Auburn Football: Five Potential Non-Conference Rivals

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Oct 11, 2014; Syracuse, NY, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) drops back to pass against the Syracuse Orange during the third quarter at the Carrier Dome. Florida State defeated Syracuse 38-20. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State Seminoles

One of the closest potential non-conference opponents for Auburn from a purely geographical standpoint is Florida State. Auburn, Alabama is only 190 miles from Tallahassee, which is just 42 miles farther for the Seminoles than their hated in state rivals, the Florida Gators.

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  • Florida State and Auburn have met 19 times on the gridiron over the years, and the Tigers hold a 13-5-1 edge in the series. Of course, the Seminoles most recent victory (in the 2014 BCS National Championship Game) was the most important. It was the first time the two schools had played one another since 1990.

    There were two games later scheduled between Auburn and Florida State while Terry Bowden was the Tigers’ head coach and his father Bobby was leading the Seminoles. However, after Terry Bowden resigned during the 1998 season, Auburn athletic director David Housel determined that the university would pay a pre-determined buyout price of $500,000 to avoid the matchup.

    “If we played the game as scheduled, the controversy surrounding the game and the turmoil of last season would be rehashed again and again and again over the next eight months,” Housel said. “The controversy would become bigger than the game, and that would be unfair to the players and coaches on both sides.”

    Fifteen years later, it would be great to see another series.