Well, it was fun while it lasted. And, in fairness, it lasted a helluva lot longer than most any other team in college football history.
For Florida, Saturday’s game against rival Florida State was a chance to cement a likely spot in a New Year’s Six Bowl; for FSU, it was a chance to extend its record bowl streak. In the end, it was the visitors that likely locked in their postseason plans as the Gators jumped out to a 13-7 halftime lead en route to a 41-14 win over the Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Lamical Perine ran for a game-high 129 yards, including a 74-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter that gave the Gators a 10-0 lead. Eight minutes later, the Seminoles closed the deficit to six on Deondre Francois‘ 15-yard touchdown pass to Cam Akers, although that was as close as FSU would get the remainder of the contest.
The embattled Feleipe Franks, who may not have even been the starter in this game were it not for an injury to his backup, passed for 254 yards and three touchdowns in the win. On the ground side of the offensive equation, the Gators ran for another 282 yards on 52 carries.
The loss drops the Seminoles to 5-7 on the season, which means, barring some sort of postseason miracle, they won’t be going bowling in 2018. This will mark the first time since the 1981 season that FSU will not play in a bowl game, snapping a streak of 36 straight games that serves as the all-time FBS record regardless of what the NCAA says.
The fact that FSU found itself in a position to even become bowl-eligible on the final weekend of the regular season is rather remarkable given the way its schedule played out. Entering Week 9 at 4-3, FSU’s last five games came against teams that were, at the time, ranked in the Top 25 of either the Associated Press poll of the College Football Playoff rankings: No. 2 Clemson (Oct. 27), No. 21 NC State (Nov. 3), No. 3 Notre Dame (Nov. 10), No. 20 Boston College (Nov. 17) and No. 11 Florida today. Not surprisingly, Willie Taggart‘s rebuilding Seminoles went 1-4 during that treacherous stretch.
With FSU now out of the postseason, Virginia Tech, for the moment, would own the nation’s longest bowl streak at 25 in a row. Tech, though, sits at 5-6 and will need to beat Marshall next weekend in a hastily-scheduled game to keep that streak alive and push it to 26.
Should Tech lose to the Thundering Herd and fail to become bowl-eligible, Georgia, at 22 straight including this season, would take over as the team with the nation’s longest bowl streak. Oklahoma would be next, incidentally, at 20 seasons in a row, followed by LSU (19), Boise State (17) and Wisconsin (17). All of those latter totals include this season as well.
As for Florida’s postseason future? Our very own Bryan Fischer had them facing Penn State in the Peach Bowl last week, although those bowl projections will be updated Sunday morning.