Bobby Bowden Needs to Keep Quiet on Florida State Leaving ACC

Michael FelderNational CFB Lead WriterMay 18, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 01:  Head coach Bobby Bowden of the Florida State Seminoles watches his team take on the West Virginia Mountaineers during the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl on January 1, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida. Florida State defeated West Virginia 33-21 in Bobby Bowden's last game as a head coach for the Seminoles.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

The chairman of the FSU Board of Trustees spoke out against the ACC. The Seminoles athletic director says the program is happy in the ACC. Jimbo Fisher spoke up, saying the Seminoles should explore all their options to do what's best for the program. (Fisher has since been reeled back into line.)

Derrick Brooks added himself to the mix by saying the talks have already began as the Big 12 has inquired about Florida State. Throw in the president wanting to stay in the ACC, and essentially Tallahassee is the king of sending mixed messages.

So, it is only right that another well-respected member of the Florida State community stand up and speak his piece on the whole realignment fiasco. Bobby Bowden, the longtime Florida State head coach and all around college football legend, has added himself to the mix.

In an interview that will air Sunday on SiriusXM's show "College Sports from All Angles with Jack Arute," the former coach had a lot to say:

Do you want to win a National Championship at Florida State? You’ve got a better chance in the ACC than you have in the Big 12, or even the SEC.

You say, "Well, gosh, they’re much stronger in those conferences." Yeah! They beat up on each other and you can’t hardly get there. You know what? Florida State, wait ‘til you get good enough to rule the ACC then you start looking for someplace to jump. But my opinion? They should stay right where they are.

Pretty strong words coming from Bowden. On one hand, the coach is correct. Contending against Oklahoma and Texas on a yearly basis is infinitely more difficult than trying to beat out the ACC's mass of Virginia Tech and a gang of weaklings.

Sure, Texas is down and Clemson has been solid, but the fact remains that the Big 12 is not an easier route to Florida State's ultimate goal of a title. 

However, that does not mean Bowden should be saying it. Ordinarily, I'm all for separating the messenger from the message, but in this case, when the two are so closely related, it makes that difficult.

Bobby Bowden and his stubbornness are such a large part of why the Seminoles are in the mess that they are in currently.

This past "lost decade" of Florida State football is on Bowden. The hiring of inept coaches on his staff. The refusal to bring Florida State's diet, nutrition and weightlifting programs into the 21st century. The clinging to a dying form of defense by letting Mickey Andrews continue his archaic style.

Ultimately, Bobby Bowden is a big part of why Florida State is behind the curve and needs the cash to play catch-up.

While he is a well-respected figure in the college football world, and he is largely correct on his assessment of the situation, Bowden does not have the cache to tell anyone how to run a program or athletic department.

You sort of lose that right when you seem to do all you can to run one of the most successful programs of the 1990s down into full-blown mediocrity.

What happens with the Florida State Seminoles athletic department and its conference affiliation will be interesting. The department needs the money, but the Seminoles also want to be set up to win a title.

One thing is for sure, the higher-ups will not be turning to Bobby Bowden for advice on running a program in today's college football landscape.