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FSU Seminoles see advantages to bowl game against Wisconsin

Florida State coach Bobby Bowden says he is glad to have a chance to play in Orlando, getting a break from appearances in Jacksonville the past few seasons.

Associated Press

Florida State coach Bobby Bowden says he is glad to have a chance to play in Orlando, getting a break from appearances in Jacksonville the past few seasons.

Coach Bobby Bowden understands the relative importance of his team's berth in Champs Sports Bowl for a Dec. 27 showdown against Wisconsin.

It means two additional weeks of practice and another game, all of which can help the continued development of young players, and Bowden has a bunch of them.

It means the chance to end the season with a win, which, trust us, would be big in the wake of a 45-15 loss to archrival Florida at home.

It means a shot at a ninth win, a number the Seminoles (8-4) haven't reached since 2004. In case you needed a reminder, the Seminoles won at least 10 games annually from 1987-2000.

But in the great scheme of things?

It means a less-than-pressure-packed day.

"Here's how it's changed," Bowden said of the postseason landscape. "If you're not playing for the national championship, who cares? Who cares? You can enjoy yourself. The game's not for the national championship. Everybody cares about the national championship.

"Now you can take all of the other bowls. I don't care whether they're first tier, second tier, third tier, fourth tier, they're all the same. It's a chance for a reward for your players. It's a chance for a reward for your coaches and your coaches' families and your followers. And you want to win it. You want to win it as badly as any game, but the fact that you're playing a team where you don't know any of their players … that's kind of fun."

Numbers game: The Seminoles are going bowling for a 27th consecutive year, the longest current streak in the nation.

"I guess if you coach long enough, a lot of things like that happen," Bowden said. "This year, I (coached) in my 500th ball game, which isn't anything I planned on, it just happened. We won our 300th game at Florida State; I hadn't planned on that, that just happened. Now we've got 27 bowls in a row. That just happened also. But we like that."

What might have been?: Bowden didn't think his players would be disappointed that they were bypassed by the New Year's Day Gator Bowl.

He pointed out that Jacksonville has been a regular stop of late. FSU played West Virginia there in the 2005 Gator Bowl, Virginia Tech in the inaugural ACC Championship Game in 2005, Alabama in a regular-season game in 2007 and Colorado this season.

"I think it was better for us to get to go to Orlando," he said of the change-of-pace trip.

Still on a Roll(e): Junior S Myron Rolle, awarded a Rhodes Scholarship last month, was recently named the 2008 male athlete of the year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus, Ohio.

Did you know?: The Seminoles have met just five of the current Big Ten teams. FSU's record against them: Indiana (1-0), Michigan (1-1), Michigan State (2-0), Ohio State (3-0) and Penn State (1-1-1).

ACC Count: The turnstile count for Saturday's ACC Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium was 27,360, about half the tickets that were sold and distributed (53,927). The game returns to Tampa next year with two years scheduled after that in Charlotte.

soccer honors: Sophomore MF Amanda DaCosta and junior D Becky Edwards were named first team All-America by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, while senior D Sarah Wagenfuhr and sophomore F Sanna Talonen were named second team. FSU has never had four players so honored and the four picks matched national champion North Carolina for most.

The last word: "Jimbo's a man of his word and his plans are to stay at Florida State. He's told me that. He's told our president that. People write that stuff in there like they think he's not a man of his word. We take him as a man of his word so I don't pay any attention to that." Bowden on rumors linking offensive coordinator/coach-in-waiting Jimbo Fisher to the Auburn opening.

Brian Landman can be reached at landman@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3347.

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FSU Seminoles see advantages to bowl game against Wisconsin 12/10/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 11:16pm]

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