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2012 Orange Bowl: Florida State has Orange Bowl history, but it isn't pretty

The Seminoles have managed a number of trips to the Orange Bowl, but only a handful have had happy endings.


The Florida St. Seminoles are facing the Northern Illinois Huskies in the 2012 Orange Bowl, but a survey of the Seminoles' Orange Bowl history isn't likely to inspire many FSU fans. The 'Noles are just 3-5 in their eight trips to the bowl, dating back to 1980. Fox Sports Florida has a run-through of those games, with all the highs and lows.

Florida State faced Oklahoma in back-to-back Orange Bowls, in 1980 and 1981. They lost both games, and it's tough to say which was tougher on fans and the team. 1980 was a lopsided loss, with FSU's 7-0 first-quarter lead giving way to a 24-7 final score. Despite falling from a 10-2 team to a 6-5 one, the 1981 Seminoles gave Nebraska much more of a fight. Leading by seven with 11 minutes left to play, a long drive by Oklahoma and a successful two-point conversion gave the game to the Sooners.

Florida State's next trip didn't come until 1993, but the result was worth the wait. The ACC Champion Seminoles faced Big Eight champion Nebraska and put on a defensive show. Florida State took a 17-0 first-half lead and the Cornhuskers had just seven points after the first three quarters, with the Seminoles cruising to a 24-17 win.
1994 saw the team reach the Orange Bowl again, and with the same result. The team, including players such as Warrick Dunn and Derrick Alexander, took an 18-16 win over Nebraska when a last-second field goal attempt went wide.

The last Orange Bowl the Seminoles saw was a triple-overtime loss to the Penn St. Nittany Lions in 2006. By the time kickoff arrives, it will have been 17 years since an FSU Orange Bowl victory. The Seminoles are currently heavy favorites in this year's game, so Florida State's drought may soon come to an end.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.