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Florida State vs. LSU: History of rivalry between Seminoles and Tigers

Sunday night will feature a battle of Gulf Coast powers at the Superdome between FSU and LSU. We’ll look into the history of their matchups.

Louisiana State University Fighting Tigers vs Florida State Seminoles Photo by Scott Halleran/Allsport/Getty Images

The Week 1 college football schedule will extend past Saturday and we’ll be gifted a Sunday night showdown between two Gulf Coast powers. The Florida State Seminoles will hit I-10 west to New Orleans to meet the LSU Tigers at the Caesar Superdome.

This matchup is intriguing not just for the unknowns of both programs heading into the new season, but the fact that they simply haven’t played each other that often. Before we dive into Sunday’s showdown, we’ll look back at the history of this matchup.

History of Florida State vs. LSU

Total games played: 9
Record: Florida State is 7-2
Last game: Florida State won 27-16 in Tallahassee

The first meeting between these two southern powers came in the inaugural Peach Bowl in 1968, a 31-27 victory for LSU. The remaining eight games came during the early years of the Bobby Bowden era at FSU from 1979 to 1991.

While building the Noles into a national power, Bowden often cited LSU as the archetype of what he wanted his program to resemble. Famously strengthening FSU’s brand with their “anywhere, anytime” approach to scheduling, he would take his team to Baton Rouge seven times and received just one return trip from the Tigers to Tallahassee during that stretch. Florida State dominated LSU during that period, winning every game but the 1982 matchup that clinched the Tigers a trip to the Orange Bowl.

The series ended after 1991, coinciding with FSU’s impending jump to the ACC.

Biggest game in series history: 1979

This game is important because it creates an interesting “What If” had the results gone the other way.

As The Advocate’s Scott Rabalais detailed last month, longtime LSU head coach Charlie McClendon was retiring following the 1979 season and school officials were strongly considering hiring Bobby Bowden as their next guy. Bowden himself had strong interest in the job too, but when his Noles went into Baton Rouge and beat the Tigers 24-19, he realized that he could stay put and potentially compete for championships in Tallahassee. That 1979 FSU team would finish the year with an 11-1 record and make their first Orange Bowl appearance, stamping the program as the next great rising power in college football.

Odds for 2022

Spread: LSU -3
Total: Over/Under 49.5
Moneyline: LSU -155, FSU +135

Florida State enters the year looking to make a jump in the third year of the Mike Norvell era in Tallahassee. The Noles had no problem smacking around Duquesne for a 47-7 victory in their season opener last Saturday and will get their first true challenge in the dome.

Meanwhile, LSU may be the biggest question mark in the SEC this season as the program enters year one of the Brian Kelly era. The new Tigers coach has remained mum about who will be his starting quarterback in New Orleans and will be either Arizona State transfer Jayden Daniels or Garrett Nussmeier.