Jan. 1, 2000
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – There are Bowdens all over the place in New Orleans this
week, mostly to see if the family patriarch, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden,
can get his first perfect season in his 34th year as a coach.
Clemson coach Tommy Bowden was at Florida State’s Saturday practice, joking
with Seminoles assistants and friends around the program where his father has
coached for 24 years.
Tommy Bowden watched the practice inside the Louisiana Superdome where he
led Tulane to a 12-0 record in 1997 before taking the Clemson job. In three
years as a coach, Tommy Bowden has a 24-10 record, only 279 victories shy of
Brother Terry Bowden, the former Auburn coach and ABC commentator, attended
Friday’s practice. Terry Bowden coached Auburn to a perfect season in 1993.
All six of Bobby and Ann Bowden’s children and 21 grandchildren were
expected to attend Tuesday’s national title game.
NO MOORE: Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said defensive end Corey Moore
wanted to apologize for a profanity-laced tirade on Media Day after he was
asked an innocuous question about his New Years Eve plans. Moore, however,
doesn’t plan to talk to reporters anymore before Tuesday’s big game.
JORDANESQUE: Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke was at first base for
Knoxville in the Toronto Blue Jays system when retired NBA superstar Michael
Jordan got his first professional hit when he played for Birmingham.
Weinke, 27, played minor league baseball for six seasons before giving up
the sport to return to football.
Weinke was recruited to Florida State out of high school in St. Paul, Minn.,
but left before classes began in 1990 to sign a $380,000 baseball bonus with
the Blue Jays. When he left the campus, Bowden told him to call him if he ever
changed his mind.
Just in case Bowden might have changed his mind, Weinke also talked with
Alabama, Arizona, Minnesota and Washington.
QUOTE: “We’ve got so many ex-quarterbacks in our offense I’d be the last
guy to throw the football,” Florida State tailback Travis Minor said when
asked if he might throw an option pass in Tuesday’s game against Virginia Tech.
No. 1 Florida State (11-0) vs. No. 2 Virginia Tech (11-0) at New Orleans, 8
Florida State by 6.
Florida State leads 18-10.
1991, Florida State 33-20.
Career Bowl Records
Florida State 16-9-2, Virginia Tech 4-8.
Last Bowl Appearance
Florida State lost to Tennessee 23-16 in the 1999 Fiesta Bowl, Virginia Tech
beat Alabama 38-7 in the 1998 Music City Bowl.
Common Opponents This Season
Florida State beat Miami 31-21, Virginia Tech beat Miami 43-10.
Florida State won at Clemson 17-14, Virginia Tech beat Clemson 31-11.
Florida State won at Virginia 35-10, Virginia Tech won at Virginia 31-7.
Bobby Bowden, 24th season at Florida State (230-53-4, 303-85-4 overall),
Frank Beamer, 13th season at Virginia Tech (88-59-2, 130-82-4 overall).
Florida State- The Seminoles are back in the national title game a year after
losing it to Tennessee. But junior QB Chris Weinke is healthy this time around
and that makes a world of difference. The strong-armed Weinke (3,103 yards
passing, 25 TDs) knows how to find electrifying WR Peter Warrick and his less
heralded running mates. Warrick (71 catches, 12 TDs), a first-team
All-American, is the best player in the country. But he cost himself a shot
Heisman Trophy when he was suspended for two midseason games for his part in a
department store shoplifting scandal. When he has the ball, Warrick is the most
elusive college runner since Barry Sanders. He can stop on a dime and change
direction without compromising his speed. Weinke sometimes throws off his back
foot when pressured, which can lead to INTs. Shifty TB Travis Minor had 815
yards rushing. This is not a vintage Florida State defense. The unit looked
vulnerable in victories over Georgia Tech, Miami and Florida, especially
against the pass. Stellar NG Corey Simon is a first-team All-American, as is PK
Sebastian Janikowski, whose long leg is a legitimate weapon. The experienced
Seminoles are used to big-game pressure and they will probably try to rattle
the green Hokies.
Virginia Tech- Don’t be discouraged by the Hokies’ soft schedule. They are as
talented and balanced as any team in the nation and they clearly belong in this
game. The Big East didn’t provide much stiff competition but the Hokies
manhandled most of their foes. Tech faced two key tests – an early-season
battle with Clemson in which the defense scored two late TDs to blow open a
close game, and a near collapse at West Virginia that clutch PK Shayne Graham
salvaged with a 44-yard FG on the game’s final play. The achievements of
redshirt freshman QB Michael Vick are mind-boggling. He led the nation in
passing efficiency, finished third in the Heisman balloting and was named a
second-team All-American. Not a bad rookie year. Vick is a rare talent with a
tremendous arm and great feet. He is yet to face much adversity, however, and
he must maintain his composure against the veteran FSU defense, especially if
things go bad early. VTU can pound it on the ground with RB Shyrone Stith
(1,119 yards rushing, 13 TDs) or go deep to big-play WR Andre Davis (12 TDs).
First-team All-America DE Corey Moore (17 sacks) is one of the nation’s best
defenders. He spearheads a swarming unit that wants to hit Weinke hard and keep
Warrick wrapped up.
Streaks, Stats and Notes
It is the 13th time the two top-ranked teams in the nation have met in a
bowl game. … FSU could become the first team to be No. 1 wire-to-wire since
the AP began a preseason poll in 1950. … In the history of the AP poll, every
No. 1 team that has won its bowl game has won the national title. … In 46
years of coaching, Bowden has never had a perfect season. … Florida State won
its only national title in 1993. … FSU was unbeaten in 14 straight bowl games
before dropping two of its last three. … Bowden is 16-5-1 in bowl games. …
FSU has an NCAA-record 13 straight 10-win seasons. … Weinke missed last
season’s Fiesta Bowl with a neck injury. … FSU allowed just 98.8 ypg rushing
and 15.8 ppg. … Janikowski has won the last two Groza Awards as the nation’s
top kicker. He is considering leaving school early for the NFL. … OG Jason
Whitaker is FSU’s fourth first-team All-American. … FSU was tied for fourth
in the country in scoring offense (37.5 ppg). … Virginia Tech led the nation
in scoring offense (41.4 ppg) and scoring defense (10.5 ppg). … Tech crushed
Syracuse 62-0 and beat Boston College 38-14 in the season finale. … VTU
ranked third in the land in rushing defense (75.9 ypg) and total defense (247.3
ypg). … DE John Engelberger and LB Jamel Smith were chosen as second-team
All-Americans. … Vick passed for 12 TDs and rushed for 8. He threw just 5
INTs. … Davis averaged an eye-popping 27.5 yards per catch. … RB Andre
Kendrick (645 yards rushing) averaged 6.3 ypc. … Moore won the Lombardi
Award, given to the nation’s best lineman.