Jan. 3, 2000
By BEN WALKER
AP Sports Writer
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – One more win and Florida State can claim a perfect season
– and a piece of college football history.
A victory over No. 2 Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl on Tuesday night would
make the top-ranked Seminoles the first team to go wire-to-wire in the AP poll
since the preseason ratings began in 1950.
Two teams – Nebraska in 1983 and Florida State in 1993 – came close. The ’83
Cornhuskers went 12-0 and were No. 1 until losing to Miami 31-30 in the Orange
Bowl, the ’93 Seminoles were No. 1 for most of the season, lost to Notre Dame
but beat Nebraska in the Orange Bowl to claim the title.
Other near misses in the last half-century were Michigan State in 1952 (No.
2 in Oct. 6 poll), Nebraska in 1971 (No. 2 in preseason poll), and Southern
California in 1972 (No. 8 in preseason poll).
Since 1950, eight teams were ranked No. 1 in the preseason and went on to
win the national title: Tennessee (1951), Michigan State (1952), Oklahoma
(1956, 1974, 1975, 1985), Alabama (1978), and Florida State (1993).
Before 1950 and preseason rankings, there were two wire-to-wire champions –
Notre Dame in 1943 and Army in 1945.
The pre-’50 near misses included Minnesota in 1941 (No. 2 in Nov. 3 poll)
and Notre Dame in 1949 (No. 2 in Oct. 3 poll).
JUST CALL HIM COACH … OR DAD:
There are times, Shane Beamer admits, when
it’s odd seeing his father at work.
Frank Beamer is coach of Virginia Tech. Son Shane is the team’s deep snapper
“It’s still kind of weird, knowing he’s my dad,” Shane said Sunday. “I
mean when I’m at home at my apartment, it’s dad. We hardly ever talk about
football. But when we’re on the field, it’s coach.”
The Beamers will be on the field for the last time when the Hokies take on
Florida State in a matchup of unbeaten teams. To the coach, it’s already been a
“Some things just turn out better than you could ever imagine,” he said.
“You try to draw it up and dadgum if it doesn’t turn out better.
“For him to have a vital role on the team, I mean, he does what he does
well, and then for him to be playing for the national championship in his final
year, that’s better than you can ever imagine.”
Shane Beamer was a star wide receiver in high school, but decided to stay in
Blacksburg, Va., even though he knew his opportunities to play football would
“It’s been tough at times,” the senior said. “I’d be lying if I said I
liked playing only four or five plays a game. I work out in practice with the
wide receivers, but snapping is my priority.”
Keeping up a player-coach relationship with his dad, at least on the field,
also is important.
“I think we go out of our way to downplay that we’re father and son,” he
Added the coach: “I try to treat him like everyone else and not any
differently. I try to treat him like all the other players out here.”
JUST KICK ME:
Florida State kicker Sebastian Janikowski found another use
for his powerful left leg during the weekend – he ran extra wind sprints for
missing curfew on New Year’s Eve.
Janikowski served the penalty Saturday and also spent all night in his hotel
room. But the two-time All-American won’t miss any action in the Sugar Bowl.
“When they put the ball out there, he’s going to kick it,” coach Bobby
Bowden said Sunday.
Defensive back Reggie Durden also ran extra sprints Saturday for violating
curfew during the week.
“It ain’t the first time,” he said.
YIKES! Shayne Graham watched the Orange Bowl on TV, and cringed at how it
The Virginia Tech kicker saw Alabama’s Ryan Pflugner miss an extra-point try
on the last play of overtime, giving Michigan a 35-34 victory Saturday night.
“I felt a little bit of pain for the kid when I saw him walking off the
field,” said Graham, 22. “You hate for all the blame to come down to one
person. Because there were 60 other minutes of play when other players could
have done something to win the game.”
Graham made his biggest kick of the season, a 44-yarder as time expired to
win at West Virginia 22-20 on Nov. 6 and preserve the Hokies’ title hopes.
Pflugner’s kick was wide right.
“I had a bad feeling when he ran onto the field, before he made the kick. I
remembered Alabama won an overtime game this season against Florida when they
missed an extra point, but got another chance because of a penalty,” Graham
“My heart kind of sank for the kid last night,” Graham said. “You don’t
really want to see the game decided on one person’s error.”