Bowden speaks highly of Howard
Bowden speaks highly of Howard
Bowden: Schnellenberger would have had most wins
Bobby Bowden said that if Howard Schnellenberger had not left UM he would have passed Bowden as college football's winningest coach by now.
BY MIKE PHILLIPS
TAMPA - Where would Howard Schnellenberger be today if he had never left the University of Miami?
It's a thought that even Schnellenberger, who is building a program at Florida Atlantic, contemplates, and he talked about it this weekend during the Florida Sports Writers Association annual two-day news conference.
After lifting the Hurricanes to their first national title after the 1983 season, Schnellenberger left UM for the USFL and later coached at Louisville before coming to FAU.
''If he had stayed at Miami, he would have been past me,'' Florida State coach Bobby Bowen said Sunday. Bowden has 359 victories, the all-time high, but admitted if Schnellenberger stayed at UM, he would have been as revered as any coach in America.
''Howard would have been better than me. That thing was a gold mine at Miami,'' Bowden said. ``Look at the guys who won national titles there after he left. Howard is one of the best coaches I've seen in my 54 years of coaching. Lou [Holtz], Joe [Paterno], Barry Switzer, Howard would have been right up there with any of them. He's so smart. He's not a guy to beat himself.''
Bowden also tackled a tough question about the situation at Florida, where UF coach Urban Meyer might have a quarterback controversy this year between three-year starter Chris Leak and freshman Tim Tebow, who comes to UF with the promise of greatness.
''From what I'm seeing, [Meyer] is saying the right things, and he will probably do the right things,'' Bowden said. ``Leak is his quarterback. The other kid is completely untested. He might be a great one, but Leak's got three years under his belt.
'And I think [Meyer] knows what he's doing there. I've just been reading his comments about him saying `Leak is my quarterback,' and 'he's the guy.' ''
Then Bowden stopped and a huge smile swept across his face as he added with a loud laugh: ``But, boy, he better hope when he puts Tebow in there that Tebow doesn't have a great day.''
That statement brought laughter throughout the room filled with media, and Bowden even laughed again, saying, ``Boy, that's rough there, now.''
Bowden wrapped up the two-day event, which brings in a dozen coaches from colleges and universities around the state. Each coach spoke for 30 minutes, but Bowden brought the house down, speaking for more than an hour before meeting with writers afterward.
Bowden answered questions about opening against Miami.
''No, I don't like opening against Miami,'' he said. ``There's not a good day to play Miami.''
Florida International coach Don Strock spent time talking about the biggest topic at FIU – Strock's ambitious schedule, which includes Miami, Alabama and Maryland.
''It [playing UM] will help recruiting. It has helped fund-raising, and obviously there are financial reasons. Everyone is looking around to see where we are headed,'' Strock said. ``Playing Miami puts us in the local media, and also the national media.''