The similarities end there.
The Seminoles enter the 2003 season looking to end a two-year drought by program standards. FSU has dropped nine games in that span and many across the country are wondering if Bobby Bowden is losing his golden touch.
FSU's summer workouts are progressing nicely by all accounts. While attendance continues to be a topic, it should not be a concern.
Last year, for example, the lowest turnout for afternoon workouts during the first semester had been 38 players. That group also promised a strong work ethic and better results. FSU finished 9-5, losing to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.
Most preseason publications continue to question this year‘s team.
Contender or pretender?
Attendance numbers mean little if players have different agendas.
That was a problem in 2002, according to Bowden, who said last year's team lacked chemistry. That needs to change if FSU wants to rejoin the nation's elite.
"I think some guys wanted to do their own thing," tight guard Bobby Meeks said.
"He (Bowden) was right -- we really didn't have good team chemistry. We had a group of guys here and a group of guys there. I have already seen a difference between spring football and now and a lot of guys are coming together as one instead of individuals in groups."
Of course, all eyes will be on the offensive line this preseason. The unit faces the difficult challenge of replacing four starters from last season – five including Milford Brown, who was ruled ineligible prior to season's start.
The good news is there's plenty of optimism coming from returning players.
In tackles Ray Willis and Alex Barron, FSU has two players who combined for 13 starts last season. Center David Castillo, Meeks and fellow guard Matt Heinz each have starting experience. Patience is expected also to be important in that regard, especially since FSU had just one experienced tackle - Ron Lunford - available for most of spring drills due to injury.
Meeks is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, saying he's "around 95 percent. There is some stiffness but I am lifting and rehabbing very hard. I want to do whatever I can to help the team out." Meeks says the offensive line also is eager to prove its worth. The unit should be quicker than last year's group.
"They are probably looking at us as the weakest link -- we are the youngest," Meeks said.
"But everyone is ready. We have some guys with playing experience. Everyone is hungry, ready to play to show what they can do. We have some pretty good athletes on the offensive line. As we go on, we will get more experience and that's also important. We just need to work hard and stay focused this summer."