It’s that time of year again.
With just one month to go until college football season, trash talking is at an all time high. Our team is better. Yeah, well, we beat you last year. Yeah well we own the all time series lead. OK but we own the head to head record. And so on, and so forth. (Most of it isn’t even that intelligible.) Of course, the most heated trash talking takes place between rivals. Like Florida and FSU. Cue the charts.
Trash talking is little more than finely crafted strings of words. Anyone can make a decent argument with even basic logic skills, and so the winner of a particular Florida-FSU battle on social media has more to do with which participant is better prepared and/or more clever. But numbers take all that out of the equation, and now that I’ve unearthed them, the arguments should be fairly easy for Gator fans. There is no manipulation of data here; what you see below are pure facts. FSU fans may denounce them if they choose, and in fact have some funny theories about some of the actual numbers. I’ve placed footnotes in the more controversial ones, which you can read at the bottom of the article.
So here we go. 2014 brought you this masterpiece, and 2015 brought you this one. Now, without further ado, let’s unveil this year’s chart. for the third year in what’s becoming a late summer tradition for me, I herby present to you the 2016 version of what has become known simply as “The Florida-FSU graphic.”
|Head to Head wins||34||Florida||24|
|All time wins||701||Florida||522|
|Head to Head total points||1,394||Florida||1,189|
|Consensus Top 25 finishes||36||Florida||34|
|Consensus Top 10 finishes||19||PUSH||19|
|Consensus Top 5 finishes||11||FSU||16|
|Heisman Trophy winners||3||PUSH||3|
|College Football Hall of Fame members||12||Florida||7|
|Major bowl appearances2||9||FSU||12|
|Major bowl wins||6||Florida||4|
|Total NFL Draft picks||331||Florida||260|
|1st round NFL Draft picks||50||Florida||43|
|Head to Head wins in Gainesville||20||Florida||11|
|Head to Head wins in Tallahassee||13||Florida||12|
|Head to Head shutout wins||3||Florida||0|
|Head to Head wins by 10+ points||22||Florida||15|
|Head to Head wins by 20+ points||12||Florida||7|
|Head to Head wins by 30+ points||6||Florida||2|
|Head to Head wins by 40+ points||1||Florida||0|
|Most lopsided result||49||Florida||0|
|Head to Head in National Championship Games||52||Florida||20|
|Head to Head wins3||43||Florida||23|
|All time wins||1,367||Florida||1,119|
|Head to Head total points||4,660||Florida||4,511|
|National Championship Game appearances||3||Florida||1|
|Final Four appearances||5||Florida||1|
|Elite Eight appearances||8||Florida||2|
|Sweet Sixteen appearances||10||Florida||4|
|Round 32 appearances||14||Florida||8|
|NCAA Tournament appearances||19||Florida||14|
|All time NCAA Tournament wins||42||Florida||15|
|Head to head 10+ point wins||26||Florida||14|
|Head to head 20+ point wins||10||Florida||5|
|Consensus Top 25 poll finishes||10||Florida||5|
|Consensus Top 10 poll finishes||8||Florida||2|
|Consensus Top 5 poll finishes||5||Florida||0|
|Head to Head wins||112||FSU||128|
|Head to Head wins in NCAA Tournament||14||Florida||5|
|CWS Championship Series Appearances||2||Florida||0|
|College World Series appearances||10||FSU||21|
|NCAA Super Regional appearances||8||FSU||15|
|NCAA Tournament appearances||32||FSU||54|
|Head to Head wins||23||Florida||14|
|CWS Championship Series Appearances||4||Florida||0|
|College World Series appearances||7||FSU||9|
|NCAA Super Regional appearances||9||Florida||5|
|NCAA Tournament appearances||17||FSU||29|
|Head to Head wins||13||Florida||10|
|College Cup appearances||2||FSU||9|
|NCAA Tournament appearances||19||Florida||16|
|Head to Head wins||38||Florida||19|
|Final Four appearances||7||Florida||1|
|NCAA Tournament appearances||26||Florida||17|
|Head to Head wins||57||Florida||20|
|Final Four appearances||1||Florida||0|
|NCAA Tournament appearances||26||Florida||17|
|Head to head NCAA Tournament wins||3||Florida||0|
|Individual NCAA Tournament Championships||0||PUSH||0|
|Head to Head wins||56||Florida||1|
|Final Four appearances||24||Florida||0|
|NCAA Tournament appearances||34||Florida||16|
|Head to head NCAA Tournament wins||2||Florida||0|
|Individual NCAA Tournament Championships||10||Florida||0|
|Head to Head wins3||42||Florida||28|
|Final Four appearances||0||PUSH||0|
|NCAA Tournament appearances||16||Florida||14|
|Men’s Head to Head wins||54||Florida||23|
|Men’s National Championships||2||Florida||0|
|Women’s Head to Head wins||40||Florida||3|
|Women’s National Championships||3||Florida||0|
Now, let’s put a nice pretty bow on all that we’ve learned today:
|Total Head to Head Wins across all sports3||517||Florida||294|
|Total National Championships across all sports4||36||Florida||11|
|Total Head to Head all time series leads||11||Florida||1|
For what it’s worth, I chose to make this year’s graphic a long, scrolling table rather than a pretty picture because it just made it so much easier to elaborate on the numerous footnotes that need explaining (I may wind up doing a photo graphic later on anyway if I have the time).
