If you thought for a moment that 79-year-old Bobby Bowden was ready to retire as head coach of Florida State, forget it, especially after his Siminoles routed Wisconsin 42-13 in the Champs Sports Bowl Saturday (12-27-08).
For Bowden, the victory over Wisconsin was like déjà vu, a big-play offense and a hard-hitting, nasty, opportunistic defense getting all over the Badgers, sending them back into the hole they came from. The Siminoles’ special teams got in the Badgers’ faces. When Florida State had to punt in Champs Sports Bowl they had the right player-Graham Gano, the Lou Groza Award winner as the nation’s best kicker. All Gano did was average 48+ yards on 5 punts and place 3 of them inside the 4, including 2 at Wisconsin’s 1-yard line.
Talk about backing your opponent up against the goal line, Gano had just the right touch, earning him the MVP Award. When, if ever, have you hear of a punter getting an MVP Award in a bowl game?
On the defensive side, both Derek Nicholson and Dekoda Watson returned fumbles for touchdowns, Nicholson’s for 75 yards and Watson’s for 51. Talk about excitement. After both teams failed to score in the 1st quarter, Florida State scored 2 touchdowns in each of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters.
Wisconsin was continually starting out deep in its own territory and never really did get untracked. P. J. Hill managed to gain 140 yards on 15 carries for the Badgers, but quarterback Dustin Sherer completed only 4 of 9 for 55 yards during the first three quarters. It was an ugly finish for Wisconsin’s season. Early on the Badgers were ranked as high as 9th in the AP Top 25 Poll, but Wisconsin has always been overrated the last few years. The loss left them at 7-6.
The win put Florida State at 9-4, the Siminoles first 9-win season since 2004. Bobby Bowden is used to better, having hit at least 9 wins in 17 of 18 years before tailing off in recent seasons. Many of his key players return next year, giving him no good reason to quit, even at 80.
The Champs Sports Bowl game was Florida State’s NCAA-leading 27th straight bowl game, improving Bowden’s personal bowl game record to 21-10-1. Bowden has 382 career wins, just 1 short of Joe Paterno’s 383 at Penn State, the major college record. Paterno is 82 years young.
Both Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno will likely be carried out of a football stadium on a stretcher when they quit coaching. These guys are icons and extremely competitive. Even though they would both deny it, each would like to go down in history with the most wins ever, and they prove it every year they return to the sideline.
Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley
Read my other detailed, knowledgeable, interesting articles on college football, including:
“Tulsa the 19th Best Team in Nation? You Must Be Kidding and Here Is Why”
“4 AP Top 25 Teams Have Some Proving to Do-Missouri, Texas Tech, South Florida and Kansas”
“Meet the Illinois Fighting Illini – The Most Overrated Team in the AP’s Top 25 Poll”
“Famous Quotes by Vince Lombardi, Knute Rockne and Lou Holtz During Football’s Annual Bowl Season”
“How to Predict When Teams Are Overrated and Due for an Unexpected Loss”
“The Sagarin Ratings: What They Are, How to Read Them and What to Do With Them”
Find my Blog at:
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Ed_Bagley/30885