Bowden's big decision, Ole Miss lays an Egg, more Snap Judgments
Oklahoma State's huge loss gives Boise State a clearer path to the BCS
Mississippi State's Egg Bowl win should provide a big recruiting boost
Plus: Clemson's in-state stumble, Tim Tebow's Senior Day intro, more
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida State's 37-10 loss at Florida may have left Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden rethinking his decision to coach in 2010.
After his team escaped Maryland last week, Bowden said he never even gave a thought to the possibility that it might have been his last game at Doak Campbell Stadium. After Saturday's beating in The Swamp, Bowden sounded very different.
"I want to coach next year," Bowden told reporters from The Associated Press and ESPN.com. "Now let me say that I want to go home and do some soul-searching."
That's a drastic shift in tone from previous interviews, and it suggests either Saturday's loss or something that happened this past week has caused Bowden to re-evaluate his status. Last Sunday, Bowden was very careful to point out that he and coach-in-waiting Jimbo Fisher would select the replacement for defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews. Did FSU administrators tell him Fisher would make that call, as well as any critical program decisions in the future? I don't know, but Bowden seems too proud to coach with no real power.
ESPN.com cited a source close to the situation as saying Bowden and Fisher will meet with President T.K. Wetherell and athletic director Randy Spetman as early as Monday to discuss Bowden's future. Depending on what Bowden finds during his soul-search, there could be a monumental announcement this week.
Let he not without sin ...
USC coach Pete Carroll doesn't get to ask "What's your deal?" ever again.
Carroll played the victim two weeks ago after Stanford punched in a late touchdown to break half-a-hundred. He famously asked Cardinal coach Jim Harbaugh about his deal during the postgame handshake.
Up 14 late Saturday, Carroll allowed quarterback Matt Barkley to throw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Damian Williams with 44 seconds remaining. Sure, UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel had just called a timeout, but USC could have handed off until the clock expired.
Had Carroll not whined to Harbaugh, the late toss wouldn't be such a big deal. USC and UCLA are hated rivals, and if UCLA didn't want to get embarrassed, it should have kept USC from scoring. But Carroll seemed so offended when Harbaugh ran up the score. Now, that complaint rings hollow.
So run it up all you want, coach. Just don't get upset the next time someone hangs 50 on you.
Dark day for ACC
I owe the Pac-10 an apology. Last week, as the league's teams beat up on one another, I joked on Twitter that on the East Coast, we call that kind of parity the ACC.
I'm sorry, Pac-10, for even including you in the same sentence as the ACC. You deserve better than that.
How else am I supposed to feel on a Saturday when the ACC's two division champs (Georgia Tech and Clemson) lost intrastate rivalry games to mediocre SEC teams (Georgia and South Carolina)? Maybe both teams were looking ahead to next week's ACC title game, but what does it say about the conference when its two division champs lost to teams that went 4-4 and 3-5 in SEC play?
Sure, it's only one game for both teams. And both teams were playing rivalry games. Neither is an acceptable excuse. Georgia Tech's defense looked like a clean, old-fashioned sieve as Georgia backs Caleb King and Washaun Ealey combined to rush for 349 yards. Meanwhile, Clemson's offense stalled, and C.J. Spiller's Heisman campaign died a slow death on the Williams-Brice Stadium turf.
The two teams will play next week for the conference title, and the Orange Bowl will welcome the winner. But it will take a while for the ACC to earn back the respect it lost on Saturday.
Les is more
Les Miles can learn from his mistakes. The LSU coach bungled the clock at the end of last week's loss at Ole Miss. He did not repeat his mistakes during a critical drive at the end of regulation Saturday against Arkansas.
Last week, Miles allowed valuable seconds to tick off the clock before he called timeout. Later, he appeared to signal for quarterback Jordan Jefferson to spike the ball with one second remaining. This week, down three with no timeouts, Miles and offensive coordinator Gary Crowton made all the right calls, as Jefferson calmly led the Tigers down the field to set up a 41-yard Josh Jasper field goal to force overtime. Jasper made his overtime attempt, and Razorbacks kicker Alex Tejada missed his.
And just like that, the Mad Hatter redeemed himself.
Speaking of LSU's win, it helped clarify the SEC bowl picture, which appears to be nearly set. Here's my best guess of the SEC slate based on Saturday's results. Stewart Mandel will offer full bowl projections Monday on SI.com.
BCS championship: SEC champion (Florida or Alabama)
Sugar Bowl: SEC runner-up (Florida or Alabama)
Capital One Bowl: LSU
Cotton Bowl: Ole Miss
Outback Bowl: Tennessee
Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Georgia
Liberty Bowl: Arkansas
Music City Bowl: Kentucky
Independence Bowl: South Carolina
Papajohns.com Bowl: Auburn
Boise State's lucky bounce
Congratulations to the Boise State Broncos, who might not get stiffed out of a BCS at-large bid after all. Oklahoma's pounding of Oklahoma State eliminated the Cowboys from contention, so if chalk rules on conference championship weekend, it's likely Boise State will face a Big Ten opponent in the Fiesta Bowl.
The most deserving Big Ten team would be Iowa, but the thought of a Boise State-Iowa matchup probably makes Fox executives glad this is their last year in the BCS biz. Don't be shocked if the Fiesta takes Penn State, even though the Nittany Lions lost to the Hawkeyes at home.