The killjoys of college football do not believe Florida State needed some really big rings for its really big team in 2015.
To that I say: Who crowned you lord of the rings?
Maybe a diamond-encrusted championship ring is tacky in the years when no universally recognized championships are won. Which means it falls perfectly in line with all of the celebrated college football kitsch. We play the same fight song over and over. We drape ourselves in the jersey of students half our age. It’s borderline acceptable to paint our faces.
So if Florida State wants to commemorate a season that includes no ACC championship (like the previous three years), no national title (2013) and no bowl win (a two-touchdown loss to Group of 5 Houston), then I say, why not?
What’s the ring standard? Have to win a national title? Conference? Division? Who makes the call on whether to engrave?
Florida State’s rings are hardly a participation trophy. The Seminoles won 10 regular-season games and went undefeated at home. They played in a New Year’s Six game, won 49 games over four years and owned in-state rivals Florida and Miami again. They did it while replacing the 2015 No. 1 pick and 11 selections total.
— FSU Football (@FSU_Football) June 27, 2016
For rivals and social media snarks, it’s fair game to take aim. An unofficial state championship does seem small potatoes when positioned next to three straight championship-winning seasons. And no, they didn’t play the entire state. And yes, maybe Clemson deserves the Sunshine State honor for beating Florida State and Miami and winning the Orange Bowl.
Doesn’t mean Florida State needs to apologize. You are not Jimbo Fisher’s target audience. That would be his players and the potential players he’s recruiting. That’s pretty much it. While there’s probably 100 better ways to spend the money than on gaudy rings, at least Florida State is giving its players something.
They’re not the first program to do it. They’re not even the first program to do it in 2016. Iowa lost the Big Ten championship game, then snoozed through the Rose Bowl. Ohio State engraved rings for its 2012 season in which it was banned from postseason play for players selling -- wait for it -- rings!
It’s even been done before in the ACC. North Carolina issued Coastal Division championship rings in 2012 despite being ineligible for postseason play.
We’re fixated on the College Football Playoff and have cast the other bowls to the side, even ones once celebrated as far back as the BCS. But a Peach Bowl trip is still worth celebrating, and the Seminoles honestly could have engraved state champion rings every year since Fisher became coach, too.
It’s June and it’s Florida State, which is why this is even somewhat newsworthy. I say we make this the final year of rings altogether, though. In 2016, winners get pocket watches.
How many wins? Whatever it is, you don’t get to decide.