More changes in store at Florida State?
Here's why Florida State needs to make a change at the top of its football program.
"I am disappointed in Jeff's decision. I tried my best to encourage him to stay the course, but he was firm in his belief that it is time to move on. This is a big loss to me personally. I would hope that everyone understands that his decision is an emotional one for me, and for that reason I'm not going to discuss it any further at this time."
Those were the senior Bowden's words when son Jeff announced on Tuesday that he was stepping down as the offensive coordinator at FSU following the 2006 season.
Jeff Bowden took over the coordinator duties at Florida State in 2001 when former coordinator Mark Richt assumed the head-coaching job at Georgia.
He inherited an offense that had rung up 37.5 and 42.4 points per game, respectively, in Richt's last two seasons - and basically oversaw its slow demise.
In '01, the Seminoles scored a respectable (for anyone not named FSU) 33.9 points per game. In 2002, it was down to 30.6 points per game.
There was a slight uptick in '03, to 32.2 points per game.
The '04 team was pedestrian by any standard - scoring 25.1 points per game.
After improving to 28.9 points per game in 2005, the scoring is back down to 25.9 points per game through 10 games of the 2006 season - and if you take out the 106 points posted in blowout wins against overmatched Rice and Duke, you're talking about a Florida State offense that scores an average of 19.1 points per game.
For Bobby Bowden not to see this means that he is either completely out of touch with reality - and more than a few people would argue that this has been the case for some time now - or that he simply should never have had his son in that position in the first place.
This was clear when word got out a while back that Bobby Bowden had had to maneuver his staff to make it so that Jeff Bowden reported directly to another assistant coach rather than his father to get around a university nepotism policy.
Which puts this comment from athletics director Dave Hart in a rather interesting light, if nothing else.
"Jeff initiated this conversation with me within the past day or so. At that point, we were on a parallel plane of mutual understanding and agreement that this decision was in the best interest of all concerned and a public announcement should be expedited," Hart said on Tuesday.
"Everyone associated with our football program expresses appreciation to Jeff for his dedication to Florida State University, and we wish him nothing but the best," Hart said.
Is it just me, or were Hart and Bobby Bowden working against each other on this?
(Not to mention the role of the program's boosters - who agreed to pay Jeff Bowden through 2012 to get him out the door.)
Yeah, it's time for a change at FSU - and sooner rather than later.
- Chris Graham