Bobby Bowden has been the ultimate coach for the past several decades. His win/loss record is incredible and the impact he has made on the game, especially in Florida, is beyond astonishing. He built a school not known for football into a powerhouse. No team was feared like the Seminoles of the 90's, and no coach is as respected as Coach Bowden.
His southern charm and class will never be seen again in the game. Even when critics are everywhere and the love is turning into angry love, Bowden has taken it all in and done his best at all times.
FSU is still rebuilding and have had yet another season that has Seminole supporters everywhere shaking their heads. Bowden has been asked several times this season what the problem is, and why have they not been able to win more games. His response has mostly been the same all year, "... we're really close."
Fact is, he is right, the Noles are really close, but how close?
Not one game this entire 2009 season was FSU blown out. Sure the Clemson score looks bad now but if you watched the game FSU lead most of the game and blew it up in the fourth quarter. The game against USF, same thing, FSU could have won the game but instead blew the game in the fourth quarter. Georgia Tech game, same thing. Miami game, same thing. Are you seeing the same thing I am seeing? Bowden is right, they are really close.
A loss is a loss and a win is a win, we all get that, but anyone telling me FSU hasn't competed this year and is not a good team at all, hasn't watched them play. They have some incredible talent on both sides of the ball as well as some of the fastest kids on one team i have seen. This young team just doesn't know how to consistently win, something FSU has known how to do for decades.
So this brings me to this weeks game against the No. 1 team in the nation, the Florida Gators.
Do the Noles really have a realistic shot of beating UF in "The Swamp?" Absolutely not. But they do have a chance, even if it is slim, they have a chance.
Imagine it now, 5 seconds remain on the clock as UF's solid kicker takes the field to attempt a game winner. Bowden calls a timeout and tries to "ice" the kicker. He and best friend Mickey Andrews tell the Noles to do everything they can to get a piece of that ball.
A few moments later the snap is made, the kicker lunges forward and the ball is kicked. The ball appears to have been tipped just enough as the 51 yard kick falls short and left. People are stunned, the UF players can't move or breathe, and the FSU players jump and yell like they haven't done in years.
The camera zooms in on a close-up shot on Bowden and Andrews are hugging in tears of joy. Tears that have built up for over thirty years. Happiness that the entire FSU community hasn't felt in many years is suddenly floating in the air. UF's coach, Urban Meyer, walks across the field and graciously hugs and congratulates Bowden on an incredible upset win. Bowden, classy as always, tells him how incredible the Gators are.
With cameras and commotion surrounding Bowden, the players pour the Gatorade coolers all over their coach' the seniors then pick up their old coach and carry him off the field. The Gator fans are on their feet applauding not just a man who has been the coaching name of college football for decades but a man who has made football in Florida what it is today.
As Bowden, in tears, is carried of the field, the CBS reporter asks him what he is feeling at this very moment, and Bowden responds, "Not sure I was ever going to feel this happy again on a football field. I told these guys before the game in the locker room that this was going to be my last game as the FSU football coach, and they gave me the best retirement party ever!"
Well, we can dream, right?