Thirty years have passed since Florida State's failed two-point conversion led to a loss against Miami in Doak Campbell Stadium, a game that cost the Seminoles a national championship during the 1987 season.
Although legendary FSU coach Bobby Bowden believes going for the extra point would have been the better decision, he's still happy with his decision to roll the dice against the Hurricanes, the eventual national champions that season.
"I think I did the right thing," Bowden told the Orlando Sentinel by phone Thursday, from Lexington, Ky., on his way to Akron, Ohio, to see son, Terry, coach the Akron-Ball State game Saturday.
"We probably would've been better off going for the extra point and tying the game. Then we could've won a national championship. But we decided all the boys wanted to go for two. So we went for two."
With no rules for overtime back in those days of college football, going for two to win the game instead of finishing with a tie was the popular thing to do, Bowden says, bringing up how Nebraska's failed two-point conversion in the 1984 Orange Bowl led to Miami's first national championship for the 1983 season.
FSU's 19-3 lead in the third quarter turned into a 26-19 deficit after Miami scored two touchdowns in the fourth. Quarterback Danny McManus converted a fourth-and-8 to receiver Herb Gainer with roughly 1:30 left, then found Ronald Lewis for an 18-yard touchdown with 42 seconds to go to bring the score to 26-25.
Unfortunately for the Seminoles, McManus was short on his fade pass to tight end Pat Carter and the Hurricanes won the contest that featured nearly 60 NFL players on both sides of the football, including FSU's Deion Sanders and Miami's Michael Irvin.
Over the years, the story behind the critical decision has been embellished, with many believing the Seminoles collectively lobbied Bowden to go for two instead of kicking the extra point to tie the game.
"Really, nobody said a thing ... I remember it very plainly," Bowden said. "I had already sent the kicking team out on the field. And the offense was all gathered around me because they had just come off the field. And I remember when I said kick it, how disappointed them seemed to be. I mean, just disappointed.
"So I called time out, called the kicking team off the field, and we went for two. And to be honest, it was the popular thing to do ... even though we got beat. I had a lot of comments like, 'If you're a champion, you'd go for two.'
"It's just the right thing to do, but the odds are not in your favor."
On Saturday, No. 13 Miami (3-0) will be the only ranked team in the matchup with FSU for the first time since 1983, but the Seminoles are looking for their eighth consecutive victory in the series.
Miami coach Mark Richt was a third-year graduate assistant for Florida State before becoming a longtime Seminoles assistant from 1990-2000.
When asked about the final play during the 1987 game this week, Richt says the Hurricanes simply "did a better job defending it than we did scoring."
"Players and fans always want to go for it. That's just the way it is," Richt said. "But you know, the bottom line is when you go for two, and you don't get it, you lose. That's just the way it is."
Current FSU coach Jimbo Fisher says he has had talks with Bowden about some of the bigger play-calling decisions of his career, especially with the game on the line.
Fisher says there is plenty to consider when making the decision to tie or go for two, including game momentum, how hard the players worked to get into the position to win the game, how the season unfolded up to that point and if a team could afford a loss.
"You have to be in that situation," said Fisher, who was a fan of Bowden and FSU from afar before joining the Seminoles in 2007 and succeeding Bowden in 2010.
"I mean, in hindsight, if he'd have kicked it, maybe they win the national championship, but at the same time, they're going for the win, so you don't doubt that."
Thirty years later, Bowden says he still has thoughts about the 1987 Florida State-Miami game. But they don't trickle back to the final decision that cost the game.
"I still do, and I think of it in a positive way," Bowden said. "I think there were more pro football players out on that field that day than any two teams could put out there. We had a bunch of 'em."
As for the FSU-Miami matchup this season, Bowden believes the Seminoles can rebound from their 1-2 start to this season, but the undefeated Hurricanes will certainly present a challenge.
"I think the whole thing is if they've got enough confidence from the last touchdown they had, it could carry over," Bowden said referring to quarterback James Blackman's game-winning touchdown against Wake Forest last week.
"People have to remember this is the same Florida State team that was picked No. 3 in the nation. It's still the same team, except the quarterback changed. ... And it'll be very interesting because there's no doubt Miami has really improved."