Bobby Bowden's still behind Jo Pa

It has been widely reported, as for example here that Florida State coach Bobby Bowden now has the most NCAA major college football coaching victories. This is a classic example of wrongly mixing apples and oranges.

For the record, thirty one of Bowden’s victories came while he coached at his alma mater, Samford, a small Baptist college in Birmingham, AL from 1959-1962. Samford’s opponents were schools like Carson-Newman, Milsaps College in Mississippi, Sewanee, Maryville, Millingham, West Alabama, Wofford and the College of Georgetown, Kentucky. Such wins were in the college football equivalent of the minor leagues. By way of contrast, all of Joe Paterno’s wins came in the major league big time at Penn State.

Certainly Bowden is a great coach but it is simply wrong to say that he has more major college football victories than Paterno. Roger Clemens had over 300 wins in the major leagues of baseball but they don’t count wins he had a Pawtucket in the minor leagues.

I just had to get that off my chest.

Yeah! Joe Pa would rock Bowden’s world! Go lions! We are Penn State! We are Penn State! WE ARE PENN STATE! WE ARE PENN STATE! WE ARE PENN STATE!

As a penn state student i felt obligated to bump this thread. Also I would like to add that I wish we would stop losing.

Nice melange, but you forgot to mention the sour grapes.
No, wait… they were implied.

What has been specifically reported is that Bowden has the most Division I-A wins. If Samfrod is Division I-A, then those wins count, too.

You make it sound like Bowden was coaching a major team getting easy wins against a bunch of nobodies. Er… last time I checked, Samford wasn’t actually listed among the “powerhouses” of Div I-A football, either. So for Samford, those were viable opponents.

And here’s one of my favorite Bowden accomplishments, listed in this bio:

But tell ya what. Let’s just have Paterno’s team play Bowden’s team right now, and settle this thing for good. :smiley:

I’m sure Bobby did play Joe when he was coach at west Virginia, look it up.

No,what I said was that from 1959 to 1961 Bowden coached a nobody minor team against other nobody minor teams. Bowden’s teams won most of those games but so what? It’s like equating a dirt track race driver’s wins with wins on the NASCAR circuit. Bowden the dirt track racer moved up to NASCAR-like level certainly, but it is foolish to equate his wins at Sanford with wins at Penn State.

As shown here Bowden’s record against minor league opposition was 43-7:

Team Record
Carson-Newman 2-0
Delta State 1-0
Furman 2-1
Wofford 2-0
Georgetown 2-0
Georgia Southern 2-0
Maryville 2-0
McNeese St. 0-1
Middle Tenn. St. 1-0
Millington 1-0
Milsaps Col. 2-0
Mississippi Col. 1-3
Rhodes 3-0
Richmond 4-2
Sewanee 2-0
Southern Illinois 1-0
Tennessee-Chatt. 2-0
Tennessee-Martin 1-0
Western Carolina 2-0
West Alabama 1-0
William & Mary 3-0
Wofford 2-0
Total 43-7

Beating a junior college, a jv team and the College of Mexico doesn’t impress me much.

That same site shows that Paterno only coached against 3 minor league teams, going 3-0 against Brown, Colgate and William & Mary.

So what?

You could just as easily argue that only games against top 25 teams should count…

Ehh, you take the 31 wins then. It’ll help ease the pain of going winless in-conference. We’ll just keep the #3 ranking.

Well, zamboni, I guess you’ve conclusively proved that the statement “Bowden has more Division I-A wins than any other coach” is false.

Or did you? Maybe you just proved that the statement "Bowden has more wins than any other coach in games that zamboniracer personally defines as ‘major games’ " is false.

Maybe the sportswriters, newscasters, and stats-keepers chose to report it the first way because it flows more smoothly off the tongue? Dunno. You’ll have to ask them…

Well, the bottom line is, we’re #3 now, and we’ll continue to win, and pretty soon, all other coaches will be eating our dust. :slight_smile:

Samford is listed as Division I-AA. Both Florida State and Penn State are listed as Division I-A.

Is there really that big of a difference? Was FSU the football powerhouse it is now when Bowden took over? Was Samford a Division I-A team back then? Can teams move from I-AA to I-A and vice versa? (I remember hearing stories of how the University of Scranton used to play Georgetown in football, back when the U of S had a football team. Both are Division III schools, but Georgetown competes on a Division I-A level in basketball.)

Both Paterno and Bowden will likely be mentioned in the same breath as Bryant, Robinson, etc, when it comes to the game’s all-time greats.

However, both have a long way to go to be the winningest, period.

As an admirer of Joe Pa since I was a little kid, I hate to break it to you, but:


Thanks for the cite neutron star. While the link defeats my initial thesis that Paterno should still rank above Bowden in career division 1 wins, it supports my ancillary thesis that the NCAA’s bureaucracy is solely comprised of twits and knuckleheads.

Bobby Bowden couldn’t hold Joe Pa’s jock strap! Period!

I have no idea.

But if they were a Division 1-A school, they should count in the tally of “Division 1-A wins”. If they weren’t, then they shouldn’t. I assumed they were, since that’s what the sportswriters have been reporting.

I think teams can move from one division level to another. I thought I heard recently that FAMU (another school here in Tallahassee) was going to be moving to Division 1-A soon. (They currently aren’t, but that doesn’t stop teams like the UF Gators from putting them on their schedule for an easy win! ;))

Not without tweezers and a gas-mask! :smiley:

She told me she loved me like a brother. She was from Arkansas, hence the Joy!