Florida State is ranked No. 1 in the country, returns 15 starters – including the Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback – and has one of the more manageable schedules in all of college football.
In other words, the Seminoles have at least a decent chance of repeating as national champions.
“I’ll be honest with you,” Florida State legend Bobby Bowden said on The Morning Show. “The way I feel about it, they got as good a chance as anybody. No. 1, they got some great players, the head coach (Jimbo Fisher) is a dadgum good football coach and the quarterback might be the difference. There’s probably, right now, about six teams that are good enough to win a national championship, but can’t but one of them win it. But that quarterback at Florida State, he might end up being the difference, if he can stay healthy.”
That quarterback, of course, is Jameis Winston, who is coming off a historic season in which he threw for more than 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns as a freshman. Given Florida State’s schedule – the Seminoles don’t face a team ranked in the preseason Top 15, and their two toughest games (No. 16 Clemson and No. 17 Notre Dame) are at home – Winston should have his squad in the College Football Playoff.
Which, Bowden, by the way, isn’t a fan of.
“No, I’m old school,” he said. “The way we did it, they got the 1 and 2 straight. I’ve always had this fear. You go in there with four teams (with different records and resumes) and (the worst of the four) ends up winning the darn thing. Now you have people fussing the rest of your life. When you had a 1 versus 2, whoever won it, that’s it. No argument.”
Ah, college football controversy. It’s almost fall again.
In truth, the Seminoles’ toughest opponent – as cliche as it sounds – will be themselves.
“The biggest enemy (Fisher’s) got is if his boys are just self-satisfied,” Bowden said. “If they’re self-satisfied, they won’t make it. They’ve got to stay hungry. Jimbo knows that. He’ll hammer that right down their throat. The question is, will they believe it?”
Bowden knows this challenge firsthand. The all-time winning coach in college football, Bowden led the Seminoles to two national titles and 12 ACC titles.
“I used to warn our kids every year: ‘Men, we must not be self-satisfied – because everybody’s after you now,’” Bowden explained. “‘Every time you play a dadgum ball game, you’re the game they’ve been waiting on.’”
Teams have also had an entire offseason to watch film on Winston and devise ways to slow him down.
“It’s going to be interesting,” Bowden said. “But all i know is, material-wise, they’re probably as good as anybody in the country.”
Bowden also discussed his new book, The Wisdom of Faith, which is due out Sept. 1. The book focuses not on football, but rather, family – Bowden has six kids, 21 grandkids and seven great-grandkids – and, as the title suggests, faith.
Why write this book?
“I’m 84,” Bowden said, chuckling. “When you get to 84, you’re supposed to write a book. There have been books written on me, but it’s all about football. Like I say, I’m working on my finals. I’m in the fourth quarter. I just wanted to express myself on what I thought was the most important thing in the world – and it’s not football. It’s eternal life and what happens to us after we die.”