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Worst Losses of 2013: Florida State 80, Idaho 14

On November 23, 2013 the Vandals took a late-season trip to Tallahassee to face the soon-to-be national champion Seminoles. Idaho got obliterated by 66 points, but it didn't matter because the Vandals got exactly what they came for.

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Even Idaho's best pass rusher couldn't come close to Famous Jameis
Even Idaho's best pass rusher couldn't come close to Famous Jameis
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

This might be breaking news to you, but the Florida State Seminoles were a good football team last year. You may have heard that they won that crystal football thing. It was nice looking, and I imagine it was worth a lot of money. It represented a national championship or whatever.

Florida State also played Idaho at one point last season. That was a fun time.

The result was an 80-14 annihilation of the Idaho Vandals by the to-be national champions in a game that displayed the single largest gap of talent between any two FBS programs that played each other last season.

The Seminoles used Idaho as a punching bag all the way up to a school-record of 80 points, with the score running up to 35-0 before Idaho could mount any kind of significant offensive drive. The game was essentially over in the first quarter, although the game was really over before it even started. The only reason I watched the game was because I had to report on it.

Still, it was entertaining. It was entertaining because guys I watched at practice every week were playing Florida freaking State. In Tallahassee. It was entertaining because the coolest thing to happen that day for Idaho was Jacksonville native Richard Montgomery scoring a touchdown against Florida State in front of family and friends. It was entertaining because Idaho was playing against future first round picks.

I chose to look at the moral victories that afternoon. Idaho actually scored a touchdown on Florida State — twice! That may not seem like much, but consider the following:

  • Wake Forest, Syracuse and Maryland couldn't score a touchdown on Florida State in 2013
  • Duke, Nevada and the Florida Gators couldn't score double digits

Moral victories! Those were nice, and were really the only thing that Idaho's travelling players could really hope to get out of this game. However, athletic director Rob Spear was surely comfy when he got on the team charter flight home because he knows exactly why Idaho was there: the $950,000 check.

You see, Idaho has mastered the art of the guarantee game. In 2013, their games at North Texas, Ole Miss and Florida State netted the Vandals athletic department about $2,150,000. That subsidized over 10-percent of Idaho's entire athletic department budget.

This year Idaho has a similar arrangement with $975,000 coming from Florida and $530,000 coming from San Diego State. In 2015 Idaho gets $2.1M coming from back-to-back games against Auburn and USC. Dolla dolla bills, y'all.

But back to this game, where Jameis Winston padded his Heisman trophy stats with 225 yards passing and four touchdowns. If he keeps that up, Idaho's guarantee money games won't compare to what Famous Jameis is going to make in the NFL. 

See you all on Aug. 30 in Gainesville. I'll try not to laugh, even though that's how I cope.