The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

The ACC School Mount Rushmores: Florida State

Continuing with our Mount Rushmores… the last school left… Florida State.  Look, we all watched the game Monday.  Obviously, we are going to have Jameis Winston on the Florida State Mount Rushmore.  See who joins him…

As we discussed previously, these school-wide Mount Rushmores are limited to sports only–players and coaches.  That being said, athletes that have gone on to have careers that have furthered their legend are rewarded also.   And negative publicity will also be factored in.  We do not believe that USC would put OJ Simpson on its Mount Rushmore.  It is what it is.  Admittedly, there will be a recency bias too.  While historical accomplishments are typically quite impressive, coaching college football (as an example) in 1955 was a lot different than coaching today, where coaches rarely get 5 years to make their mark anymore.  Similarly, in an era of up to 14 college football games or 40 college basketball games, as well as daunting pressure from the fans and media, today’s game is more challenging.  That’s our opinion and we are sticking to it.

The Confidential obviously is not putting Winston on this list.  But 20 years from now?  Who knows?

Instead, the first spot goes to a no-brainer: Bobby Bowden.  Bowden created Florida State football.  Pre-Bowden?   Florida State had some success in the 1960’s and early 1970’s, but was 4-29 in the three seasons before he arrived.  The first year he went 5-6.  The second year, 10-2… beginning a streak of winning seasons that persists today.  The records are just staggering.  10-12 wins seasons aplenty.  Two national titles.  With the vacated wins, who knows who has the most division 1 wins between Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden.  What we do know is that Florida State was a dynasty for a long, long time under Bobby Bowden.  A dynasty.

The second spot goes to Charlie Ward.  Ward quarterbacked Florida State to its first national championship in 1993.  Along the way, Ward won the Heisman Trophy and other post-season awards.  Pretty impressive.  But Ward also led the Seminoles basketball team to an Elite Eight, before embarking on a long NBA career.  He was also drafted by multiple Major League Baseball teams.  One of the greatest athletes in recent years, Ward cannot be left off this list.

But, hey, that is as far as the Confidential can go.  We’ve done this a few times before–we’ve got to let you pick the final two spots.  Far too many to choose from.

Just look at football alone.  Fred Biletnikoff was an All-American and has an award named after him.  Of course, Chris Weinke was the one-sport version of Charlie Ward–leading Florida State to a national title, while also winning the Heisman Trophy in an undefeated 1999 season.  Warrick Dunn, Derrick Books, and Deion Sanders were outstanding at both the collegiate and professional level.  Again, that is five guys that could be justified rather easily.

What about basketball?  Dave Cowens and Sam Cassell achieved notoriety during lengthy NBA careers.  Baseball?  J.D. Drew and Dick Howser.  Golf?  Jeff Sluman and Paul Azinger.  Actor Burt Reynolds is in the Florida State Hall of Fame.  He has had a nice life.  You know who else is in the Florida State Hall of Fame?  Volleyball star and model Gabrielle Reece.

And that was just a cursory search of all the Florida State athletes.  Did we leave anyone out?

So help us out here… who will be the Confidential’s third and fourth Florida State Seminoles on its Mount Rushmore?

Other Mount Rushmores:

  1. Maryland Preliminary   Maryland Final
  2. Boston College    Boston College Final
  3. Wake Forest   Wake Forest Final
  4. Miami   Miami Final
  5. Virginia Tech   Virginia Tech Final
  6. Syracuse   Syracuse Final
  7. Virginia   Virginia Final
  8. Pittsburgh  Pittsburgh Final
  9. North Carolina State  North Carolina State Final
  10. Clemson   Clemson Final
  11. Georgia Tech
  12. Louisville
  13. Notre Dame
  14. Duke
  15. North Carolina
  16. Florida State (coming soon)

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