TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -It's a big week for major college football's winningest coach.
Bobby Bowden celebrates his 78th birthday Thursday and two days later seeks his 373rd career win and 300th at Florida State when the Seminoles visit No. 11 Virginia Tech.
``I'm kind of anxious to get back up there because it's a great place to play and will bring back a lot of memories to me,'' Bowden said Thursday.
Bowden, who is three wins ahead of Penn State's Joe Paterno, is 15-0 lifetime against the Hokies, (7-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Florida State (6-3, 3-3 ACC) has won the past 12 in the series, including a 46-29 win in the 1999 national championship game in New Orleans. In their most recent meeting, Florida State defeated the Hokies 27-22 in the 2005 ACC championship game.
``There's some series, for some reason, it goes your way,'' said Bowden, who had three wins over Virginia Tech when he was coach at West Virginia. ``That's strictly a year to year thing.''
Noting unranked Florida State's 27-17 win at then-No. 2 Boston College last week, Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer is thinking he might've preferred catching the Seminoles earlier in the season.
``When you look at this Florida State crowd, I'd say we're getting them at the wrong time,'' Beamer said. They were hitting on all cylinders the other night.''
Beamer ranks third among active major college coaches with 205 wins, but none against Bowden.
ACC PARITY: In the two years the ACC has had a postseason championship, four different schools have made it to the title game.
And should Virginia win the Coastal Division and Boston College or Clemson take the Atlantic, the number would increase to six.
Although No. 8 Boston College (8-1, 5-1 ACC) holds a one-game lead in the Atlantic Division, Clemson can win the division outright with a win Saturday over defending league champion Wake Forest and another win on Nov. 17 over the Eagles. Both games are at Clemson.
The Coastal Division outcome could come down to the winner of the Virginia-Virginia Tech game on Nov. 24.
It's possible for Wake Forest to repeat in the Atlantic, but it would have to win out and BC would have to lose twice.
GROBE-APALOOZA: Clemson coach Tommy Bowden is a longtime admirer of Wake Forest's Jim Grobe.
When some complained about the Demon Deacon's blocking technique, Bowden tried to emulate it. ``I got (film) cut ups and tried to coach like that,'' Bowden said. ``I tried to get my guys to play like his.''
Bowden remembers their 2003 game when Wake Forest led Clemson 35-0 on its way to a 45-17 victory and recalls that Grobe could've scored more points.
``That's when I knew he was a Christian,'' Bowden says with a smile.
Bowden says Grobe brings a humble and professional approach to his program, which won an Atlantic Coast Conference title a season ago.
``I don't think they've been rated in the top 50 in recruiting in 50 years, and to do what he's done,'' Bowden said. ``I know he's well-respected.''
RICH'S SWITCH: Not often in Butch Davis' coaching career has a player flourished so quickly after moving from one side of the ball to the other.
That's happening at North Carolina, where Richie Rich started the season in the mix at running back but switched to cornerback and made a key play that helped the Tar Heels seal their win against Maryland.
``A lot of times, you move a guy and a lot of times he just plays (as a) scout-team player, maybe he's a second- or third-team guy and maybe he gets to kind of grandfather himself in by springtime,'' Davis said.
But not Rich, who made three of his five career tackles against the Terrapins. With North Carolina protecting a three-point lead and Maryland driving, Rich's coverage on LaQuan Williams on a critical third-down play in Tar Heel territory forced an incompletion that led to a game-clinching stop on fourth down.
The Tar Heels (3-6, 2-3 ACC) visit N.C. State (4-5, 2-3) on Saturday.
WALK (ON) THIS WAY: A rash of injuries to Maryland's offensive line led coach Ralph Friedgen to take a chance on using walk-on Paul Pinegar, a redshirt freshman who participated in 39 plays over the past two games.
``Just because he's a walk-on, doesn't mean he's not good. I told our staff, 'We may have found an offensive lineman,''' Friedgen said. ``The thing that Paul's dealing with right now is maturity. Not from an emotional standpoint, but from a physical standpoint.''
The 6-foot-3, 277-pound Pinegar could start Saturday for Maryland (4-5, 1-4 ACC), against No. 8 Boston College (8-1, 5-1).
``He's going to get more confidence, and as he gets bigger and stronger, he's going to turn into a pretty good football player,'' Friedgen said.
CAVALIER KARMA: Virginia defensive end Chris Long joked after Virginia held on to beat Wake Forest on a missed field goal by all-ACC kicker Sam Swank that the Cavaliers not only believed in karma, but were doing things to keep it on their side.
``I think we've got guys that let people cross the street and help old ladies cross the street,'' he said with a laugh after Virginia's third one-point win in a row.
The Cavaliers (8-2, 5-1 ACC) visit Miami (5-4, 2-3) Saturday.
SEMINOLES STREAKS: Florida State quarterback Drew Weatherford has thrown 156 passes without an interception - his lone pick of the season coming Sept. 8 in a 34-24 win over UAB. And not to be left out, Seminole teammate Patrick Robinson has interceptions in five straight games, tying a Florida State record held by Terrell Buckley.
AP Sports Writers David Ginsburg in Baltimore, Pete Iacobelli in Columbia, S.C., Hank Kurz in Richmond, Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, N.C., Charles Odum in Atlanta and Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this report.

Recent NCAAF Discussions

NCAAF Headlines

NCAAF Top Stories

Thumbnail Cal vs. UCLA Prediction After firing Jim Mora earlier in the week, will the UCLA Bruins respond with a win and a cover tonight when they host the Cal Golden Bears at 10:30...
Thumbnail Virginia Tech vs. Virginia Prediction It's rivalry week in college football! Will the Virginia Cavaliers cover the spread as a home underdog tonight when they host their rivals the Virginia Tech...
Thumbnail Texas Tech vs. Texas Prediction Are the Texas Longhorns a safe play for bettors as a home favorite on Friday night when they host their in-state rivals the Texas Tech Red...
Thumbnail Missouri vs. Arkansas Prediction Will the red-hot Missouri Tigers cover the nearly double-digit point spread against the Arkansas Razorbacks at 2:30 p.m. ET on Friday?

NCAAF Team Pages