Let me start by saying that I am not a Florida State or Bobby Bowden fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I have respect for what Bowden has done with the program in terms of winning. From 1947 until 1975 Florida State's record was a mere 142-129-13. Since Bowden took over in ‘76, Florida State has gone 296-83-4. The Seminoles have won two titles ('93,'99) and played in two more ('98,'00).
Bowden went 5-6 in his first year with the Seminoles, and has never looked back. In his firsts eleven seasons Florida State went 89-37-3, then in 1987, Bobby Bowden and the Seminoles started a most impressive run that will be hard to top. From 1987 through the 2000 season, State's record was 152-19-1! The first team that came to my mind during that time was Nebraska (149-24-1) who was close, but also had two coaches during that time. Now the Huskers won three national titles in that span, but they did lose in '93 to Florida State in the Orange Bowl giving Bowden his first.
Since the 2000 national title game the Seminoles have only gone 62-28, and have not come close to being considered one of the best in the country. They have still made three BCS bowls, including the first one representing the ACC after the inaugural ACC championship game against Virginia Tech. However, after 14 years of the ACC, the competition has gotten a little stiffer. Wake Forest, prior to last year had only won 29 ACC games dating back to Florida State's first year in 1992. Last year, not only did they win the ACC championship game, they actually went to Doak Campbell Stadium and beat the Noles 30-0. Then, Florida State travels to Winston-Salem, where they have not lost since 1973, three years before Bowden, and get beat 24-21.
I defended Bobby Bowden last year when I heard about boosters saying it was time for him to go. I mean come on who in the hell are they, right? However, with man-genius Urban Meyer at Florida, South Florida's recent success, and Randy Shannon trying to turn around the negative image of Miami, maybe Bowden's time has come. Maybe Florida State should look to some new blood to see if he could compete. It is no secret that Florida is a hotbed for college football recruiting, but Seminole fans and alumni, have to wonder if big recruits are going to start going to the more successful Florida programs.
Bottom line, I think it is time for him to go, but after what he has done for the school, should he be allowed to leave when he wants?