Florida State Football History
Florida State football began in 1947. With the university having a small amount of men on campus, the team had to overcome obstacles to build a respectable program. Tallahassee was located right in the middle of many already established football teams so FSU didn't have much of a chance at competing. Teams such as Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, and Tennessee had all won National Championships before the FSU football program was even started. Other well established teams such as Clemson, Georgia, Kentucky, and arch-rivals Miami and Florida also had well established programs in the same region. All these programs had been around since the late 1800s or early 1900s (except for Miami - 1922). Florida State had a late start and very few thought the program would ever be a success.
Perhaps the most spectacular tradition in all of college football occurs in Doak Campbell Stadium when Chief Osceola charges down the field riding an appaloosa horse named Renegade and hurls a flaming lance at midfield to begin every home game. The tradition began on September 16,1978 against Oklahoma State when a student, wearing native american clothing, led the team from the tunnel riding a horse. It has now become a huge tradition before every game, in addition there have been 5 Renegades and 14 Chief Osceolas over the brief history of this pre game ritual. The student who portrays Chief Osceola is always dressed in traditional Seminole tribe clothing approved by the females of the Seminole tribe.
The Florida State Football team of the 1990's was named the team of the decade, and possibly the most dominating football team in history over a ten year period. They finished with an overall record of 109-13-1(.886) Also over this decade Florida State never finished out of the top 5 of the final AP poll. They hold the longest record of top 5 finishes with 14 straight seasons. Florida State has churned out over 100 NFL players and continues to produce NFL caliber players, the Florida State legacy is one of the strongest in the country and with the help of Bobby Bowden they have become of the greatest teams in history.