THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Did Florida State’s struggles this decade tarnish Bobby Bowden’s legacy in any way?
Olin Buchanan’s answer:
Bowden’s legacy cannot be tarnished. He took over a Florida State program that had managed five wins total in the three seasons before he arrived and turned it into a national powerhouse. Bowden’s legacy will be two national championships and 14 consecutive top-five finishes. And his struggles this decade? Well, under Bowden, Florida State managed 84 wins this decade. That’s not bad. Legendary Grambling coach Eddie Robinson won 67 games in his last 10 seasons, and each of his last three teams had losing records. But Robinson is remembered as one of the greatest football coaches in the history of the game. That’s Bowden’s legacy, too.
Tom Dienhart’s answer:
I think they did. Florida State’s monstrous run from 1987-2000 – which included top-five finishes in The Associated Press poll every season – was unprecedented. And the Seminoles won two national titles (1993 and ’99) during that streak. But from 2001-09, FSU posted a 73-42 record with just two league titles. FSU went from being the college football power to a middling ACC program that struggled to keep pace with the likes of Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech, among others. And now there’s some thought that the Seminoles may have been passed in pecking-order prestige in their own state by USF. Bowden was loved and will be missed, but it was time for him to go.