FORT LAUDERDALE -- Can you believe it? After 14 games, five months, countless trips to Starbucks and even more to Panera (you know, every sportswriter's office away from the office), the 2012 season has finally come to a close. Florida State finished it as ACC champions, and Orange Bowl victors.
I finished it with one or two gray hairs more than I had when preseason camp broke in August.
But I'll survive.
Was the season a success? Was it a failure? Was it somewhere in between? There is no right answer. The truth lies in the eye of the beholder. Consider the year whatever you will.
All I know is this, though: FSU will be losing several of its key stars in the coming weeks. The Seminoles are about to undergo a crucial cosmetic change. Their quarterback will be different; the defensive line and coaching staff, too.
Expectations and pressure will be heaped upon the Seminoles' shoulders once again. In time, the customary offseason chants of "are they back?" and "this is the year" will echo across the country. The challenges will be different, but markedly similar to what they have long been.
But, before we let you and the players and coaches get too far into thinking about the fall of 2013, let's take one look back at the first day of the new year. After clinging to a narrow lead over the Northern Illinois Huskies, the Seminoles finally pulled away for a 31-10 win over them in Tuesday night's Orange Bowl.
Below, we go deeper behind the Orange Bowl numbers to help explain the win:
6,591: Yards of total offense the Seminoles have had this season. They now are the most prolific offense in school history, going three yards past the 2000 team
12: The number of seasons since FSU had last won a BCS bowl game
14: Points scored in a fourth quarter that allowed the Seminoles to pull away just enough to secure the bowl victory
60: Yards on fullback Lonnie Pryor's first touchdown run
37: Yards on Pryor's second touchdown run
2: Number of Pryor touchdown runs
88: Career field goals for Dustin Hopkins. The FSU kicker's lone 25-yard chip-shot made him the NCAA's all-time leader in career field goals
3: Number of 12-win seasons in FSU history
41: Passing attempts by Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch
83: Yards rushing for the Huskies. Lynch entered the game averaging more than 130 yards per game himself
21 percent: FSU's conversion percentage on third downs
28 percent: Northern Illinois' conversion percentage on third downs