Bobby Bowden, R.I.P.
Bowden’s 377 victories at Howard College (now Samford University), West Virginia and Florida State are more than every major college football coach except Joe Paterno, who won 409 games in 46 seasons at Penn State. Bowden guided his FSU teams to a 315-98-4 record (the Seminoles were forced to vacate 12 wins because of NCAA violations), 12 ACC championships and two national titles, in 1993 and 1999. When Bowden retired after the 2009 season, he ranked first among active coaches in winning percentage in bowl games (68.8%), second in bowl victories (22) and second in bowl appearances (33).
Bowden led his teams to bowl games for 27 consecutive seasons, including a remarkable 15 straight appearances in prestigious New Year’s Day bowl contests. At one point, Bowden’s teams won 11 consecutive bowl games over that stretch. He is also the only coach in NCAA history to lead teams to 14 straight seasons with 10 victories or more.
The man had a hella career, even if you weren’t an FSU fan (which I’ve never been). Still, I’ll always give him credit for being the best foil of Spurrier’s career.
Once upon a time…
Then, Bowden told the story of how Florida State joined the ACC in the early 1990s instead of the SEC. Bowden’s reasoning was that Florida State would have had a tough time winning a national championship if it had to go through the SEC.
“I felt that it was too difficult to win through the SEC to win a national championship,” Bowden told Finebaum. “I felt like our best route would be to go through the ACC and that did prove out to be correct. I don’t know if we could have made it through the SEC.”
How you like me now, FSU?
On Friday, tax returns for the five major college conferences were made public. The good news for Florida State is the ACC increased its distribution to member schools by nearly 11 percent from the prior year.
The bad news is that the ACC continues to lag well behind the Big Ten and SEC. What is somewhat surprising is how large the revenue gap has grown as of late. For the 2017-18 fiscal cycle, the SEC is outpacing the ACC by $14.2 million per school, and the gap was a whopping $24.5 million compared to the Big Ten.
In just three years, the difference between the ACC and SEC distributions has more than doubled from $6.5 million to $14.5 million per school…
As a result of these disparities, many of the schools that directly recruit against FSU are gaining a significant financial advantage. Nearby University of Florida and University Georgia, for instance, have racked up an extra $52 million each in distributions since the 2014-15 fiscal year. That was the first full year after FSU signed the long-term grant of rights agreement with the ACC.
These chilling numbers only add to mounting financial concerns that have plagued Seminole athletics as of late. For the last reported financial cycle, the athletics department reported a $3.6 million deficit and a similar deficit is expected for 2018-19.
Maybe you could sell a couple of trophies on eBay to tide you over.
Bobby Bowden’s lettin’ it all hang out these days.
“Back in those days, when a boy gets into too much trouble it starts as a felony. If a boy has a felony, he can’t play, nothing I can do,” Bowden said. “So you try to get it reduced down to a misdemeanor, and unless it’s a terrible thing you usually can. I think (the movie) shows how I’d give them second chances if I can. Some boys would get in trouble so bad I couldn’t do nothing. I’d lose ‘em. But the worst thing is I didn’t want to kick them back out on the street. They don’t need to be out on the street. I’d try to save ‘em.”
Amen, Reverend Bobby.
The man is an inspiration to countless head coaches who have followed in his wake. What a legacy!
I bet hearing that gave Finebaum a major woody.
A few nibbles here, a few nibbles there:
Evidently you don’t need much more than that to be considered worthy of serving on a football playoff selection committee.
“No person is better equipped to handle the pressure that would go with being on that committee than an ex-coach,” former Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum told ESPN.com. “We’ve seen a lot more pressure than being on a poll.”
That explains why they do such a bang up job with the Coaches Poll.
Random bits and nuggets to nosh on:
Filed under Academics? Academics., Big Ten Football, Bobby Bowden: Over His Dead Body, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics, The Blogosphere, The NCAA
Grab your plate and get your day started…
- I missed this when it was initially posted, but Ivan Maisel shares something Texas AD DeLoss Dodds has to say about slowing down the conference expansion talk: “Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds believes all the nerves on edge because of expansion could be calmed if the NCAA passed legislation removing the minimum of 12 members needed to stage a conference championship game. Then there would be no need to add members in order to jumpstart revenue…” Okay, but then what would be the point of playing a round robin schedule in the Big East or Pac-10?
- This isn’t about football, but I’m not pleased that Kentucky was able to out-recruit Georgia for this student-athlete. A school with our obvious resources should never lose out on a player like Fetch.
- Spencer Hall is rather colorfully upset with Turner Gill’s decision to ban cursing at Kansas’ practices.
- Bobby Bowden’s tower stood empty on FSU’s first day of spring practice.
- The header on Mike Hugenin’s preview of South Carolina says it all.
- Don’t miss this look back at one of my favorite Dawgs of all time, Jake Scott. I think of him every time I walk up to Stegeman.
- And cocknfire posts the mother of all did-Urban Meyer-do-Tim Tebow-right examinations.
No snow, federal holiday… things could be worse.
- Bobby Bowden wasn’t too keen on the coach/ambassador slot FSU offered him to clear the way for Jimbo Fisher to become head coach: “It reminded me of Barney Fife. They gave him a gun, but they won’t let him put the bullet in there.”
- Regardless of whomever winds up starting at quarterback, Aaron Murray is pretty pumped about Georgia’s offense this season: “We have an unbelievable offense for next season. You look at the offensive line; we have, like, seven or eight [players with starting experience]. The skill positions are unbelievable. It’s not going to be all on your shoulders. We have a great running game, two great young running backs. With that offensive line, we should put up some great numbers on the running game.”
- The sports media adapts – at least, the writers do.
- Jon Tenuta’s career arc begins to descend.
- Matt Melton does his annual SDPI thing, starting with the ACC. Surprisingly, Georgia Tech wasn’t as dominant on offense, or as mediocre on defense as the common wisdom made the Jackets out to be. But that Virginia offense was every bit as putrid as we thought.
- Earlier, I missed this quote from Terrence Cody on a college football playoff, but I take it he’s not a fan: “That’s stupid,” Cody said earlier this week. “I don’t think there should be any playoff. Why should there be a playoff? I mean, in the NFL they’re getting paid to play off and stuff.”
- More antitrust logic from that bastion of clear thinking, Bleacher Report. Dude, among several things you don’t get, the NCAA has nothing to do with the money from the D-1 football postseason.
- Trojan Football Analysis takes a look at Monte Kiffin’s defensive philosophy and draws this conclusion: “Bottom line I don’t expect a whole lot of change in terms of defensive schemes…but I do expect better results than the defensive debacles versus Oregon and Stanford in 2009.” Maybe so, but a quick look at Tennessee’s defensive stats last season don’t indicate that Monte had particularly great success against spread attacks.