Bobby Bowden’s pursuit of his first national championship was one of the biggest storylines in all of sports by 1993. Florida State was ranked #1 in the country and had a great team. When they overcame their historic stumbling block against Miami in an October game, the Seminoles looked home free.
That is, until Notre Dame, who was quietly winning all of their own games, hosted FSU in a high-profile battle in mid-November. The Irish won in an upset and looked destined for an Orange Bowl date with undefeated Nebraska.
Then all hell broke loss. Notre Dame was upset by Boston College in the season finale. West Virginia completed a Cinderella regular season by knocking off Miami, depriving the Hurricanes of a chance to play their way back into contention. Florida State took on a very good Florida team and won decisively.
By the time the dust settled, the Seminoles were moved back into the Orange Bowl slot against Nebraska. The Cornhuskers watched it all unfold as no one gave them any chance of winning—whether it be against Notre Dame or Florida State.
But Nebraska nearly upended the applecart one more time, taking Florida State down to the wire before finally losing. In the meantime, Florida took West Virginia out of the equation with a Sugar Bowl blowout. When Notre Dame won a tough Cotton Bowl game with Texas A&M, the chaos had come full circle. We were back to Florida State and Notre Dame.
The Seminoles were voted the top spot in both polls, over heated protests coming out of South Bend. It wasn’t necessarily the slam dunk Bobby Bowden wanted for his first national championship, but he was at last ending the season on top of the polls.
And the Bowden Family was doing pretty well in other areas. Bobby’s son Terry took over an Auburn program that was on probation and the Tigers ripped off an 11-0 season. They weren’t eligible to compete in the SEC Championship Game, won by Florida. But Auburn did go into the books as the nation’s only unbeaten team in 1993.
The links below take you to articles about all of these significant teams—Florida State, Notre Dame, Nebraska, West Virginia, Miami, Florida and Auburn. You’ll read about their key players, big games and significant moments. The articles are a great way to experience the 1993 college football season all over again, through the eyes of its best teams.