Farewell, Bobby Bowden...Farewell, Gator Bowl...Hello, History

Scott Pauley@scott.pauleyAnalyst IDecember 15, 2009

West Virginia and Florida State are tied at No. 3, for most appearances in college football’s Gator Bowl.

FSU’s record is much better at 5-0-1, while WVU is 1-5 all-time.

The 2010 Gator Bowl will see these two teams return, to tie them with Florida at No. 2 in all-time appearances. However, this season's Konica Minolta Gator Bowl in Jacksonville will be about much more than just records.

This season, two great eras will come to an end.

Seminoles coach, Bobby Bowden, 80—second all-time winningest coach—will coach his last game for Florida State.

After 43 years of being a head coach, Bowden will hang up is whistle and join the ranks of the elite, retired college football coaches.

Bowden’s legacy will be one that will parallel those like Paul “Bear” Bryant, Walter Camp, Woody Hayes, Joe Paterno, and Bo Schembechler, all of whom are in the College Football Hall of Fame, with Bowden.

Interestingly enough, Bowden left WVU to become head coach at Florida State following the ’75 season.

This game will be an emotion-filled, hard-played game by both the ‘Noles and Mountaineers.

Not only will this be Bowden’s last game, but it will be the final time that a team from the Big East or the ACC will participate in the Gator Bowl. Beginning with the 2011 game, a team from the SEC will go up against a team from the Big Ten.

Both FSU and WVU will have a large following present at the game on New Year’s Day. This year all 77,454 tickets sold out in record time.

While WVU fans always travel well with their team, and can be expected to be there no matter the distance, FSU fans will flock to Jacksonville via a 164-mile trip from Tallahassee to witness the final chapter in what has come to be a great autobiography by Bowden.

West Virginia fans will miss the Gator Bowl and Florida State fans will miss Bobby Bowden.

Nevertheless, neither the teams, nor the fans of these two schools, will allow this great finale to be the true end.


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