Go ahead and give Joe Paterno the all-time Division I wins record. Bobby Bowden is finished.
Paterno survived when Penn State administrators tried to show him the door in 2004, but don't expect Bowden to do the same.
Florida State officials are trying to oust Bowden, whose team dropped to 2-4 with Saturday night's 49-44 loss to Georgia Tech. The Seminoles have all kinds of problems and appear to be on their way to a 6-6 season at best.
Mirror file photo
Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden share stories before the Orange Bowl in 2006. Paterno is first on the Division I wins list with 388, while Bowden has 384.
Florida State used to be one of the top-five teams in the nation every year. Now, the Seminoles are the fourth-best team in their own state behind Florida, Miami and South Florida.
JoePa entered the year with a one-game lead on Bowden in the wins race, 383-382. That lead is now up to four with Penn State's 5-1 record.
The NCAA is trying to strip Bowden of 14 victories because of a cheating scandal, which would essentially end the contest between Paterno and his friend.
Tale of the tape
Joe Paterno had to convince PSU officials he could still do the job at the end of the 2004 season. How the Lions and Bobby Bowden's Seminoles have compared since then.
PSU Year FSU
11-1 2005 8-5
9-4 2006 7-6
9-4 2007 7-6
11-2 2008 9-4
5-1 2009 2-4
45-12 Totals 33-25
Even if Bowden somehow wins his appeal, which is unlikely, it would be nearly impossible for him to catch JoePa this season. And with the way things are imploding down in Tallahassee, there probably won't be a next season for Bowden.
If the losses weren't bad enough, Bowden's boorish behavior got the best of him last week. He stuck his foot in his mouth to a female reporter and embarrassed himself with a tasteless barb.
"What is your response to the rumors that you're going to be stepping down?" the female reporter asked Bowden.
"I have none," he said. "I have none. I have no comment on that, whatsoever. Anybody got any questions, beside her?"
He just couldn't stop himself and added, "Just like a woman."
Just like a jerk to say something like that.
Whether he was joking or not - only Bowden knows - it's incredibly stupid to say something so insensitive and give critics more fuel for the fire.
Paterno has been asked a couple of different times about Bowden and has refused to comment, saying he knows nothing about the situation and doesn't want to speculate.
So let's speculate here.
Florida State already has a successor in place in offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher. If he's not the head coach by the 2011 season, the university will owe him $5 million because of a clause in his contract.
There's no reason, with the team playing so poorly and Bowden serving as a distraction, that the school shouldn't part ways with him after this year.
It's a shame for Bowden, but it's also time for him to go.
SUBHD: Afterthoughts ...
* Penn State opened up as a 15-point favorite over Minnesota.
* Speaking off odds, what are the chances that junior linebacker Navorro Bowman leaves school after this season for the NFL? The guess here is 80 percent.
* Bowman's 91-yard fumble return for a TD brought back memories of James Harrison's 100-yard interception return for a Steelers TD in the Super Bowl. If you've never seen the "Saturday Night Live" skit where they poke fun of Harrison being tired on the play, go to hulu.com and search for James Harrison. It's hilarious.
* Kevin Newsome is a MAJOR work-in progress as a quarterback. But let him take off on a few wildcat snaps per game, and it would give the offense a nice wrinkle. The coaches refused to do that with Daryll Clark when Anthony Morelli was the starter.
* Who will lead PSU in catches this season? So far, the totals are: Derek Moye 21, Chaz Powell 19, Andrew Quarless 18 and Graham Zug 16. I'll go with Moye, somewhere around 40.
* Punter Jeremy Boone has been the team's most consistent player the first half of the season. He's on his way to All-America honors, averaging 48.1 yards per kick.
* The second-most consistent player? Linebacker Josh Hull, the former walk-on who leads the team with 63 tackles. Congratulations to that young man for overcoming great obstacles and criticism to turn himself into a good football player. Not a great player. Not an All-American. But a good player nonetheless.
Cory Giger can be reached at 949-7031 and email@example.com.