April 14, 2010
ATLANTA — In 34 seasons at Florida State, Bobby Bowden’s name became synonymous with success as he turned a program that was down on its luck when he took over in 1976 into a perennial national contender.
Bowden’s storied coaching career came to an end after the 2009 season, but he won’t be staying away from the game for long.
Bobby Bowden is now the 19th voting member in the Legends Poll — a top-25 college football poll voted on by such legendary former college football coaches as Vince Dooley, Gene Stallings, LaVell Edwards, John Robinson and, as of recently, Bobby Ross.
“Well, what (the poll is) hoping to do is get some people who are real qualified to vote, and nobody’s got anything involved in it,” Bowden said. “I think it’ll be very accurate. I think you’ll get about as good a pickings as you’re gonna get.”
Bowden brings a wealth of experience to a poll that already includes 13 College Football Hall of Fame inductees. In his 44 years as a college football head coach, Bowden won 375 games, good enough to be the second all-time winningest coach in Division I history.
Bowden, who was also a head coach at Howard College (currently Samford) and West Virginia, only had one losing season during his tenure at Florida State. He guided the Seminoles to 32 bowl games, winning 21. He won national titles with Florida State in 1993 and 1999, along with earning 12 ACC championships.
Finding it difficult to step away from such a successful career, Bowden thinks being a voting member of the Legends Poll will keep him connected to college football.
“Yeah, it sure does, because you have to study it,” Bowden said. “You have to keep up with what’s going on. So it’ll revive (my connection to the game).”
The Legends Poll was formed five years ago by Executive Director Andy Curtin to offer an alternative to the college football polls voted on by current college football coaches or members of the media. Each week during the college football season, Legends Poll coaches are provided DVDs of Division I teams throughout the year which they review and scrutinize in an effort to be the most informed college football poll in the country.
The Legends Poll coaches participate in a weekly teleconference to discuss their picks and argue points pertaining to the teams they’re assigned. Bowden feels the level of college football coaching experience represented by the Legends Poll provides a fair and accurate portrayal of the college football landscape from week to week.
“Well, there are guys that you would respect their opinions and the contacts they have,” Bowden said. “You’ve got men that know what they’re doing.”