Going into the 1997 season, I thought that Nebraska had the best team in all of college football (even though I still believe they were given a share of the National Championship because it was Tom Osborne's last season as coach) and I also thought that either Florida State or Michigan had the second best team.
After losses to LSU and Georgia during SEC play, the Gators were out of the SEC race and as a result had no chance to repeat as National Champions. So all that really mattered for the rest of the season (as it always done with that situation is reached) was to beat Florida State.
The Florida State Seminoles came into the game ranked No.1 in the country (No.2 in some polls) and all they needed was a victory over the Gators and they were going to play for the National Championship. Well, at least split a National Championship with either Nebraska or Michigan. Though it probably would have been Michigan because Michigan was the other team that was ranked No.1.
Fred Taylor (4 touchdowns), Doug Johnson and Noah Brindise had other ideas. After a Sebastian Janikowski field goal with two minutes and thirty-three seconds left, the Gators trailed by 29-25. Have you ever wondered where the "opponent doing the Gator chomp" curse began? Well, look no further.
And then, after the kickoff, Doug Johnson hit Jacquez Green for 63 yards. We've already talked about this play, and I ranked it as my second favorite play of all-time. The Gators would go on to take the lead 32-29.
This video, is the entire final drive, in full-length.
Dwayne Thomas would intercept a Thad Busby pass to end the game. I've always thought that Thad Busby was one of the most undervalued players that the Seminoles had during their amazing run in the 80's and 90's.
During the post-game interview, Spurrier said it best. "Obviously, God is still smiling on the Gators." I still, don't think he has stopped smiling. Especially because of the fact that since 1990, the Gators have won more football games than any other team in the country.