Outside Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium at Florida State University is a larger-than-life statue of Coach Bowden, situated against a backdrop of stained glass depicting the man in church-quality glory.
To say he's an institution within an institution is an understatement.
Coach Bowden is hoping that the NCAA will reverse its decision to force FSU to forfeit fourteen wins by the Seminoles due to a cheating scandal.
It wouldn't be the first time Coach Bowden had problems with his team, which some refer to as the "Criminoles".
Arrests for public indecency, drugs, armed robbery. You name it, they've probably done it. All at the expense of Coach Bowden.
Some say he apparently lost control of his team several years ago. I say controlling college football players is like trying to herd cats. Impossible.
Coach Bowden has 383 wins, one less than Joe Paterno of Penn State. That would be the same Penn State that Bear Bryant and Alabama taught SEC football to in the late '70s.
Coach Bowden is also a devout Christian, active in his church and guest speaker at churches and conferences throughout the Southeast. I've heard him speak, dadgum it, and I believe he's an honorable man, undeserving of this penalty by an organization that needs to clean up its own backyard.
I hope the NCAA does the right thing and allows Coach Bowden to keep the victories. Because fourteen is not just a number. It's part of a legacy.