Miami-Florida St. Odds
He'll lead the Seminoles into Doak Campbell Stadium for Monday night's opener against rival Miami, and says he won't let his detractors or an ongoing cheating scandal divert his attention from the season.
"Definitely I want to win a national championship again,'' said Bowden, who led
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made
The 18th-ranked Seminoles, though, have one 10-win season (10-3 in 2003) since posting double-digit victories each year from 1987-2000. There have been calls for offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher to take over for the Seminoles' outspoken coach.
With Fisher tabbed to do that in January 2011, Bowden could find it difficult to move past
Bowden was not implicated in the scandal, but losing those victories could make it very tough to catch Paterno, who led by one heading into the Nittany Lions' season opener versus
The Seminoles suspended numerous players for the 2007 Music City Bowl, which they lost 35-28 to
"We had a lot of things hanging over our head,'' said sophomore receiver Bert Reed, suspended three times last season. "We're focusing on leaving that in the past."
Junior Christian Ponder begins his second season as the Seminoles' starting quarterback. He threw for 2,006 yards with 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2008 as
"I've gotten a lot more confident,'' said Ponder, who threw for 159 yards and rushed for 144 in a 41-39 victory at
Without last season's leading receivers Greg Carr and Preston Parker to throw to this year, Ponder will look downfield for Reed, Jarmon Fortson and senior Richard Goodman.
Sophomore Jermaine Thomas, who averaged 7.0 yards per carry last season, looks to replace Antone Smith and his 868 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns from 2008.
While Bowden is anxious to see how his retooled offense performs,
The Hurricanes host No. 15 Georgia Tech, travel to No. 7 Virginia Tech and play third-ranked
"I like (the schedule),'' said sophomore quarterback Jacory Harris. "I can't wait, actually.''
After splitting time last season with Robert Marve, who transferred to Purdue, Harris is the starter in 2009. He threw for 1,195 yards and 12 touchdowns as a freshman.
Taylor Cook and Cannon Smith were battling for the backup quarterback spot, but both asked third-year coach Randy Shannon for their release last Tuesday.
"It was kind of strange, to me,'' said Shannon, who led
Freshman A.J. Highsmith, son of former
Junior Graig Cooper had a right ankle injury and was wearing a protective boot during the preseason, but he looks for another solid season after leading the Hurricanes in rushing in 2007 and '08. Cooper ran for 841 yards and four touchdowns last season.
Javarris James, who has rushed for 1,670 yards and 12 touchdowns in his career, is 15 pounds lighter and primed for his senior season after missing four games in 2008 due to a high-ankle sprain in his left leg.
"They've got good athletes," Bowden said. "
The Hurricanes will be without defensive end Eric Moncur (groin injury) for the opener, while defensive end Adewale Ojomo might miss the entire season with a broken jaw.
Posted: 9/2/09 6:12PM ET