Florida State's missed opportunity

Devonta Freeman and Florida State will regret their loss to NC State this season. Melina Vastola/US Presswire

From 1987-2000, most Florida State Seminoles seasons could be remembered in one of two ways.

Those inclined toward a positive view would highlight the two national championship wins, The Choke at Doak, The Fifth Quarter in the French Quarter, an 8-4-1 record against Florida Gators coach Steve Spurrier and 14 straight years with at least 10 wins and a top-five finish in the last AP poll of the season.

For those who take a darker view of things, these campaigns will bring back memories of Wide Rights I, II and III, the 1997 Sugar Bowl loss to Spurrier's Gators that gave Florida its first national championship and only two national title wins for Florida State in a stretch that should have included more.

And unfortunately for Florida State fans, the 2012 season looks like it will offer the same type of dichotomy as those 1987-2000 seasons.

The negative takeaway looks to be blowing a 16-0 third quarter lead against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on the way to a 17-16 loss, as right now that is the only blemish keeping this Seminoles squad from making a strong claim for a spot near the top of the BCS standings.

As bad as that loss seems right now, the reality of the situation is that by the end of this campaign, Jimbo Fisher's club could have a slew of positives that will eventually overwhelm the negative vibes and put this year more in the category of those aforementioned highlight seasons.

It starts by recognizing just how close to great this team truly is right now.