Florida State has one of college football's coolest traditions with its Sod Cemetery. The idea is simple but its effect is profound.
Whenever the Seminoles post a big win as an underdog away from home, the team captains return to Tallahassee with a cut of grass or turf from the game site. Gridiron booty.
There are some exceptions such as all bowls and games at archrival Florida being included, but if Florida State is favored to lose on the road and the Seminoles end up winning, it's time to do some digging.
The first sod game took place on Oct. 20, 1962. The Seminoles were playing at Georgia. Before the team traveled to face the favored Bulldogs, a long-time professor and member of Florida's athletic board named Dean Coyle Moore decided to give the players a little extra motivation.
"Bring back some sod from between the hedges at Georgia," Moore said.
The Seminoles won just four games that season, but the upset at Georgia, 18-0, was one of them, and a tradition was born. Captains Gene McDowell and Red Dawson brought a small piece of grass back from Sanford Stadium and gave it to Moore. Moore and coach Bill Peterson buried it on the practice field, and eventually a monument area was created to house the growing number of sod chunks.
"I just remember what it meant to play in sod games," 1993 Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward told the New York Times. "You took pride in knowing you were on the road, and you were supposed to lose."
Ward's first road game as Florida State's starting quarterback was a sod game. The Seminoles were playing at Clemson, and it was also their first road game as a member of the ACC.
Ward had four interceptions that day against the Tigers but also threw the winning touchdown pass with two minutes left to give the Seminoles a 24-20 win.
In all, Ward played in five sod games with the final being the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 1994, when the Seminoles beat Nebraska 18-16 to win their first national championship.