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October 4, 2009

Bowden not budging

After back-to-back losses to two unranked teams, Florida State on the verge of hitting some lows it hasn't seen in decades.

The 2-3 record is the worst start for a Bobby Bowden coached team since 1983 and the nation's best 27-year run of bowl game appearances is very much in jeopardy. And unless things get turned around quickly, Bowden could suffer his first losing season since 1976 - his first as the Seminoles' head coach.

With the bottom apparently falling out and no real hope on the horizon, the Seminole fan base is in an uproar. Rumors of disputes among the coaching staff and sloppy play on both sides of the football the last couple weeks have only added fuel to the fire.

With such a disappointing start to what was supposed to be a turnaround season, speculation is running rampant that changes on the coaching staff are inevitable and that something could be announced as early as this week. Whether or not that happens this week, later in the season, or at all is uncertain. Regardless, some media outlets are already calling for Bowden to step down at the end of the season. However, the soon to be 80-year old coach says he will go out on his own terms and only when he is ready.

"I will determine my situation with Florida State University, when my move has to come," Bowden said during his Sunday afternoon teleconference. "I already know in the back of my mind when I want to leave here. I won't let some guy's speculation tell me when to move or what decision to make, that will be me. If it has something to do with that it will be based with me and the president of our university."

Most have pointed to January of 2011 as the likely date for Bowden to step down as Florida State's head coach. That's when Jimbo Fisher, who was named FSU's head coach in waiting back in 2007, will earn a $5 million buyout if he isn't named head coach. Given the state of the economy and the university's recent financial struggles, it's unlikely that the school could afford to buy Fisher out and hire another coach or keep Bowden on beyond that point.

This past Saturday, FSU fell behind by 15 points to Boston College but rallied to tie the game in the fourth quarter. However, in the game's final minutes the 'Noles came up short and dropped to 0-2 in ACC play.

While many feel what happened Saturday is another sign that the program is going in the wrong direction, Bowden insists that things aren't nearly as bad as many fans and some in the media are making them out to be.

"Fifty percent of the teams in the country last week got beat," Bowden said. "And 50 percent of them, they are all asking the same questions as you are. This part of football, you lose some and you win some.

"You had a tied ballgame in the fourth quarter and we had a chance to win it. We missed a field goal that would have put us ahead, we had an intercepted pass in our chest that we dropped so we don't score, and then they take it in and score. It's not the first time I've been through this."

With a remaining schedule that features seven straight teams that earned berths to bowl games last season, including No. 23 Georgia Tech this weekend, it's going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for FSU to right the ship enough for the fans to be satisfied. Nevertheless, Bowden still believes he has the right players and coaching staff in place to put a quality product on the field.

"I think there's enough quality on this football team and enough brains on this staff to eventually get this thing together," Bowden said. "We get beat here, we get beat there, we close that, we lose this here and it's just a matter that you can't give up. You can't give up, I refuse to"

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Gene WilliamsGene Williams is the founder and administrator of Warchant.com and writes stories and features covering all of FSU's sports with an emphasis on football and football recruiting. For seven years, Williams hosted a weekly sports radio show in Tallahassee. He currently appears as a weekly guest on 1010 XL Sports Radio in Jacksonville and 1270 The Team in Tallahassee during football season. Williams is also a former ACC correspondent for College Football News (weekly national newspaper), and contributes to The Osceola. Story about Gene Williams & Warchant.com.

Talk about it on the Football Message Board or on the Tribal Council

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