Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bobby Bowden talks Jimbo Fisher, current state of college football

Florida State legend Bobby Bowden said when he retired from coaching that he didn't want to retire from life.

Seven years after his last game for the Seminoles, Bowden is still going strong, with plenty of golf and as many as five speaking engagements a week. Bowden, 86, will be in Hillsborough County on Saturday to address a Christian Men United conference at the Plant City Church of God.

In advance of Saturday's speech, the Tampa Bay Times caught up with the two-time national championship coach:

What's impressed you most about the job Jimbo Fisher has done at FSU?

Jimbo had a very difficult job coming into a school where the coach before him had been there for 34 years. It's just hard to follow somebody like Vince Dooley or Bear Bryant — coaches that have been at one place for so long. The amazing thing is what he's been able to do under those circumstances. … I don't know that anybody in the country other than maybe (Nick) Saban has been more successful the last five years than Jimbo. He's got a national championship, conference championships, put boys in the pros. I don't know that anybody could have done a better job than what he's done at Florida State.

What's your relationship like with him?

When I left, I left. I felt like it would not be wise for me to hang around a place I had coached that long and be looking over somebody's shoulder. I purposefully stayed away.

You mentioned Saban. How does what he has done at Alabama compare to what you did at FSU or what Bear Bryant did or Joe Paterno?

He's been there nine or 10 years. What he has done in those 10 years, I don't know if anybody can surpass. … The question keeps coming up, "Who's the best coach: Bear Bryant or Nick Saban?" They ask me. Let it play on out. Coach Bryant's gone. He can't defend himself. He's already got his record out there. Saban's not through yet. Let's let him get through and then say who's best.

Do you follow what Jim Harbaugh has done up at Michigan? What's your reaction?

He's been very exciting. I enjoy reading about him and seeing what all he's doing. He has added a lot of excitement to college football.

You know (former FSU assistant) Mark Richt well. How do you think he'll do at Miami?

I think he'll do well, if he can keep those Miami boys and those boys from down in that part of the state to go to Miami again. It's whoever's going to get the best players. There's plenty of them down in Miami.

Big picture, how has the game changed since you left?

It's changed in style, but it's still blocking and tackling and throwing and catching. I think college football right now is as exciting as it has ever been. I don't like what goes on off the field, but I don't like what goes on off the field in our society, either. But on the field, people like to see a lot of scoring. They don't like those low-scoring ball games. Right now, offenses are ahead of the defenses, and scoring a lot of points.

What's your favorite memory of your time at FSU?

My favorite year was my second year there (1977). My first year — remember, I took a job that had been 1-10. … My first year we had a losing record. We were 5-6. My second year, we won 10 ball games, went to a bowl, won the bowl, got nationally ranked and beat Florida for the first time in 10 years. That was probably my favorite year.

Contact Matt Baker at mbaker@tampabay.com. Follow @MBakerTBTimes.

Bobby Bowden talks Jimbo Fisher, current state of college football 05/12/16 [Last modified: Thursday, May 12, 2016 10:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. A trip down memory lane of Bucs' preseason expectations

    Bucs

    With HBO's Hard Knocks in town and the Bucs opening training camp Friday with their highest expectations in a decade, here's a look back at Tampa Bay's preseason expectations since their last playoff appearance in 2007 — and the results.

    2008

    Jameis Winston and running back Peyton Barber celebrate a touchdown last season against the 49ers. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Get the latest Tampa Bay Buccaneers news delivered daily to your email inbox

    Bucs

    They narrowly missed the playoffs by thismuch.

    Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrates with quarterback Jameis Winston (3) after they connected for a touchdown during a win over the Seattle Seahawks in November in Tampa. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. For starters: Rays at Yankees, in a pretty big series

    Blogs

    The Rays open a challenging road trip tonight in New York, the first of four games against the wild-card leading Yankees.

    Chris Archer will be on the mound for the Rays.
  4. Bucs' O.J. Howard says in NFL, 'it's an SEC game every day'

    Blogs

    Bucs rookie O.J. Howard hasn't played in an NFL game yet, but he already appreciates the grind of an NFL season -- every week can be a loss, perhaps more so than in college football, where Alabama went 12-0 in nonconference, non-bowl games in his three years there.

    Bucs rookie O.J. Howard, shown playing for Alabama in the national championship game in Tampa in January, says every game in the NFL is an SEC game, with no letdowns.
  5. Bucs' Mike Evans wants his 'A' game in 4th NFL season

    Blogs

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans has been in the NFL for three seasons, and in two of them, he's had 12 touchdown catches, setting and then matching his own team record. He made the Pro Bowl for the first time last season, but if you ask him to grade those three years, he doesn't see an "A" product just yet.

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans, shown during an OTA workout last month, said he wouldn't give himself an "A" for any of his first three NFL seasons, despite going to the Pro Bowl and twice catching 12 touchdown passes in a season.