970, predating Florida State's membership in the ACC. The actual rivalry started to emerge in 1988 when the No. 3 Clemson Tigers hosted the No. 10 Seminoles in a grueling match-up, that was ultimately decided by Leroy Butler's 78-yard "puntrooskie" run, costing Clemson the victory and dashing their national title hopes. Clemson avenged the loss in 1989, with a 34–23 victory in Tallahassee, marked by a 73-yard scoring run by Terry Allen and a 73-yard interception return by Wayne Simmons. The Seminoles and Tigers finished the 1989 season with 10–2 records, and ranked No. 3 and No. 12 in the final AP poll, respectively. Prior to FSU's arrival, Clemson was a dominant team in the ACC winning 6 of the past 10 ACC titles from 1981–91. However, after the departure of Clemson's national championship winning coach Danny Ford in 1989, the 1991 ACC title would be their last until 2011, as Florida State's success continued for much of the 1990s, with less consistent opposition in the conference. The rivalry picked up, however, when Tommy Bowden, son of FSU coach Bobby Bowden was hired at Clemson University in 1999, in an attempt to help rebuild the program.
Tommy vs. Bobby
When Tommy Bowden was named head coach of Clemson on December 2, 1998, the opportunity arose for the first ever meeting between a father and his son as opposing head coaches on the football field. This became known as "The Bowden Bowl". Florida State and Clemson have faced each other on a yearly basis since Florida State joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1992. In 2005, when the ACC expanded to twelve teams, Clemson and Florida State were placed together in the Atlantic Division; this allowed the teams to continue to face each other without interruption. The first meeting in 1999 was the largest crowd ever to watch a game at Memorial Stadium at Clemson University with an attendance of 86,200. Bobby won the all-time series, with five wins and four losses. Tommy Bowden's first win came in 2003 on his father's birthday, defeating then third-ranked FSU, damaging their prospects for a national championship. The Bowden vs Bowden editions of the series ended when Tommy resigned as head coach six games into the 2008 football season.
The rivalry lives on past the departure of Tommy Bowden, who was replaced mid-season by Wide Receivers and Interim Head Coach Dabo Swinney in 2008. The games in 2008 and 2009 both came down to the 4th quarter with the home teams winning respectively, and influencing the Atlantic Division standings. During the 2009 season, Clemson went on to clench the Atlantic Division after a 40–24 win in Death Valley, while similarly, Florida State won the division after a 16–13 down to the wire decision the following year in Tallahassee. At the end of the 2009 season Bobby Bowden retired from Florida State University leaving his Offensive Coordinator and Head Coach in Waiting Jimbo Fisher as head coach of the team. In 2011, Clemson brought the ACC Championship back to the Atlantic Division with a dominating win over Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game. In the decade prior, the series was evenly split, with each team winning 5 games. Both teams in 2012 were ranked in the Top 10 for the first time since 2000, in a game that was also decided in the 4th quarter, with FSU winning 49-37. In 2013, after 4 Clemson turnovers, FSU went on to win decisively 51-14 in Death Valley for the first time since 2001. Their 2013 meeting marked the first time both teams were ranked simultaneously in the Top 5. FSU went on to have a perfect season winning the national title, while Clemson finished with an 11 win season and a victory in the Orange Bowl. The 2014 matchup was also a Top 25 classic as #22 Clemson controlled the line of scrimmage by holding #1 Florida State to 13 yards rushing, but came up short with critical errors in a 23-17 overtime loss. The Seminoles were without quarterback Jameis Winston, who was suspended for the game for yelling an obscene expression on campus a few days before the game.
Clemson and Florida State have combined to win 29 ACC titles with FSU having the most of any ACC school at 15, a remarkable feat considering they joined the conference in 1992, and Clemson close behind with 14. As a charter member, Clemson's first ACC championship was in 1956. Clemson's 8th ACC championship came in 1981 with a perfect season and a consensus national title. Clemson won their 13th ACC title in 1991. However after the departure of their national title winning coaching staff in 1989, Clemson's program went into a slight decline, as Florida State entered the conference in 1992, winning 9 straight conference titles. Recently, the Tigers won their 14th ACC title in 2011, while Florida State won their 14th ACC title on the way to their third national title in 2013.
Since 2009, the winner of the Clemson-Florida State game has ended up representing the Atlantic Division in the ACC championship game.
|Clemson victories||Florida State victories|
|1||November 7, 1970||Tallahassee, FL||Florida State||38–13|
|2||November 1, 1975||Clemson, SC||Florida State||43–7|
|3||October 30, 1976||Tallahassee, FL||Clemson||15–12|
|4||September 17, 1988||Clemson, SC||#10 Florida State||24–21|
|5||September 9, 1989||Tallahassee, FL||#10 Clemson||34–23|
|6||September 12, 1992||Clemson, SC||#5 Florida State||24–20|
|7||September 11, 1993||Tallahassee, FL||#1 Florida State||57–0|
|8||October 22, 1994||Tallahassee, FL||#7 Florida State||17–0|
|9||September 9, 1995||Clemson, SC||#1 Florida State||45–26|
|10||October 5, 1996||Tallahassee, FL||#2 Florida State||34–3|
|11||September 20, 1997||Clemson, SC||#5 Florida State||35–28|
|12||October 17, 1998||Tallahassee, FL||#6 Florida State||48–0|
|13||October 23, 1999||Clemson, SC||#1 Florida State||17–14|
|14||November 4, 2000||Tallahassee, FL||#4 Florida State||54–7|
|15||November 3, 2001||Clemson, SC||#14 Florida State||41–27|
|16||October 3, 2002||Tallahassee, FL||#11 Florida State||48–31|
|17||November 8, 2003||Clemson, SC||Clemson||26–10|
|18||September 25, 2004||Tallahassee, FL||#8 Florida State||41–22|
|19||November 12, 2005||Clemson, SC||Clemson||35–14|
|20||September 16, 2006||Tallahassee, FL||Clemson||27–20|
|21||September 3, 2007||Clemson, SC||Clemson||24–18|
|22||November 8, 2008||Tallahassee, FL||#24 Florida State||41–27|
|23||November 7, 2009||Clemson, SC||Clemson||40–24|
|24||November 13, 2010||Tallahassee, FL||Florida State||16–13|
|25||September 24, 2011||Clemson, SC||#21 Clemson||35–30|
|26||September 22, 2012||Tallahassee, FL||#4 Florida State||49–37|
|27||October 19, 2013||Clemson, SC||#5 Florida State||51–14|
|28||September 20, 2014||Tallahassee, FL||#1 Florida State||23–17OT|
|29||November 7, 2015||Clemson, SC||#3 Clemson||23–13|
|Series: Florida State leads 20–9|
- "Florida State Trips Clemson, 24-21". philly-archives.
- "Clemson Surprises Both Its Coach and Florida State, 34-23". latimes.
- Jason Hanna, CNN (20 September 2014). "FSU benches Winston over vulgar comment; beats Clemson - CNN.com". CNN.