Tom Knott: Bowden’s difficulties look worse over time

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Bobby Bowden should have left the college game several years ago.

It serves no purpose to be perceived, fair or not, as a doddering shell of your former self.

That is Bowden in the oversized hat, with no headset, looking to the skies for salvation that never comes.

That is the Bowden who has stayed too long at Florida State.

That is the charge that comes to those college coaching legends who fail to live up to their high standards in their sunset seasons.

Joe Paterno stayed too long at Penn State.

Or so that was the prevailing story line in State College until Paterno wiped the smudges from his Coke-bottle glasses, dusted off his playbook and stuffed an athletic sock into the mouths of his critics by leading the Nittany Lions to an 11-2 record and an appearance in the Rose Bowl last season.

Just win, baby, as Al Davis once put it so eloquently.

That is the antidote to the howls of protest that inevitably descend on those programs accustomed to being ranked in the national polls.

No such turnaround is seemingly within the grasp of Bowden.

His Seminoles have a 2-3 record and look out of it.

And they are not expected to look any better with No. 22 Georgia Tech up next.

Not that Georgia Tech has been the principal focus of the Seminoles this week.

The 79-year-old Bowden has one more year left on his contract, and it has become all the rage in Tallahassee to speculate on whether he will see it to the end.

Or will he gracefully step aside in favor of offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, his anointed successor? Or he will be pushed out the door?

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