ACC Notebook

Criticism takes fun out for B. Bowden

Wake Forest gets shake-up at running back

College football

October 13, 2006|By Heather A. Dinich | Heather A. Dinich,Sun reporter

There are certain statistics Florida State coach Bobby Bowden is keenly aware of, but an unusual number surfaced Oct. 5 as the Seminoles were on the verge of losing to what was thought to be a much inferior North Carolina State team on national television.

According to calculations from Rivals.com, an estimated - and absurdly high although not record-breaking - 2,100 fans were simultaneously on the Florida State message board, www.warchant.com.

It's probably safe to say most of them weren't happy.

Then-No. 17 Florida State lost, 24-20, to the unranked Wolfpack, and in doing so dropped out of the national rankings and fell to 1-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. It's only the second week Florida State has been out of the Top 25 rankings in past five years, and just the third time in the past 18 seasons.

Bowden, who is college football's winningest active coach with 362 career wins in 41 years, is facing probably the loudest criticism he has heard during the past two decades. What was once mostly directed at his son, offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden, is now aimed toward the head man, as a vast majority of people posting at www.warchant.com are calling for his retirement.

And yes, he said Wednesday, "it takes a little fun out of it."

"It's so criticized," he said of the college football business. "Just like us last week. We lose a ballgame, well then when you get back with your people, that's all they know about, that's all they think about. They don't realize 50 percent of the teams in the country lost last week.

"Has a lot of the fun been taken out of it? Yes. I came here 31 years ago, there's no comparison now to then in regard to the media knowing everything that's going on and then being so critical, which I think is stimulated through our e-mails and things like that. It's a style that's different. It takes a little fun out of it."

Florida State should have a little more fun at 1 p.m. tomorrow when it faces winless Duke on the road.

Shake-up at Wake

After mustering just 31 rushing yards in a loss to Clemson last weekend, Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said he has not been happy with his team's production out of the backfield, particularly the recent play of redshirt junior De'Angelo Bryant.

Bryant, who started the past three games in place of an injured Micah Andrews (torn anterior cruciate ligament), had just 6 yards on five carries against the Tigers. Slated to start tomorrow against a surging N.C. State team is freshman Kevin Harris, who is averaging 6.3 yards per carry.

Though Grobe didn't rule out playing speedy freshman Josh Adams, he's not giving up on Bryant, either.

"I need to get more out of De'Angelo Bryant," Grobe said. "His value to our football team has been a tough inside runner, and he has not been that for us. ... We've got to see an older guy step up to the plate and get the job done. Hopefully he can do that."

Miami faceoff

It's not exactly on par with the excitement of Southern California and UCLA, or Texas Christian and Southern Methodist, but another geographical rivalry will be added to college football when Miami (3-2, 1-1 ACC) faces Florida International (0-6) tomorrow at 7 p.m. in the Orange Bowl. The schools are just 11 miles apart, and they've gotten somewhat familiar with each other since Florida International established its football program in 2002.

"We've used their facilities some," Miami coach Larry Coker said. "They have an artificial turf there and there are times we've borrowed that when we're playing on artificial turf. I think they have a bright future there. ... It's an up and coming program."

The schools will meet again in the Orange Bowl on Oct. 6, 2007.

Amato's bad rap

It wasn't long ago that The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., came out with one of its amusing Web cartoons, this one featuring North Carolina State coach Chuck Amato rapping to a song called "It's hard out here for a coach."

The Wolfpack had early embarrassing losses to Akron and Southern Mississippi, and Amato's future was suddenly uncertain. But after back-to-back surprise wins against Boston College and Florida State, some of the pressure has eased.

Yet when asked Wednesday if he thought his program had silenced the critics, Amato was still a little prickly.

"I don't know what you're talking about, critics," he said. "Next question please." heather.dinich@baltsun.com

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