So, is this how it ends for Bobby Bowden? Not with a bang, but with a whimper?
Even though the NCAA’s investigation into the FSU online cheating scandal targeted athletes across all sports its the impact on Bowden that is drawing the most attention.
The fact that FSU and Bowden could be forced to forfeit up to 14 games makes it highly unlikely that Bowden will ever surpass Joe Paterno in the all-time wins list. And although FSU says it will fight any attempt to take away victories, some sports columnists wasted little time in proclaiming that it was time for Bobby to go in the wake of the NCAA decision. Another columnist said that this could unfairly hurt his legacy.
Hmm. Seminoles fans will likely view the time to go refrain with disdain since it came from the Tampa Tribune – whose connections with the Florida Gators over the years has always drawn suspicion. If I remember correctly, the late Bill McGrotha once wrote an entire column questioning the Tribune’s motives.
But it’s hard to believe that Bowden would take this push out the door so willingly.
Now more than ever, he will probably want one more season to go out on top with at least a conference championship and a bowl win. And even if he can’t catch JoePa there would be a lot of satisfaction in going out a winner. Of course, don’t even get me started on Jimbo Fisher, who I still think hasn’t proved anything yet.
There will be plenty of times to write Bowden’s football obituary. But I’m not sure that time is now.