Dec. 4, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — No. 25 Florida State will extend its nation’s-best 30th consecutive bowl-game appearance by renewing a matchup that drips with tradition and history.
Florida Citrus Sports officials announced Sunday that the Seminoles will play Notre Dame in the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla. on Dec. 29.
It will be the first meeting between the two since 2003 but it all started in ’93 with the “Game of the Century” — a South Bend showdown that saw No. 1 Florida State drop a 31-24 highly-hyped contest on national television at No. 2 Notre Dame.
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
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The ‘Noles, of course, would still go on to win the national championship as both teams finished the year with an 11-1 record and Notre Dame fans still think they’re favorite team was deserving of a championship, too.
A year later, the Seminoles would enact a little on-field revenge with a 23-16 victory in a neutral-site game that took place in the same Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium where the two will collide later this month.
Both FSU and Notre Dame would then trade blow-out wins on the road during the 2002 and ’03 seasons.
In total, the two programs have played six times with FSU holding a 4-2 all-time advantage. And even though that is just a handful of meetings, the parallels and connections between the Seminoles and Fighting Irish have always been apparent.
From the gold helmets and unmistakable traditions to the Heisman Trophy winners and championships, Florida State versus Notre Dame is a matchup that demands attention — even if there isn’t a national title hanging in the balance.
The similarities in 2011 are also clear.
Both teams will play in Orlando with identical 8-4 records and extended winning streaks that started in October and extended into November. FSU is coming off a 21-7 win over rival Florida while Notre Dame’s last outing was a 28-14 loss at rival Stanford.
Other than similar records, both the ‘Noles and Fighting Irish have an on-field connection this season as well.
Freshman defensive end Aaron Lynch, was set to enroll at FSU this past January but at the last moment switched to Notre Dame. He has played in 11 games this season and has a team second-best four sacks. Fellow freshman Jordan Prestwood did enroll at FSU earlier this year but transferred to Notre Dame before the 2011 season started.
Due to NCAA transfer rules, Prestwood — an offensive lineman — is sitting out the season.
Sunday’s announcement means that the ‘Noles will play in the Champs Sports Bowl for the second time in four years. FSU defeated Wisconsin 42-13 on Dec. 27, 2008.