So, as for the explanations for the footnotes…
1) Florida does not claim a 1912 appearance in the Bacardi Bowl (in Cuba) while FSU claims a 1950 appearance in the Cigar Bowl. As it turns out, the Bacardi Bowl would one day become the Cigar Bowl, like the Capital One Bowl became the Citrus Bowl. The only difference was that the new bowl game owners pitted two football bottom feeders together as opposed to having an American team square off against a local Cuban club. But anyway, it was the same game. FSU would still lead in this category either way, but just to be fair, let’s at least be consistent here.
2) Major bowl games include Alliance Bowl games, BCS Bowl games, College Football Playoff games, New Year’s Six Bowl games, and national championship games.
3) FSU was forced to vacate its 2006 men’s basketball win and its 2006 and 2007 women’s basketball wins over Florida (among a laundry list of other achievements).
4) This is the wildest thing I’ve ever seen in the wild world of sports debates. If you aren’t aware of the story, get ready.
Various FSU fans will claim up to 19 national championships throughout all their sports. Let’s count them:
-Football (3): 1993, 1999, 2013
-Men’s track (2): 2006, 2008
-Women’s track (2): 1984 (indoor), 1985 (outdoor)
-Men’s gymnastics (2): 1951, 1952
-Women’s golf (1): 1981
-Women’s soccer (1): 2014
God dammit, Wikipedia. The sad thing about it, and the reason why professors and teachers won’t let you use it as a source, is because literally anybody can go on and make any change they want. And sure enough, the Seminoles’ “home” Wikipedia page once credited them with nineteen national championships, quite obviously the handiwork of an FSU fan with nothing better to do- which FSU fans took one look at and ran with without another thought.
But as you have undoubtedly figured out, there’s a fundamental problem here. Namely, that does not add up to nineteen national championships. Or even seventeen. So, how do they- meaning the anonymous Wikipedia editor and all the FSU fans who’ve bought into his nonsense- come up with any more than eleven? Where do they come from?
Let’s find out.
Oh, Wikipedia says FSU has 19 national titles, so it must be right. Nice try, @melinasphotos. Wait until tomorrow…. pic.twitter.com/Iv2tOaowYm
— InAllKindsOfWeather.com (@AllKindsWeather) June 22, 2015
Let’s debunk those mythical titles one by one.
-1981, 1982 and 1984 women’s indoor track and field/1981 and 1985 women’s outdoor track and field
Nowhere else on the internet does FSU claim these national titles. Not in FSU’s official media guide (you can find their list of championships on page 33), not on the NCAA’s list of outdoor track and field champions or indoor track and field champions, and not even on FSU’s track and field wikipedia page. Nice try.
The funny thing is that after I dropped my 2015 version of this graphic debunking their “19 national championships” claim, someone tampered with the page again and edited their championship total down to 17, swapping those five completely fabricated track titles out for three equally fabricated volleyball titles, which I’ll get to later. Luckily, I took a screenshot of the original page claiming nineteen (see linked tweet above).
-1981 and 1982 softball
It’s true that FSU won AIAW (governing body for women’s collegiate sports at the time) softball national championships in 1981 and 1982. There’s just one problem. The two titles they claim were both slow pitch softball tournaments, something that Wikipedia page just conveniently forgot to mention. In reality, Utah State was the 1981 national champion in softball, while the 1982 championship was split between UCLA (NCAA) and Texas A&M (in the last year of the AIAW).
Even FSU’s own athletics site admits that those championships were slow pitch, though they added their own twist to it by claiming that softball was slow pitch at the time, which is wholly false; the two just coexisted at the same time. Anyway, no way I’m going to give FSU credit for a national championship in a game I dominated in high school gym class. By my senior year, I literally got so bored playing the sport in which FSU gleefully claims two national titles that I deliberately started swinging really early so I’d crush the ball a mile foul and try to hit eleventh graders’ cars (come on, I was 17 at the time and thought it was cool). The fact that I actually did succeed once at this sport within the sport is more impressive than FSU’s titles in the actual sport.
Cheerleading is not a sport. Sorry. It’s just not. Admittedly, some can question whether gymnastics (in which UF has three national championships) is a sport or not, but I draw the line at cheerleading.
-1955, 1957, 1958 men’s volleyball
Why do I feel like there’s been a breakout of psychedelic toads in Tallahassee? Men’s volleyball wasn’t even an NCAA sport until 1970, more than a decade after these three alleged championships were won.
The thing is, this wouldn’t be a major issue if the majority of Nole fans didn’t blindly believe the Wikipedia work of one bored dude with more free time on his hands than he knew what to do with. Wikipedia claims almost never merit full fledged explanations like this, but this one does because the fan base it involves is so amazingly stupid.
(Disclaimer: no, not all FSU fans are idiots. My family is full of Noles, and they’re all exceptionally bright, talented people. Similarly, I’ve met several intellectually gifted FSU fans throughout my life who were more than happy to engage in rational sports debates, and I also know that there are scores of FSU fans I haven’t met who possess that high level of common sense and logic. If you’re one of those people, this scathing review of your fan base doesn’t apply to you.)
But nonetheless, enough FSU fans believe in various doses of nonsense to warrant this response. There’s not a single claim here that isn’t backed up by a fact. Fans can talk all the smack they want, but deep down, I hope this has taught everybody that you can make a better argument with numbers than insults.
And in the case of the Florida-FSU rivalry, the numbers heavily favor Florida.