Rumors have swirled this week about the possibility of Florida State University leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference after two decades and moving to another prominent athletic conference, namely the Big 12. Those rumors only intensified when multiple prominent FSU officials stated their interest in the move publicly. But perhaps the most prominent person in the university’s history spoke out today and defended the Seminoles’ presence in the ACC, according to CollegeFootballTalk.
“My message would be stay in the ACC,” legendary coach Bobby Bowden said in a SiriusXM radio interview. “Do you want to win a National Championship at Florida State? You’ve got a better chance in the ACC than you have in the Big 12, or even the SEC.
“You say, ‘Well, gosh, they’re much stronger in those conferences.’ Yeah! They beat up on each other and you can’t hardly get there. You know what? Florida State, wait ‘til you get good enough to rule the ACC then you start looking for someplace to jump. But my opinion? They should stay right where they are.”
Bowden has a career record of 377–129–4 as an NCAA head coach, including 21-10-1 in bowl games; he won 12 ACC championships and two national championships (1993 and ’99) during his tenure at Florida State.
FSU’s longtime coach was ultimately forced out due to old age — he finally announced his retirement on December 1, 2009, weeks after his 80th birthday. He was succeeded by Jimbo Fisher.