Bobby Bowden Speaks About Florida State and Conference Realignment

By Marian Hinton

Over the last few weeks, rumors have been heating up that Florida State University could be looking to depart from the basketball-friendly ACC and head to the football-first Big XII conference.

Today, former FSU coaching legend Bobby Bowden made his opinion on the matter known.

In an interview that will air on SiriusXM’s College Sports from All Angles with Jack Arute Sunday morning, the former Seminoles head-coach made it clear that he doesn’t feel like his former program is in any shape to be making major changes, and that they need to turn things around before they begin thinking about making a move.

In a transcript from the interview made available by SiriusXM, Bowden told Arute, “My message would be stay in the ACC. Do you want to win a National Championship at Florida State?  You’ve got a better chance in the ACC than you have in the Big 12, or even the SEC.”

(Ironically, since the inception of the BCS, either an SEC or Big XII team has played in title game an overwhelming majority of the time). 

He goes on: “You say, ‘Well, gosh, they’re much stronger in those conferences.’  Yeah!  They beat up on each other and you can’t hardly get there.  You know what?  Florida State, wait ‘til you get good enough to rule the ACC then you start looking for someplace to jump.  But my opinion?  They should stay right where they are.”

Coach Bowden isn’t the first person associated with Florida State to speak out on the matter.

It began when, in response to rumors of the school’s interest in the Big 12,  FSU athletic director, Randy Spetman, publicly pledged his allegiance to the ACC.

Shortly thereafter, the chairman of the FSU Board of Trustees questioned that line of thought, asking, “How do you not look into that option? On behalf of the Board of Trustees I can say that unanimously we would be in favor of seeing what the Big 12 might have to offer. We have to do what is in Florida State’s best interest.”

Current head-coach, Jimbo Fisher, unwittingly added fuel to the fire when he told the media, “There have been no official talks, but I think you always have to look out there to see what’s best for Florida State. If that [jumping to the Big 12] is what’s best for Florida State, then that’s what we need to do.”

Most recently, FSU’s president Eric Barron sent out a letter reiterating FSU’s commitment to the ACC and listing reasons why the Big XII would not be a good fit for the program.

With all the speculation running rampant over the last few weeks, it’s hard to tell fact from fiction.

With all the comments coming from the FSU camp,  it’s also hard to know what is true and what is simply “coach-speak.”

It seems that the Seminoles are indeed committed to staying in the ACC, but the rumors keep swirling for whatever reason.

Either way, at least it keeps us entertained until college football season kicks off.



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