SI Vault
Rick Reilly
November 15, 1993
Strike up the band. Top-ranked Florida State and No. 2 Notre Dame will finally face the music this Saturday in South Bend
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November 15, 1993


Strike up the band. Top-ranked Florida State and No. 2 Notre Dame will finally face the music this Saturday in South Bend

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"Let's put it this way," says North Carolina offensive coordinator Darrell Moody. "I'd hate to play the dang team that beats 'em." Florida State, one point.

Southern Cal coach John Robinson likes Notre Dame. "Last year Alabama had the personality of the Irish, and it wound up the national champion," Robinson says. "I think Notre Dame can win. Notre Dame seems to be able to inflict its will on the opponent." Robinson has been out in the sun too long without a hat. Florida State, one point.

Notre Dame has Rudy, the inspirational, sort-of-true tale of a runt with a dream to get in on one play as a Notre Dame football player. Florida State has The Longest Yard, a comedy starring 1954 Florida State letterman Burt Reynolds as a convict who leads a team of dirty players into a big game. Sounds like the Miami highlight film. Notre Dame, one point.


Florida State players are worrying paths in their dorm room carpets about the cold. These are guys who go years without putting away their flip-flops. Sixty-one of them are from the state of Florida, where the thermometers start at 45�. Only two are from north of the Mason-Dixon line. What's more, the Seminoles have played only two games north of the Mason-Dixon in the last five seasons. Of course, one of those games was in August and the other was in September.

Still, it can get nasty in South Bend. Get this: Last Nov. 13 at Notre Dame the high was 36�, the low was 29�, there was one inch of snow, and it was as windy as Rush Limbaugh. As of Sunday the coldest day this fall in Tallahassee had a high of 52�. First time a Seminole sees his breath, he'll think his spleen has frozen. Notre Dame, three points.


Notre Dame has the Gipper, Frank Leahy, Lindsey Nelson's old Sunday morning highlight show, 75 consensus All-Americas, seven Heismans, Four Horsemen, one Touchdown Jesus and Rockne's famous pregame speech.

Florida State has no Gipper, no national highlight show, no Heismans (unless you count Ward), almost no history before Bowden, nine consensus All-Americas and a former coach (Darrell Mudra) who coached from the press box. Another former coach, Bill Peterson, was once asked to give an inspiring pregame prayer to lead his players into battle. He thought for a long time and then said, "Now I lay me down to sleep...." Notre Dame, two points.

Psssssst. The following is brought to you without the expressed written consent of the NCAA or its members: Florida State has covered every game this season except for Maryland.

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