College Football is Just Around the Corner

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 21, 2000

Mike Amos Sports Columnist

Believe it or not college football starts in 66 days from today and I can’t wait.

At 1 p.m. Saturday, August 26, the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Kansas State Wildcats do battle in the Eddie Robinson Classic to be played in Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium.

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Six hours later, defending National Champion Florida State kicks their 2000 season off in the Pigskin Classic against Brigham Young at Alltell Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.

On Sunday August 27, there’s another college double-header as the Southern California Trojans go head-to-head with Joe Paterno’s Penn State Nitney Lions in the annual Kickoff Classic to be played at Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands, New Jersey.

The second game of the day will pit the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets against powerful Virginia Tech in the Black Coaches Classic in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Four college football games on the tube to open the 2000 football season. Troy State opens its season in 74 days when they battle Alabama A&M in Huntsville on September 2.

Football fever is already in the air this week at Troy State for the Bowden Football Academy. Over 300 of the South’s finest quarterbacks and receivers are here to receive instruction from Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden and his four sons, Terry, Tommy, Jeff and Steve.

This is the second year that the Bowdens have selected Troy State as the place to hold its camp and so far the relationship has been a good one. Coach Bowden, now 71, is in his 22nd year at FSU and has won 304 games in his career which is only 19 shy of Paul "Bear" Bryant’s Division I record of 323 victories. Bowden’s Seminoles have won two National Championships.

A native of Birmingham, the former Woodlawn High School star got his head coaching start at old Howard College, now Samford University. He later became head coach at West Virginia prior to becoming the head man at FSU.

Terry of course was Auburn’s head football coach for five years. His record the first two years on the Plains was a spectacular 20-1-1. He is now the Co-Anchor for ABC’s College Football Today, seen each Saturday during football season.

Tommy Bowden is starting his second season as head man at Clemson. His team last season finished the year 6-6 after losing to Mississippi State in the Peach Bowl. Prior to that his first two years as a head coach was at Tulane where he posted a fabulous 18-4 record. His 1998 Green Wave team finished with a perfect 12-0 record and a Top 10 finish.

With Bowden at the helm of a football crazy Clemson, there’s a real threat to Papa Bowden’s dynasty in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

In last year’s battle at Clemson, Papa won with a field goal with only a few minutes left in the game. Look for the Clemson Tigers to be one of the top teams in the south in 2000.

Jeff Bowden, the youngest son, is Florida State’s wide receiver coach. He will be the next Bowden to become a head college coach and I’m sure like all the rest he’ll be a good one.

Steve is the only Bowden son that’s not coaching. He is a businessman and runs the Bowden Academy.

You can tell just by watching practice from the top of the banks that the Bowden’s love their football academy. It gives them a time to be together as a family and talk football.

Coach Bowden and his sons have made a tremendous impact on college football and when "PaPa" decides to step down one day, I’m sure there will be another Bowden to take his place.