FSU’s banner for canceled season draws comparisons to Colts’ infamous ‘AFC Finalist’ pennant

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Florida State, a program that’s produced three FBS national championships, a legendary coach (Bobby Bowden), three Heisman winners (Jameis Winston among them), 45 NFL first-round picks, two Super Bowl MVPs and Hall-of-Fame defensive back Deion Sanders, may be among the most storied in all of college football. Their hoops team? Not so much.

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While the Seminoles have actually enjoyed moderate success under coach Leonard Hamilton (seven NCAA tournament appearances), they only have one conference title (2012) to show for it, routinely overshadowed by Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, Louisville and Syracuse in a competitive ACC. Florida State was having one of its best seasons before the pandemic hit in 2020, rolling to a 26-5 record including 16-4 in conference play. March Madness was ultimately canceled due to COVID, though that didn’t stop FSU from raising a banner, commemorating the Seminoles’ fourth-place finish in that year’s AP poll.

The banner, displayed prominently at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee, became a running punchline during Tuesday night’s ACC showdown with Duke (shown nationally on ESPN), with fans on social media mocking the Seminoles for recognizing such an obscure accomplishment.

Florida State’s laughable fourth-place pennant instantly drew comparisons to the Colts’ similarly unwarranted “AFC Finalist” banner that hangs from the rafters at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

It takes stones to pat yourself on the back for an arbitrary AP ranking in a season where no NCAA Tournament was played, but the Seminoles would have the last laugh Tuesday, upsetting the sixth-ranked Blue Devils in an overtime thriller.

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