Orange Bowl Notebook
Seminoles' pre-Bowden coach enjoys festivities
Updated: Thursday January 04, 2001 1:23 AM
MIAMI (AP) -- Florida State's football history is dotted with familiar names -- Deion Sanders, Warrick Dunn, Fred Biletnikoff and even Burt Reynolds and Robert Urich among them.
Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke was hoping to add to the legacy Wednesday night when the No. 3 Seminoles played No. 1 Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.
But Darrell Mudra?
Because while it might seem like Bobby Bowden has been at the school forever, the Seminoles really did have a coach before him. And it was Mudra.
Successful at several colleges in a 30-year career, Mudra earned the nickname "Dr. Victory." He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame last August.
Mudra, who led Arizona to the 1968 Sun Bowl, took over the Seminoles' program after an 0-11 season in 1973.
But in two years at Florida State, Mudra did not duplicate his winning ways. The Seminoles lost their first eight games under the new coach in going 1-10 in 1974 and 3-8 in 1975.
Mudra coached from the press box instead of from on the field. Florida state trooper Billy Smith, who has provided security for Seminoles coaches for 37 years, said the unusual style was not too popular with local fans.
"I made a couple of suggestions to him, in a nice way, that he might think about changing," Smith recalled this week. "So after we lost a couple of games, he came to me at halftime of the Kansas game and said he'd stay on the sideline."
Florida State wound up losing 40-6. After the game, Mudra had a few words for Smith.
"I told you it doesn't make any difference," Smith said Mudra told him.
Smith recalled one other odd thing about Mudra.
"When we traveled, he didn't have any rules. The kids could wear whatever they wanted. You'd see them getting on the plane wearing T-shirts and flip-flops," he said.
"I remember we were getting on board once and the pilot said to me, 'I may not know anything about football, but I know this: If you boys have beaten anyone, they must've been a sorry-looking ballclub,'" Smith said.
Mudra left after the 1975 season and Bowden took over.
The Seminoles went 5-6 in 1976 -- their only losing season under Bowden -- before beginning their rise to national prominence.
Oklahoma linebacker Rocky Calmus says he can't remember the last time he was fully healthy for a game.
He played most of this season with a broken bone above his right thumb, an injury that has since healed. He played last year's game against Oklahoma State with a broken ankle.
During his career, he also has been hampered by a separated shoulder, sprained knee, pulled hamstring, deep thigh bruise and a rib cage problem.
But he keeps on playing.
"I guess I just get it from my mom. She's a tough woman, having me," he said.
Calmus weighed 11 pounds, 11 ounces at birth.
Alex Rodriguez, the Texas Rangers' $252 million man, was a pretty good high school football player.
He attended the Orange Bowl in his hometown Wednesday night - and had a rooting interest, too.
"I was supposed to go to the University of Miami, but that was canceled by baseball," Rodriguez said. "Being a huge Hurricanes fan, I'm very much cheering for Florida State and a small victory, so we can become national champions."
After starring at Westminster Christian High School in Miami, Rodriguez signed a letter of intent with the Hurricanes, who recruited him for both baseball and football.
But he opted instead to join the Seattle Mariners' organization after being taken with the No. 1 pick in baseball's amateur draft.
Sooner or later
Oklahoma is one of the few teams that has held an edge over Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden.
In his 25 years at Florida State, Bowden has faced 60 schools. Only five have a winning record against him, and four of them are 1-0.
The Sooners, however, improved to 4-0 against Bowden's Seminoles with Wednesday's Orange Bowl win. Oklahoma beat Florida State in 1976, then did it again in the Orange Bowls in 1980 and 1981.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is $250,000 richer as a result of the Sooners winning the national championship.
Just getting to the Orange Bowl game gave Stoops a $100,000 bonus; the victory added another $150,000 bonus for the second-year coach.
Stoops' contract pays him $1.4 million annually. He could make a total of $1,957,000 if he reaches all the incentives in the deal.
Antwone Savage and Quentin Griffin both broke Oklahoma's school record for consecutive games with a catch at 18. The record was previously held by teammate Damian Mackey. ... Oklahoma linebacker Terrence Marshall played fullback in the third quarter, his first appearance on offense. ... The Seminoles were shut out in the first half for the second time this season. Miami also shut out FSU in October. Florida State lost both games.