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Bowden: 'No celebrating' after replacing Paterno atop all-time FBS wins list

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Nick Saban, Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno at the Penn State-Alabama game Sept. 11, 2010. (Getty Images)  
Nick Saban, Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno at the Penn State-Alabama game Sept. 11, 2010. (Getty Images)  

Bobby Bowden was playing golf in Quincy, Fla., on Monday when word came that Penn State's Joe Paterno had been stripped of 111 victories, making the former Florida State coach the all-time winner in FBS.

"At first I was stunned," said Bowden, who retired with 377 victories (including 31 wins at Howard College, now Samford University) after the NCAA vacated 22 wins in which it determined the Seminoles used ineligible players. "But I can tell you this: There is no celebrating in the Bowden household today. This is a very tough day for college football."

All-Time FBS Wins
Coach Yrs Wins
1. Bobby Bowden 44 377
2. Bear Bryant 38 323
3. Pop Warner 44 319
4. Amos Alonzo Stagg 57 314
5. Joe Paterno 46 298

Bowden's battle with Joe Paterno to become college football's all-time winner literally took on a life of its own. At times it seemed that neither old war horses wanted to retire and concede the record to the other.

Paterno prevailed to record 409 career wins because Bowden, who won two national championships (1993, 1999) and had 14 consecutive seasons (1987-2000) of 10 wins or more, finally was forced out after the 2009 season when he went 7-6.

Paterno was fired in November in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal.

Earlier this summer Bowden said that it would probably be a good idea to take down the statue of Paterno outside of Beaver Stadium. Bowden's reasoning was that the statue would be a constant reminder of the Sandusky scandal and make it difficult for the healing to begin. The statue was removed and put into storage on Sunday.

On Monday, Bowden said that he was feeling a lot of different emotions, but mostly he felt sadness.

"I know people want to call and wonder what I have to say about this," Bowden said. "But this is not the time to be talking about records. There are a lot of people who are hurting today. It's all so very, very sad. I feel terrible for what the victims are still going through. When you think about that, who won a lot of ball games just doesn't seem all that important."

This will be Bowden's third season out of coaching. He stays busy playing golf, speaking all around the country and playing with his grandchildren.

"Do I miss it? I sure do," Bowden said. "I miss the boys and I miss the competition."


Tony Barnhart is in his fifth season as a contributor to CBSSports.com. He is a college football analyst for CBS Sports and The CBS Sports Network. Prior to joining CBS he was the national college football writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 24 years. He has written five books on college football.
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