TALLAHASSEE — Anything is possible.
That will be Florida State coach Bobby Bowden's three-word mantra to his players, and fans, this week as the Seminoles prepare for Saturday's game in Gainesville against No. 1 Florida. The Gators have won five straight in the series, the past two by wide margins thanks to the play of QB Tim Tebow.
"What a task," Bowden said Sunday morning. "What a task."
But anything is possible, right? He knows the Seminoles (6-5) will have to be flawless — a challenge with a neophyte QB (redshirt freshman EJ Manuel will make his third start) — and they will need the Gators (11-0) to be imperfect.
"Upsets are caused by turnovers," he said. "When two good teams play, maybe it's a little different. But when a superior team, No. 1, is playing somebody not ranked, the only thing that neutralizes that is turnovers."
Still, you never know.
Anything is possible.
"That's what makes it fun. That's what makes it exciting," Bowden said. "Your big rivals play this weekend. No matter what their records are, a lot of times it's a good game and maybe it shouldn't be a good game."
AN INTRIGUING MATCHUP: Bowden would face his old rival, Steve Spurrier, if the Music City Bowl on Dec. 27 pairs FSU and South Carolina. Joked Bowden: "I could relax a lot better at the bowl if he ain't there. I'd relax a lot better if Steve ain't there."
COACHING SEARCH: When Bowden interviewed Mickey Andrews 26 years ago, they met up at a Tallahassee fast-food restaurant and had cheeseburgers. You can bet the next defensive coordinator won't be feted at McDonald's, nor will it just be Bowden, despite continued Internet rumors to the contrary.
"It'll be more of a we; it'll be more of me and Jimbo" Fisher, Bowden's anointed heir.
As for a timetable, Bowden said he would "imagine we'll start doing it soon," but don't expect any real progress until after the regular season ends.
"It's not something I believe in rushing into," he said. "What you do is going to last for years. You've got to take your time with it."
THE LAST WORD: Andrews received a truck from his former players and scholarships for his grandchildren from FSU as part of Saturday's celebration of his last home game. So what might Bowden get as a parting gift? Joking in the face of criticism, he said: "A suitcase" so he could "get gone."
Brian Landman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3347.