According to reports, Florida State University will soon announce offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher as the heir apparent to the Florida State football head coaching position. Of course, this promotion is contingent on the retirement of legendary current head coach Bobby Bowden. Bowden, however, has given no hints as to when that day may come.
With the announcement of Fisher as the next head coach, it stands to reason Bowden will be retiring within the next four years. One of the reasons of the announcement is to satisfy the question any potential recruit may have on who their head coach will be during their time at FSU. Now they have their answer: if not Bowden, then Fisher.
Using that logic to narrow the Bowden window of retirement to the next four years, I predict it will be sooner than many think. I believe next year will be the end of Coach Bowden’s illustrious career at FSU. Here’s why:
- Coach Bowden will have his last regular season home game in Tallahassee against the University of Florida. Florida State ends their regular season against rival UF every year. In odd years the game is played in Gainesville, and in even years the game occurs in Tallahassee. There is no way Bobby Bowden’s last regular season game will be in Gainesville. I guarantee it will be a home game against Florida State’s greatest rival, either in 2008 or 2010.
- On the road against Miami. Using the aforementioned logic, that Coach Bowden will end at home against Florida, he will obviously then coach his last game against the University of Miami in Miami. Part one of what will be his statewide farewell tour. South Florida FSU alumni will be ready to pack Dolphins Stadium.
- The Farewell Tour, Part Two: FSU vs. Colorado in Raymond James Stadium. According to Andrew Carter of the Orlando Sentinel, FSU President T.K. Wetherell is pushing to move one of the Seminoles’ home games to Tampa. Living in Tampa, I know there is a large FSU alumni contingent in the Bay Area. Announcing the 08-09 season as Bowden’s last will mean a guaranteed sell-out and give alumni living in Central Florida one last chance to see their coach.
- Bowden signed a one-year deal. On November 30th, Bowden signed a one-year extension. I know at his age thinking more than one year at a time is a gamble, but why re-negotiate if it wasn’t his last year? Why not sign him to an open-ended contact renewable at the end of each season upon the coach’s request?
To be honest, based strictly on the idea that I didn’t think he would make it to 2010 and won’t coach his final game in Gainesville, I’ve said 2008 will be Bowden’s last year for quite some time. Believe me or not, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is now the writing on the wall is quite evident: Bobby Bowden is done after the 2008-2009 college football season. Over 30 years and 300 wins at Florida State. Well done, Coach Bowden.