By defeating Maryland on Saturday, Florida State becomes bowl eligible for their 28th consecutive season, the longest current streak in college football.
The game came down to the final moments and resulted in a 29-26 Seminole victory, which clearly saved this teams season.
With such high expectation coming into this season, the Seminoles expected to be bowl eligible weeks ago, honestly they expected to be bowl eligible after their sixth game. Obviously that isn't the case and the Seminoles are still fighting not only to become a household name again, but they are fighting for their respect back which has been stripped away due to their lack of success in the past six seasons.
So where do they go from here? For a lot of teams across the country it's a small victory to make it to any bowl game. Not for this university. With the stretch of 10 plus years of finishing in the top five every year and with their history of wins, this is yet another disappointing season for the 'Noles.
With the retirement announcement coming from longtime defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews coming late in the season, there's a lot of speculation as to who will replace him. Bobby Bowden, who is determined to come back for one more season, has openly said that he will have the majority of the say in who the new defensive coordinator will be. Head coach in waiting Jimbo Fisher will also have a fair share of the decision making.
What does the future hold for this team? Will the emergence of redshirt freshman EJ Manuel counter Christian Ponders decision as to whether or not to enter the NFL Draft? If so, then Bowden should be able to stay confident in the quarterback position.
This team is full of youth and still has plenty of maturing to do. They need to learn how to finish games rather than staying in them. With the disappointment of this season, there's the cliche saying of "there's always next year." How much longer will the Seminoles be forced to say that?
It's safe to say that Florida State will lose to Florida next season, which will force a toss up as to whether or not this team goes to a bowl. This team still has that risk factor of having a losing season for the first time in decades.
If the 'Noles can restablish their dominance in the bowl game, they can ride high into the off-season and could possibly lure some recruits their way.
Either way, we will still have to wait another year for this team to find themselves and return to their old dominant self.