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Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

BCS notes: Bowden not likely to attend game

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Bowden likely won’t attend tonight’s game

Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, who always dreamed of coaching at the Rose Bowl, was in town with a weekend function for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Tonight, he could watch the Seminoles (13-0) try to win the program’s third national title as they face the Auburn Tigers (12-1) in the BCS Championship Game.

More likely, Bowden, 84, will retreat to his hotel room, where he can watch the game in peace. Bowden, FSU’s coaching patriarch, said he can never watch a game in public because “somebody wants me to meet their grandmamma or take a picture with their girlfriend.” Bowden has trouble saying no to anyone’s request.

Previously, Bowden had planned to stay in Tallahassee. Since being forced out following the 2009 season, Bowden has taken great pains to not interfere with his successor, Jimbo Fisher. So if Bowden stays at his hotel, it would be consistent with his stance in retirement.

Texas tough

Kirk Bohls, a columnist with the Austin American-Statesman, began his Sunday morning question to FSU coach Jimbo Fisher like this:

“I don’t know if you followed the Texas coaching search at all …’’

The ballroom broke into laughter. Even Fisher chuckled a bit.

Early speculation had Fisher at the top of Texas’ list, even after he signed a contract extension with FSU, but the Longhorns hired Louisville coach Charlie Strong.

“I think you’ve got a very, very good coach,” said Fisher, who constantly matched wits with Strong when they were coordinators in the SEC.

Thorough preparation

Fisher said he keeps a book on every coach and coordinator he has faced for the past 10 or 15 years.

“Every practice schedule when we face somebody, everything we did, every film breakdown, every analogy, things we’ve done well, things we’ve done poorly, things we’d do different in a game, big plays, critical plays, what they called when the game was on the line … we keep a file on everybody,” Fisher said. “You file them away. When you play them again, you pull them out and see how they change or what they’ve done. In this business, you cross over so much.”

Channeling Dr. Phil

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, who took over a program that was 3-9 and 0-8 in the SEC, is playing for a national title tonight. Even though he predicted Auburn would have the biggest turnaround in college football this season, that one-season transition is still astounding.

“We did a lot of Dr. Phil-ing early, and our guys came together and they believed,” Malzahn said. “Our seniors kept our team together. This is truly a team. We’re not a group of individuals. … Auburn is a great program and used to winning championships, so I knew that we were going to get it turned around. I didn’t know how quick.”

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