Is Florida State considered a rival to Notre Dame football?

Notre Dame football

Although Florida State might not have the talent to beat Notre Dame football this year, it seems as if there is always a feeling of tension when these two teams meet. Some say they are rivals, some claim the competition is not comparable. Regardless of your view, there is no doubt there have been memorable games between these two football teams. I thought it would be intriguing to take a trip down memory lane and revisit the two games some would say are the most historical matchups between Florida State and Notre Dame.

“Game of the Century”

Not only was this the first time ESPN’s College GameDay took the road, but this game was undoubtedly the biggest meet up these two teams played thus far. In 1993, Florida State was ranked No. 1 with a 16-game winning streak heading into the game. Notre Dame was right on its heels, ranked second. The game was set to play in South Bend, so the Irish had home field advantage to help calm the nerves. It was an exciting game with Notre Dame taking the lead for a majority of it. Florida State was not going to let the Irish walk away with an easy win and took the lead into in the fourth quarter.

The game ended with Notre Dame’s Shawn Wooden breaking up a pass near the goal line to secure the win. The final score was 31-24 Irish. This could be where the rivalry really took off, as Notre Dame upset what Florida State thought would be an undefeated season.


This time around, FSU had home field advantage, as well as another boastful title above their heads. Coming off a 2013 national championship, it could be assumed the Seminoles were feeling confident hosting Notre Dame. The Irish knew this matchup was not going to be an easy one. Although the Seminoles were ranked second in the nation, Notre Dame was not far being, ranked fifth.

It is not that Notre Dame did not have the talent to win this game. Players such as Will Fuller, Corey Robinson and Everett Golson were strong aspects to the team and provided a strong front. Until halftime, Notre Dame had the lead on Florida State. Despite all efforts, the Irish could not keep the Seminoles off their backs.

The fourth quarter was one for the books. Florida State was leading by four, but Notre Dame had the opportunity to win the game. The ball was on the two-yard line, and this was Notre Dame’s last chance to grab the win. What seemed like a touchdown by Robinson was soon taken away as referees threw a flag on the play. The play was flagged for an offensive pass interference, and what looked like an Irish victory was quickly taken away. Since that game, Florida State has not been able to defeat Notre Dame.

The Present

Today, Florida State does not have the power it once had. Every team endures changes, but it seems as if FSU has struggled since 2017. Nonetheless, there is no doubt the Seminoles have put up great showings against Notre Dame football in the past. Currently, to claim this a rivalry might be a far stretch, but maybe in a few years there will be a second “Game of the Century”.

Photo by Zach Liorens | The Observer