Last week Florida State confirmed that legendary former Seminoles head coach Bobby Bowden will be returning to Doak Campbell Stadium for the first time since he was unceremoniously forced out in 2009.
For the first time since that announcement nearly two weeks ago, Bowden has addressed why he finally decided to return home after being away for nearly for years.
First and foremost, it’s what Bowden has stated on numerous occasions in the past. He simply wanted to give his successor, Jimbo Fisher, some space sans his legendary shadow looming over the rebuilding of the FSU program.
From Bowden’s conversation with the Tallahassee Democrat:
“I just have not been in a hurry to get back,” Bowden said.
“I really wanted to give Jimbo some space. I know what it’s like to have somebody looking over your shoulder, everyone comparing, everybody saying, ‘Why don’t you do it this way?’
“I know it’s best for the head coach to leave town, if he’s been there a long time. If I had only been there three or four years, it wouldn’t have made any difference.”
The other reason for his decision to return? It’s pure dadgum Bowden.
“The university wanted to do it, they asked me and I went along with it,” Bowden flatly stated to the Democrat.
The 83-year-old Bowden will actually make two returning trips to the field named his honor and was a big part of his 377 career wins, the most ever at the FBS level. The first will come Oct. 26 during a game against North Carolina State. The second, Nov. 16 vs. Syracuse, will be a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the school’s first national championship team.
The October return will come a year and a half after it was announced Bowden would be returning as part of the 2012 class of FSU’s Hall of Fame.
The bowl game named after a pirate is moving to a pirate ship. No, seriously.
In an ‘only in college football’ type of move, former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy is reporting that the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl is moving from St. Petersburg’s Tropicana Field (home of MLB’s Rays) to Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium (home of the NFL’s Bucs).
The move is being framed as being a way to boost attendance for the game after several years of lackluster crowds at the rather remote baseball stadium in the Tampa area. Raymond James is no stranger to hosting bowl games, serving as the home of the Outback Bowl as well as hosting the national title game in 2017 between Clemson and Alabama.
The Gasparilla Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN and will pit teams from the American against a squad from either the ACC or Conference USA on December 20th.
Another former Power Five player has decided to ply his football wares at a lower level of football.
The latest to do so is Romeo McKnight, with Illinois State announcing via Twitter that defensive end will be continuing his collegiate playing career for the Redbirds. Because ISU plays at the FCS level, McKnight will be eligible to play in 2018.
Including this upcoming season, the lineman will have three years of eligibility remaining.
The announcement from ISU comes a little over a week after McKnight decided to transfer from Iowa.
McKnight was a three-star member of Iowa’s 2016 recruiting class. In large part because of a knee injury that cost him the entire 2017 season, the defensive lineman never played a down for the Hawkeyes.
Another of the handful of Clemson defensive linemen who have transferred thus far this offseason could be close to finding a new home.
Reports surfaced Tuesday that Josh Belk will be visiting a pair of SEC schools this week — Georgia and South Carolina. The latter will play host to the ex-Tigers lineman on Wednesday, the former a day later on Thursday.
Belk was a four-star member of Clemson’s 2018 recruiting class. Because he enrolled early and attended classes, he’ll be forced to sit out the 2018 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. Beginning with the 2019 season, the South Carolina would have four years to play four seasons.
In the middle of last week, Belk announced his decision to transfer from the Tigers.
In addition to Belk, three other Tigers defensive linemen have transferred this offseason. In late January, Jabril Johnson opted to leave Clemson and ultimately ended up at West Virginia; two weeks later, Sterling Johnson took to Twitter to announce his transfer before moving on to Coastal Carolina this month. Quaven Ferguson, arrested for armed robbery in March, had announced his transfer as well prior to that off-field incident.
Yeah, this is absolutely fantastic. And extremely impressive.
Up until now, Olive Sagapolu has been mainly known to most nationally for his prowess on the football field. Entering his fourth-year season in Madison, Sagapolu has started 23 games during his time with the Badgers, including 10 in a 2017 season that saw him earn honorable mention All-Big Ten honors.
As it turns out, though, Sagapolu’s athleticism isn’t confined to merely on the field as, in this video sent out through UW’s official football Twitter account, the 6-2, 336-pound starting nose tackle lands a backflip on a beach in Hawaii.
To repeat: the man in that video weighs 336 pounds. 336 pounds.
Then again, it shouldn’t be all that surprising given the fact that Sagapolu spent a portion of his senior year at football powerhouse Mater Dei High School in California as a member of the varsity cheerleading squad. Seriously.
“In a way, (cheerleading) does help because it shows how athletic I can be and I’m getting,” Sagapolu said by way of 247Sports.com way back in August of 2015. “I mean, I’m about a 300-pound guy doing a backflip. You don’t really see that a lot. Doing these other kinds of tricks also helps with hand-eye coordination. It does help with football. …
“(People) were definitely surprised seeing me on the cheerleading team. They thought it was funny seeing… a big guy like me. For me, it is shocking to see the reaction from people’s faces. … Just the whole thing about cheerleading is very different from football. It was something I wanted to do for my senior year and have fun with it.”