One Dream Come True For Bowden

By Adam Caparell - September 28, 2007

To say the Seminoles, with their No. 19 preseason ranking, were overrated as the 2007 season kicked off would be an understatement.

Bobby Bowden's revamped coaching staff had many, including me, believing the Seminoles would return to glory in the ACC this season, but so far Florida State looks lost offensively with few signs of improvement coming after the season's first three weeks, despite new offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher's best efforts.

The Seminoles find themselves in the bottom third of just about every major offensive statistic nationally and now for their fourth game of the season get to face No. 22 Alabama in Jacksonville, a team who is seemingly putting behind years of struggle under new coach Nick Saban.

Funny how quickly things can change.

So what can we expect from the Seminoles against the Tide? For one, Bowden hopes the week off the Seminoles just had will have served them well. After all, there were certainly plenty of things to work on during the down time, none more glaringly than the play of quarterback Drew Weatherford who connected on only eight passes in the Seminoles incredibly unimpressive 16-6 win at Colorado two weeks ago.

"We still have enough question marks out there that we don't know the answer to yet and maybe we will find them out as we go along," Bowden said. " We just hope don't kill us while we are finding out."

But don't let Bowden kid you. He's quietly been preparing for this game with Alabama in some shape or form for almost three decades now. Since he grew up in Alabama, Bowden has never been shy about the fact he was a huge Crimson Tide fan. And when he landed the job at Florida State, Bowden tried to convince Bear Bryant to play the Seminoles by luring him to Florida with a few rounds of golf. Bryant never budged and the game was never scheduled, but that all changes Saturday when the two teams meet for the first time since 1974, two years before Bowden has hired.

"It will be exciting, I'm sure," Bowden said. "When I was a youngster, Alabama was my team and I lived and died with Alabama. It will be a different experience now on the other side."

And maybe it'll be a different experience in another way for Bowden and his Seminoles Saturday considering they haven't beaten a ranked opponent since the 2006 season opener.

Weekly Picks

Last Week: 2-3 | Season: 12-8

Florida State (-2.5) over No. 22 Alabama
Very surprised the Seminoles are favored - even in a neutral field in Jacksonville. If the Seminoles can get their ground game going, then they have a good shot at knocking off the Crimson Tide who have not done a good job stopping the run. One of these days Drew Weatherford is going to break out. I don't think he does it in this game against a pretty good secondary, but I think he does enough to win the game - after all, Florida State has had two weeks to prepare for this game and they're more than capable of slowing down the Alabama running attack (and the success of the 'Bama offense is largely predicated on the run). I don't care what the oddsmakers say; it's an upset if FSU wins because on paper they shouldn't.

No. 11 Oregon (-5.5) over No. 6 Cal
Earlier in the week I liked Cal. But I've been swayed. Oregon's the pick in the biggest game of the day because the Cal defense is vulnerable and Dennis Dixon and the Ducks can take advantage of their superior offensive speed. We're going to see points scored - the Oregon defense can give up their fair share of yards and scores, but so can the Bears.

No. 9 Wisconsin (-7.5) over Michigan State
The Wisconsin defense has been disappointing to say the least and this is a game a lot of people have pegged as an upset based on Michigan State's early season penchant for putting up points. But the Michigan State defense is not as good as they look on paper. They've played nobody on their way to a 4-0 record and suffer their first loss of the season to the Badgers, who seem to be doing just enough to wins games they otherwise should cruise in. Probably do the same in this one.

No. 13 Clemson (-3) over Georgia Tech
Haven't liked Clemson all year - I've picked against them twice so far - but I'm jumping on the bandwagon this week. The Yellow Jackets two best players are banged up in Tashard Choice and Phillip Wheeler and Tech is a much more impressive team on paper than on the field (wins over Notre Dame and Samford, losses to No. 12 BC and Virginia). This is usually a high scoring affair between the two - the two have combined to average roughly 53 points per game. I think it's a fairly close one, but the pick is Clemson. Cullen Harper can move the ball against the Yellow Jackets.

No. 1 USC (-21) over Washington
I think Washington and Jake Locker could put a scare into the Trojans with the linebacking corps plagued by injuries. But I think its only fleeting. USC's running game has been tremendous and the Huskies have done an awful job stopping the run. The Huskies have given up almost 600 rushing yards in their last two games. I wouldn't expect John David Booty to have a big game because he won't need to. All USC has to do is run the ball like they basically did on every play against Nebraska two weeks ago. Get ready to be reaquainted with Stafon Johnson, C.J Gable and Chauncy Washington. You're going to see plenty of them.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 04:27 PM on September 28, 2007

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