Every now and then there's an overriding topic that justifies its own mailblog, and this is it.
First, your answer to the Bowden Bowl quandary: According to ACC officials, yes, Florida State could wind up in the Gator Bowl. There are no back door deals going on to make that happen, it's all based on contractual provisions, and the ACC is still trying to figure out exactly what scenarios might be possible.
If FSU goes to the Gator Bowl, it will obviously have a trickle-down effect on every other bowl-eligible team in the conference, save for the ACC champion and possibly Virginia Tech. That puts even more substance into Saturday's title game, as the loser could fall as low as the Music City Bowl in Nashville.
And yes, that will make some folks quite angry.
Here is a sampling of your questions and comments following recent reports that Florida State might meet West Virginia in the Gator Bowl despite its four wins in the ACC:
Graham in Greensboro, N.C., writes: What are your thoughts on Bowden essentially lobbying for a bowl game in Fla? I feel that it's ridiculous. I'm sorry your team is 6-6. Each team works hard all year, and they shouldn't be punished because Bobby Bowden has been FORCED out. The ACC looks stupid with a team of that calibur playing in one of their better bowl games.
Heather Dinich: Graham, I don't think it's fair to the other coaches and players, namely Paul Johnson, Dabo Swinney and Randy Shannon. But I also think it's a perfect matchup and location for Bobby Bowden's final game. There was such a lack of fanfare on Tuesday. He didn't even have a press conference. Is Bowden really going to go out with an ugly home win to Maryland, an embarrassing loss at Florida, and an average bowl appearance in Charlotte as his final memories? It seems that most people think the unfairness of the situation would override Bowden's wishes, but there is nothing contractual to prevent it from happening.
Romone in Washington, D.C., writes: Hi Heather,As happy as I am to see Bobby Bowden coach in a bowl game, the way it's going down just doesn't feel right. He said that he wants to play the bowl game in the state of Florida. However, at 6-6 there is no way that FSU deserves to play in one of the upper level bowls for the ACC, i.e. the Gator. Last year, the Gator passed on an 8-4 FSU team for a lesser Clemson team because the Tigers travel better. Now, it appears that they would actually take a 6-6 FSU team for exactly the same reasons. The Gator Bowl doesn't care about him, just ticket sales. His ?request? is denying really good teams (Miami, VT, Clemson-GT loser) an opportunity to play in a quality bowl. I feel bad for whatever team will be left out because of this. Where?s the integrity? Yes, I know it's all about money, but I still think it?s wrong. Thanks.
HD: Fair points, Romone. And slightly more diplomatic than Rick in Williamston, Mich., ...
Rick writes: How does he get to pick what bowl he gets to go to. That's B.S. I don't think FSU deserves to be handed a sweeter bowl just because he had to retire. Other teams earned the right and the fans should not be screwed out of a jan 1 bowl game to thank a coach from another team. Be happy with what you deserve a crappy bowl for a crappy team.
HD: Tell me how you really feel ...
Marcus in Tallahassee writes: HD this has to be some sort of sick joke right, the whole FSU to the Gator Bowl thing. What happened to earning things the old fashioned way by what you did on the field. We don't need another mechanism to give bowl games away to undeserving teams. Thats what the BCS is for.
Matt in Seattle, WA writes: Hey Heather,Are you going to write about the rumored maneuvering to get Florida State in the Gator Bowl? Bowden is a legend, but it would be a travesty to let this happen. These kids at other ACC schools work hard for the bowl game at the end of the year. To let a, lets be honest, crappy 6-6 FSU team leapfrog other schools for one of the best ACC bowl games looks bad for the ACC, the NCAA, and sends the wrong message. Not to mention the fact that it gives FSU a recruiting advantage it didn't earn.
HD: If anyone has earned the right to go out with some fanfare, though, it's Bobby Bowden. Unfortunately for the rest of the ACC, it could come at the expense of others.