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Wednesday, June 3, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Bianchi: Are you happy America? Villainous Florida State Seminoles fall hard

By Mike Bianchi Orlando Sentinel

PASADENA, Calif. – Are you satisfied now, America?

You finally got your wish.

You finally got what you’ve wanted for two seasons now.

FS-Shoo!

Or, more appropriately – considering Florida State’s status as the most despised team in America – FS-Booooo!!!

The Oregon Ducks did what the College Football Playoff committee tried to do all season long but couldn’t. They denigrated and derided the Seminoles and finally knocked them out of the hunt for a second straight national championship.

Oregon 59, Florida State 20.

Ding dong, the witch is dead.

This was even more embarrassing than the Seminoles getting routed 52-20 by the Florida Gators in the 1997 national championship game.

After 29 straight victories, three consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference championships and one national title, the team everybody wanted to lose finally did during Thursday’s Rose Bowl national championship semifinal.

So long, Seminoles.

So long, Infamous Jameis.

So long, second-longest winning streak in the modern era of college football.

That gleeful shriek you heard Thursday night was college football fans throughout the country celebrating what is likely the humiliating end of the Winston era at FSU. For Florida State fans, it was an abysmal start to 2015, but for the rest of the nation, it was a Happy ’Nole Year. Not only did the Seminoles lose, they got embarrassed and Winston looked comically bad in the process.

It was so embarrassing that Winston turned into Garo Yepremian right in front of the entire country’s eyes and was victimized by one of the most inglorious blooper plays in recent memory. With FSU trailing 39-20 and still within striking distance late in the third period, Winston dropped back to pass, scrambled backward 12 yards and inexplicably lost the ball behind him. Oregon defender Tony Washington scooped it up and returned the fumble 58 yards for a touchdown. Game over.

Winston came off the field and got into a shouting match with FSU coach Jimbo Fisher – a scene indicative of the Seminoles’ complete and total meltdown. FSU’s defense, maligned all season long, gave up 629 yards of offense to Heisman-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota and Oregon’s point-a-minute offense.

Too bad.

Personally, I loved seeing the nation’s sports fans and media members lose their minds every time FSU pulled out another victory. I wanted to see the Seminoles in the national championship game just to give college football fans a team they could uniformly root against it. Sports, like the movies, needs its villains. Rooting against the Seminoles was like rooting against the shark in “Jaws.” Everyone in the theater cheered when the shark blew up after an air tank lodged in its teeth was shot.

Looks like FSU’s many critics and the College Football Playoff Selection committee were right. The undefeated Seminoles, because of the league they play in, were seeded No. 3 in the playoff rankings and sent across the country to play in what amounted to a home game for Oregon. Florida State fans were badly outnumbered in the stands just as their team was badly outmanned on the field.

The committee considered FSU a pretender despite the fact that the Seminoles entered the game as the only unbeaten team in the country. Despite objections from the FSU faithful, committee members continued to question how the Seminoles would fare when they faced tougher competition.

We found out Thursday when they played the high-powered Ducks and self-destructed before the nation’s very eyes. It’s no wonder the Vegas oddsmakers made Oregon a nine-point favorite. After all, FSU had won its last four games by an average of 3.5 points, while the Ducks have won by an average margin of 26 in their last eight games.

Oregon also came into the game ranked third nationally in turnover margin; Florida State was tied for 81st. Consequently, everything FSU fans feared came to fruition. The Seminoles fumbled seven times and lost four, and the Ducks scored five touchdowns in the second half off of FSU turnovers.

Ding dong, the witch is dead.

Are you finally happy, America?

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