October 26, 2003 - by
Notes From The Desk of Assistant Athletic Director/ Sports Information Director Rob Wilson

Notes From The Desk of Assistant Athletic Director/ Sports Information Director Rob Wilson

/graphics/spacer.gif” width=5 height=4 border=0> Bobby Bowden carried off the field following Saturdays win
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Bobby Bowden carried off the field following Saturdays win

Oct. 26, 2003

The television networks are in as tough a battle as they have been in a long time with regards to who they choose to televise. The sluggish economy has effected advertising budgets hardest and the belt-tightening has hit the sports programs hard. The emphasis on televising games that will get good ratings is as important as it has been in years, which may result in the networks exercising six-day options on naming which games they will show to insure they get a premium match-up. With that in mind, it was another win for the ACC last week when ESPN elected to put the Florida State at Virginia game on ESPN and the SEC match-up of LSU vs. South Carolina was on the deuce (ESPN2).

The first BCS standings were released this week with Florida State listed at No. 5. The system uses a combination of the AP polls, coaches poll, and select computer polls to determine the teams who should meet in the national championship game. Seminole faithful should take heart in the fact that FSU was also fifth in the first BCS polls released in 1998 and 2000, and each season went on to play in the BCS championship game.

Perhaps the most surprising statistic to come out of FSU’s win at Virginia, at least in talking to folks who watched the game on TV, is that the Cavaliers converted just 5-of-14 third downs. In addition, the Seminole defense limited Virginia to less than 100 yards total offense in the second half. The Cavaliers changed their offense for the FSU game as they came in as the ACC’s second leading rushing team, then ran the ball a total of seven times the entire game.

One Seminole fan got a big thrill in Charlottesville. President T.K. Wetherell flew to Charlottesville on a private plane after attending the press conference to officially welcome Boston College into the ACC on Friday. The control tower in Charlottesville sent word through the pilot to the “No. 1 Nole” that we had better win or he’d be one lonely Seminole in Cavalier country. Wetherell, who was a licensed pilot before becoming Speaker of the House, leaned into the cockpit and talked to the shocked FSU alumnus via radio as the plane taxied to a stop.

FSU’s men’s and women’s cross country teams have enjoyed good seasons so far and both are ranked among the nation’s Top 30. However, voters may need to look at their numbers again as FSU’s women beat the #11 ranked team at one of the top meets in the east a couple of weeks ago, but didn’t move up much.

You’ve got to give kicker Xavier Beitia credit for a great sense of humor. Long after the Miami game was over and players were clearing from the locker room, Beitia suggested to sports information staff that they point out that he was now 1-for-2 on last second kicks against the Hurricanes.

A few concerns about the pre-game music have drifted into the Moore Athletic Center and the answer is simple. Coach Bowden developed the new Unity Council on the football team made up of players from all classes who could give voice to the feelings of the team. The first on their list was the hope of some different music before the Marching Chiefs take over. They didn’t want to interfere once the band gets going, but were hoping for music that had a little more appeal to them as they warmed up. I was tickled to hear three of the same songs we play blasting from the speakers at UVA last week.

ABC announcers Brad Nessler, Bob Griese and Lynn Swann went above and beyond the call of duty while here for the Miami game. The three served as guest hosts for the invitation only dinner portion that followed the unveiling of the statue Unconquered. With the time and pressure applied to these three guys when they are on a campus, it was truly a remarkable gesture.

Season ticket holders and Boosters should watch their mailboxes later this week for the Bowl ticket applications. FSU fans should be acquainted with the system which is now in its sixth year. Basically, order whatever tickets you would want for whichever bowl game you would like. Once the bowls are announced, your ticket request will be processed if we are chosen for that bowl. The exception is if demand forces a limit on the number of tickets a person can order, which did happen when we played Tennessee in the Fiesta Bowl and Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl.

It is important to remember that the Division within the ACC is used solely for football at this point. The athletic directors will meet later to decide if basketball will play the divisional alignments. We will play all the teams in our division along with our permanent partner Miami. Each ACC team will then play two of the teams from the other division and these will rotate. Over the next two seasons, we will not play Georgia Tech or Virginia Tech from the other division. So we will play two from the list of Virginia, North Carolina and Duke.

We have sold every ticket to every football game this season in Doak Campbell Stadium. Student pick-up for tickets has been outstanding and we will set an all-time season attendance record by the end of the year.

I know we are all sensitive to this, but I agree with many who have pointed out to me over the this week that we would have not have gotten by with just a two-inch wire story had we had any of the following happen to us: have our head coach rumored to linked to a slush fund for players, had our basketball coach singled out for cheating at a national convention, had our top receiver arrested for DUI, had our All-America candidate running back arrested for criminal trespassing, to name a few. Wonder where these stories were in your local paper? So do I.

The Wake Forest football game featured a number of special attractions. Many of our sports teams were available at the Seminole Village on Langford Green for the Youth Day celebration. It was Military Recognition Day and a number of our proud alumni who serve in the armed forces were on hand to enjoy the game. The Wake crowd was bolstered by the addition of over 3,000 high school band members who took advantage of the annual Band Day, and insures that the Marching Chiefs should remain strong for years to come.

Over 325 schools play Division 1 women’s basketball and your Seminoles’ will play some of the best. In fact, the Seminoles’ strength of schedule preseason rating has been released at No. 14 in the nation and it ranks second among the ACC schools.

FSU’s women’s golf team has won at least one tournament in each of the last three seasons. A recent interview in Golf Digest asked some of the top tour players what the most difficult thing in golf is and one replied winning a team event. The challenge of getting five players to play their best over the same 2-3 day period is rather overwhelming if you’ve ever played the game.

If you are fortunate enough to have tickets to the FSU vs. Notre Dame game don’t miss a chance to see the College Football Hall of Fame. The Hall moved to a permanent home in South Bend and will feature a display that always honors the winningest college football coach. If things fall right, Bobby Bowden’s stuff may be in there the week will play.

Speaking of Coach Bowden having a chance to become the all-time winningest coach, some have asked if we will do a public acknowledgement of the record. We’ll take the lead on this from Coach himself who asked that we not make any “big fuss” at this point. Coach considers Paterno one of his close friends and is not interested in getting any glory – at least for now.

Ron Lunford, who stepped in to play offensive guard in place of Bobby Meeks, is nicknamed Lucky and called that by literally everyone you meet. The tag was put on him as a child by his mother after he fell into a swimming pool as a child and was revived by CPR performed at the seen by his uncle.

Did you know? Bobby and Ann Bowden still live in the same home that they moved into in 1976 when he was named head coach at Florida State. They even have the same home phone number.

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