As the story goes, in 1962 Dean Coyle Moore, a professor and member of the athletic board, said "bring back some sod from between the hedges at Georgia".
After an 18-0 upset of Georgia, team captain Gene McDowell pulled some sod from the field and presented it to Moore at the next practice. It was planted on the practice field and eventually a monument was placed to commemorate the victory. The tradition took off from there.
So how does a game qualify as a "sod game"? It is pretty simple: all road games where FSU is the underdog, all games at the University of Florida, and all ACC Championship and Bowl Games qualify.
After victories in the above games, the team captains return with a piece of sod from the field where the game took place. The team captains are responsible for explaining the significance of the tradition to their younger counterparts.
Last year FSU earned two more monuments with the bowl win over South Carolina(26-17) at the GeorgiaDome and vs. Miami(45-17) at Joe Robbie(refuse to call it any other name).
Some memorable wins from over the years:
1962: 18-0 at Georgia(Sanford Stadium)
1965: 36-19 vs. Oklahoma(Gator Bowl)
1978: 28-0 vs. Syracuse(Archbold Stadium)
1981: 19-13 at Notre Dame(Notre Dame Stadium)
1985: 17-13 at Nebraska(Memorial Stadium)
1991: 51-31 at Michigan(Michigan Stadium)
1993: 18-16 vs. Nebraska(Orange Bowl)
1999: 46-29 vs. Virginia Tech (Louisiana Superdome)
2003: 38-34 at Florida(Ben Hill Griffin Stadium)
2005: 27-22 vs Virginia Tech(Alltel Stadium)
2006: 13-10 at Miami(Orange Bowl)
In 2011 FSU will have at least one opportunity to add another plaque to "Sod Cemetery" when they travel to UF on November 26. Depending on what happens in the OU game, the following week at Clemson could present an opportunity(hopefully it won't) and FSU stands a good chance of playing in the ACC Championship game and almost certainly will be in a Bowl game.