nemoran: On a scale of wide left to wide right, how important would you rate the position of kicker?
BOWDEN: Boy, have you ever thought about (I have!) how many national championships we might have won if we had Janikowski every year of my career? We lost so many games because of that. 1987 was a year we played Miami. If I’d have kicked a field goal we’d have won a championship, but I decided to go for 2. I think we might have missed an extra point in that game too.
nole_holds_barred: Who was the greatest athlete you ever coached? I remember meeting you with my dad a long time ago and, you were very kind to us thank you.
BOWDEN: I think the best athlete I ever coached was Deion Sanders. We had other players who were good in their own way. But, I don’t think we ever had anyone with as much natural talent.
RedditCFB: How do you feel about Christian Ponder naming his daughter after you?
BOWDEN: That was one of the biggest honors I’ve ever received. I’ve had a lot of boys named after me. I’ve had a lot of dogs named after me. But having a daughter named after me was a great honor. That was a nice thing for Christian and his wife Samantha to do.
Suprematismo: What was it like coaching against Spurrier back when he was at Florida? Any good stories?
BOWDEN: That was always a great motivating ballgame with Spurrier. The reason is, he was kind of an offensive genius so I always liked it when we’d outscore him, which we did a lot. He’s one of the greatest coaches there has ever been though. Those were great matchups.
blueboybob: You were a head coach for almost 40 years. What were some of the biggest changes in recruiting you saw over that time?
BOWDEN: Biggest change in recruiting is that it just grew and grew. In fact when I first started my career you really recruited through letters. You might visit a practice or something like that but it was through letters and telephone. It’s grown more scientific and it’s really a full-time business now.
yracuse_: What do you think about the new Playoff system? If there were any changes you could make to it, what would they be?
BOWDEN: Well, I could do without the playoff system. Four teams in a playoff vs. two teams voted in; I’ve coached for years and never had a playoff — everything was OK. More teams have a chance to win a nat’l championship. When you look back in the 90s, 14 years in a row we were in the top 5, most in the top 4. That means we would have been in the playoffs; we would have done better! I’m sure it’s going to be good.
ProbeOne: If you could roll back the clock and redo one game from your entire career, what game would you want to coach one more time?
BOWDEN: West Virginia and Pitt in 1970. We had them at 35-8 at halftime. We ended up losing the game 36-35. We played too conservative. I never sat on the ball again after that. Never.
ProbeOne: How surprised were you by the national championship victory last year?
BOWDEN: I was surprised it happened so quickly after Jimbo took the job. It’s usually so difficult coming in behind a guy who’s been coaching for 34 years. But he’s had a tremendous start to his career as a head football coach.
RedditCFB: Mr. Bowden, if someone made a movie about your life, who would play you?
BOWDEN: There were some people that came to see me about making a movie, but they didn’t end up doing it. They talked about, dadgummit, about the guy that played Jack Lengyel in We Are Marshall. Yea, Matthew McConaughey!
FSUNole04: What is your most memorable moment being head coach of FSU? Winning a NCG or was there something not as "impressive" that stands out to you even more?
BOWDEN: The most important game we played was 1980 when we beat Nebraska – up there – they were #3 in the nation and we were underdogs. Back in those days you didn’t beat Nebraska there. But we upset them 18-14. They were on the 3 yard line at the end and they fumbled and we recovered.
It was one of the most meaningful games because up until that time nobody knew who Florida State was.
blueboybob: Coach, I’ve been married 3 years in October. Any advice to make it last 50 years?
BOWDEN: Ha ha. Yeah, number one you have to be willing to give in. As a man, you can’t always have your way. As a woman, you can’t always have your way. You have to give in to each other from time to time. The ones that won’t budge are the ones that don’t last.
RedditCFB: Mr. Bowden, what action do you feel proudest of during your tenure at FSU?
BOWDEN: Well we never went on probation. There was a scandal where some players had received some information about a test but so did the rest of the class.
They took 12 games away from me; a similar situation is happening at Notre Dame — I wonder what the outcome of that will be.
noelq: Hey Coach! Do you think Jameis is the best QB to ever play at FSU?
BOWDEN: Let me say this. He’s got the best start no doubt about it. And he could definitely end up the best, but let’s see how his career goes. A lot of things can happen.
People forget Chris Weinke took us to the NCG 3 straight times. How many quarterbacks have ever done that?
RedditCFB: If you could coach anywhere (except where you already have) where would it be?
BOWDEN: If I could coach anywhere except here it would be Alabama. It has always been my dream to coach for University of Alabama. I was offered the job one time but I felt like I was too old at the time.
roninb: What do you think of the new logo and uniforms? Do you think the change was for the better or worse?
BOWDEN: That’s a sign of the times. Everyone else is doing the same thing. I’m a traditionalist. I was fine with the way it was. If they want to change it, that’s fine. They tried to get us to change uniforms years ago, but we had the best uniforms in the country so I wouldn’t let them.