Clemson–Florida State football rivalry

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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
Meetings total 29
All-time series Florida State leads, 20–9
Largest victory Florida State, 57–0 (1993)
Longest win streak Florida State, 11 (1992–2002)
Current win 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.

Series history[edit]

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.[1] 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.[2] 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 to 1991. 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[edit]

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.

Post Bowdens[edit]

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 clinch 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 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 a primetime marquee top 5 matchup in 2013, FSU scored the most points ever by an opponent in Death Valley with a dominating 51-14 victory. Their 2013 meeting marked the first time both teams were ranked simultaneously in the Top 5.[3] 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 #1 FSU - in the midst of an 18-game win streak - showed resiliency and mental toughness by rallying around their backup quarterback and beating Clemson in a 23-17 overtime victory.[4] 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.[5]

Conference championships[edit]

Clemson and Florida State have combined to win 30 ACC titles, with both programs currently having 15 each. FSU has won 15 ACC Championship titles, a remarkable feat considering they joined the conference in 1992. Clemson's 8th ACC championship came in 1981 with a perfect season and a consensus national title, while going on to win 6 ACC titles in a decade. However, after the departure of their national title winning coaching staff in 1989, Clemson's program went into a decline, as Florida State entered the conference in 1992 on the rise, winning 9 straight conference titles. Recently, the Tigers won their 15th ACC title with a 13-0 undefeated regular season en route to a National Championship Playoff berth, as did the Seminoles in the previous season in 2014.

Since 2009, the winner of the Clemson-Florida State game has ended up representing the Atlantic Division in the ACC championship game.

Game results[edit]

Clemson victories Florida State victories
# Date Location Winner Score
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