Son Terry Bowden agrees -- to an extent.
The younger Bowden, the former Auburn head coach who is now a college television analyst for ABC, attended the Seminoles' Tuesday practice. He watched the session with his father from Bowden's coaching tower. A victory over Iowa State in FSU's season-opener Saturday would move Bobby Bowden into second place on the all-time victory list (324) in front of Bryant and behind Penn State's Joe Paterno (327).
"I think he just wanted to be a football coach," Terry Bowden said. "The fact that he won't retire doesn't suggest he had anything in mind after that. To be honest with you, I do believe because Joe Paterno has beaten the record and there's another goal out there. This will be nice, but it just puts him in a category with three or four coaches. He's still No. 2 if he gets this next win."
While the elder Bowden has downplayed his accomplishments, Terry Bowden believes his father deserves to be recognized for his success.
"The hardest thing for me is to try to sound objective in talking about my father and comparing him to other great coaches," Bowden said. "I think about where my dad has had to coach and when. And, the fact, that he has 22 wins they don't count. And what he has been able to do. The fact he's not 6-5 and looks like John Wayne or he's not an English major. He really downplays himself. I am not sure he will ever have that kind of image (compared to Bryant)."
Bowden also said his father's milestones are extremely meaningful to the Bowden family, primarily to Bowden's wife Ann. Additionally, Bowden hopes the competition between Bowden and Paterno has a good ending when it's all said and done.
"I think all his family, it means a lot to us – probably more than to him," Bowden said. "Probably my mother, than any of us. She has been with him the entire way, the good and the bad. I am a little bit reluctant to let mean that much because there's still. ... I am very serious when I say you have Joe Paterno and my dad. They both head coaches for a long time and they never got in this business to come in second.
"And so somebody is going to come in second in this deal. And you just wonder if two guys are going to hang on and hang on and hang on to see which one. .... I just hope there is a nice ending to this thing for both coaches. These are two of the great coaches in the business."
Terry Bowden said he was in town since his daughter is transferring to FSU this year.
NO UPDATE: FSU continues to await word from the NCAA on the eligibility status of senior offensive lineman Milford Brown. At issue is whether Brown exhausted his eligibility after attending Alabama State for one year in 1997. Todd Williams will start at Brown's slot at split guard against the Cyclones.
INJURIES: Reserve quarterback Adrian McPherson (ankle) and wide receiver Craphonso Thorpe (toe) returned to practice. WR Anquan Boldin (knee sprain) participated in drills and said he expects to play Saturday.
Here is Randy Oravetz's injury report:
"We came through pretty good today. Anquan Boldin looked a lot better today. (Robert) Morgan looked good. David Castillo was actually back out there today, moving around. Ronnie Lunford was back out there, looking good. A lot of these guys are starting to heal up. Maybe yesterday, with a little of the rain, maybe helped some of these guys. Got some work in but not too much. I am hoping that pays off. They got a good day's work in today and it was a good practice. We will start toning this thing down, getting ready. A lot of those guys who had some things nicked up a little bit, they are running well now. Things are coming together. (Adrian) McPherson actually went back out there today. We braced him up and he looked a lot better. He was actually throwing the ball. I was impressed. He was taking some drops. Yesterday he tried some things that didn't quite. ... we gave him a little bit different treatment today and it seemed to help a little bit. I wouldn't rule him out. I hope he knows the game plan mentally, but I thought physically he's coming along."