Florida State could meet up with West Virginia in the Gator Bowl, despite the Seminoles' unimpressive 6-6 record, the Florida Times-Union is reporting. This would end Bobby Bowden's legendary career against the team he coached prior to taking over at FSU in 1976.
It would be a much more fitting end to his story, and would help Florida State fans move on from an ugly loss to Florida and an unimpressive home finale against Maryland. It would be disappointing for all of college football if Bowden's career didn't end on some sort of celebratory note with some meaning to it.
In order for it to actually happen, though, the Gator Bowl would also have to skirt the ACC's one-loss rule for the bowl selection process, which is possible if all parties involved agree to it, according to a conference spokesman. By that rule, the team chosen must be within one loss in the conference standings of the best team available, and the loser of the ACC championship game -- either Georgia Tech or Clemson --will have at least six conference wins. Virginia Tech also has six wins, while Florida State only has four. The ACC championship game has no impact on the final conference record.
Right now, it seems as if Virginia Tech would be a good fit for the Chick-fil-A Bowl, which is first in the selection process after the Orange Bowl, and if that's the case, the Hokies wouldn't be a factor in this quandary. But the loser of the ACC title game would, as the Gator Bowl has the next pick. That would mean Paul Johnson or Dabo Swinney would have to agree to a less prestigious bowl appearance for Bowden's sake.
There are certainly worse concessions to make.