Sept. 23, 2009
By Jack Nugent and Adam Shrigley, FSU Sports Information
Prior to kickoff of Saturday’s contest with USF, Florida State will celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the 1999 National Championship season. In a year that witnessed the NCAA’s first ever “wire-to-wire” champion, 1999 had Heisman-worthy performances, as well as some of the most memorable games in school history.
From Coach Bowden’s 300th career victory in a nail-biter versus Clemson, to Peter Warrick’s circus catch against Virginia Tech in the Championship game, there are certainly plenty of memories to cherish from the 1999 National Championship season. Take a trip down memory lane as we use each letter in the alphabet to honor the Seminoles’ remarkable march to the Sugar Bowl.
A- Accolades – FSU’s 1999 team is one of the most decorated teams in the program’s history. Featuring four consensus first team All- Americans and eight first team All-ACC members, the Seminoles were easily the most talented team in the nation.
B- Bowden Bowl- The October 23rd game against Clemson proved to be a historic night in NCAA football history. The first Bowden Bowl was also the first ever father-son match-up in NCAA history, and a narrow 17-14 Seminoles win secured Bobby Bowden’s 300th career victory.
C- Corey Simon– 6th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. Lombardi and Outland Trophy Finalist, Consensus 1st team All American and All-ACC. Fourth on team with 84 tackles, first in tackles for loss (21), and third in sacks (4).
D- Draft– With elite talent on both sides of the ball, it became apparent that the playing days of many Seminoles would continue outside of Tallahassee. Numerous scouts filled the stands at FSU’s pro day to watch, critique, and predict the futures of the players eligible for the 2000 NFL Draft. When it was all said and done, seven ‘Noles from the ’99 squad were selected, three in the 1st round, including two of the top six picks overall. (picture of one of the guys on draft day, maybe one of them holding their new jerseys)
E- Eight– Consecutive ACC Championships spanning from 1992-1999
F- First Team All-ACC – Eight Seminoles filled out the first team roster, amounting to nearly a third of the total positions selected. Peter Warrick made the list twice as a wide receiver and return specialist.
G- Golden Age– The late ’80’s and ’90’s was a period of absolute dominance for the ‘Noles, accumulating 13 straight seasons of 10 wins or more and 13 straight top 4 finishes in the final rankings. Such a feat has yet to be matched in college football.
H- Home Field Advantage– Not many teams had Saturday’s in Tallahassee highlighted on their calendars throughout the 90’s, where FSU racked up an unprecedented 45 game win streak inside the confines of Doak Campbell Stadium.
J- Janikowski– “The Polish Powder Keg” had one of the most decorated kicking careers in NCAA history in his time at FSU. Winner of the ’98 and ’99 Lou Groza Award for best kicker in the nation, Janikowski was the first kicker ever taken in the first round of the NFL Draft (17th overall). Known for his unbelievable leg, kickoffs through the opposing uprights weren’t an unusual occurrence throughout his career.
K- Kendra– Perhaps the biggest high school recruit in FSU’s history to date, the Pennsylvania native left for Tallahassee as a Prep All-American and USA Today’s high school player of the year. As a rising junior, a leg injury in spring ball prevented him from starting at quarterback in the ’99 season, however after rehab he was able to fill out the Seminoles backfield as the starting fullback in a feel-good story for the National Championship team. Kendra holds the FSU record for leg press (1300 lbs.) and would later go on to become a Navy Seal.
L- Laundry– In ’99 FSU was the most penalized team in the country by a wide margin, tallying 109 penalties throughout the year and nearly 85 yards a game, which was 27 more penalties and 15 yards a game more than second-placed Clemson.
M- Mickey Andrews, Mark Richt– The offensive and defensive masterminds behind the 1999 title team, Richt was in his 14th season at FSU while Andrews was finishing his 16th. Richt led the 12th most productive offense in college football averaging over 425 yards per game and the 4th ranked scoring offense in the NCAA averaging 37.5 points per contest. On the other side of the ball, Andrews put together a stellar defensive unit that stood 19th in the nation in total defense and 10th against the run. with 22 interceptions, 32 sacks and 79 tackles for loss.