Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Lots of Bowdens making news

Some will rush to add Florida State’s academic scandal to the blemishes on coach Bobby Bowden’s long career.

That’s probably not fair. According to reports, as many as 25 players might miss the Dec. 31 Music City Bowl against Kentucky. The cheating reportedly occurred in an Internet-based class.
If that’s the case, it’s difficult to imagine Bowden, 78, being hip to it. This is the same guy who’s demonstrated he doesn’t know the difference between eBay and e-mail.

Though Bowden ultimately is responsible for what goes on in its football program, Internet classes can make it awfully easy for students to cheat.

Incidentally, a scan of’s junior college top 50 prospect list showed four of the top 15 committed to Florida State. That’s an unusually large number for any ACC school, perhaps because the program needs players who can compete right away next season because of the scandal.

At running back, where depth was a problem for Florida State this season, the rivals list shows LaGarrette Blount of East Mississippi CC and Tavares Pressley of El Camino CC in California committed to Bowden’s team.

At Clemson, Bobby’s son Tommy is having problems of his own with academics, as three players have been ruled ineligible for the Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl against Auburn.

The loss of starting offensive tackle Christian Capote isn’t disastrous, but Clemson will seriously miss Nick Watkins and Tramaine Billie. They’re both speedy, hard-hitting senior linebackers whose quickness would have been ideal for the artificial turf in the Georgia Dome, and they rank first and third, respectively, on the team in tackles.

Bowden hopes to improve to 10-3 and post Clemson’s first 10-win season since 1990, but that won’t be easy after those huge defensive losses.

While we’re discussing the Bowdens, it’s impossible to ignore the interest Tommy’s brother Terry has in West Virginia. A lot of analysts are saying Terry should receive strong consideration.

There’s a lot to like about Terry. He is bright, charming and knowledgeable, with a good coaching record (111-53-2) and great blood lines. But he also hasn’t coached since 1998.
He coached his last game before a BCS game had ever been played, before the read-option was invented and long before text messaging became popular. Heck, a lot of people didn’t even have cell phones or e-mail in 1998.

Nine years out of coaching makes Bowden a huge risk if West Virginia hires him.

– Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

Just an FYI, the JUCO commits came well before the scandal fallout was known, also, Rivals is incorrect in that Blount decommitted from FSU a few weeks ago and will be attending Oregon. Regardless Florida State had a top 10 recruiting class befor ethe JUCO commits and before the scandal was made public, so I don't think it had or will have much of an impact on recruiting for next year. I agree with your assesment of Tommy, but not of Terry, I think Terry proved that he can coach well and win in the most difficult conference out there, he's been very close to the game and most notably the major college programs since he's left coaching, I'm sure he's very much aware of the evolution of the offenses.