With one key determine, Bobby Bowden from the US state Florida is alone among the many school coaches
College football lost an icon on Sunday when former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden died at the age of 91. The stories flow in a multitude and abundance for a man who was popular, colorful, and one of the most successful the sport has ever seen.
Yes, he has “only” won two national championships. There are a handful of trainers who called more. But with one metric, Bobby Bowden stands alone among the brotherhood of legendary college football coaches.
From 1987 to 2000 his Seminoles landed in the AP Top 5 every season. Nobody comes anywhere near this type of sustainable success. With 14 years in a row with a top five team, he is not only alone, he laps the field.
Here’s another way to put Bowden’s run in perspective: Alabama’s Bear Bryant, widely considered one of the sport’s finest coaches, had 12 top five finishes in his 23 years at Tuscaloosa. He never had more than three straight. Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Urban Meyer, Jimmy Johnson, Joe Paterno and many other greats neither
MORE: Tributes from Deion Sanders, more, are pouring in after Bowden dies at the age of 91
Here is the list of trainers with at least four consecutive top 5 placements in the AP poll-era:
|Bobby Bowden||State of Florida||14th||1987-2000|
|Dabo Swinney||Clemson||6th||2015-20 *|
|See Parsegian||Our lady||5||966-70|
|Frank Leahy||Our lady||4th||1946-49|
* still active
Clemson’s Dabo Swinney is in position for his seventh straight top 5 result this year, which would put him halfway to Mount Bowden and make up for Pete Carroll’s notable run at USC. And the Tigers haven’t shown any signs of slowing down on the recruitment path or in the field, so maybe Swinney will keep up with the heights of Florida State legend.
But for now, Bowden’s run stands alone.