Bowden expects Spurrier to return to college ranks


Published: Thursday, January 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 at 11:51 p.m.

MIAMI (AP) - Florida State coach Bobby Bowden knows where he would like to see Steve Spurrier coaching next.

"I'd like to see him get the Nebraska job," Bowden joked Wednesday. "That would be a good job for Steve. I wouldn't have to play against him."

Bowden's former coaching rival at Florida, Spurrier quit the Washington Redskins on Tuesday, three days after the team finished 5-11 by losing 10 of its last 12 games.

Spurrier walked away from the final three years of a five-year, $25 million contract, the richest ever given an NFL coach.

"I was surprised, yet I was not surprised," Bowden said. "It didn't look like the same old happy Steve Spurrier that used to get on my case so much."

Bowden said he expected Spurrier to take a year off before possibly returning to the college ranks, where Spurrier led the Gators to six Southeastern Conference titles and 122 victories in 12 seasons.

"I've got a feeling that when he gets back, and I think he will, somebody's going to be lucky to get him," Bowden said.

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FSU INJURIES:@ Florida State could be without two defensive starters against Miami in the Orange Bowl on Thursday night.

Defensive end Eric Moore, who leads the team with 7 1/2 sacks, has a sprained ankle and is questionable. And cornerback Bryant McFadden remains slowed by a groin injury that kept him out of the final three games. Rufus Brown is slated to start in place of McFadden.

Backup cornerback Leroy Smith also is questionable with a sprained ankle.

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THOMAS LIMITED:@ Miami defensive tackle Santonio Thomas will be limited against the Seminoles.

Thomas missed three games after badly spraining his right ankle against Virginia Tech in early November. He returned in the regular-season finale against Pittsburgh but has been slow to get back in the rotation behind starters Vince Wilfork and Orien Harris.

"I don't expect him to play a lot, but he can play," Miami coach Larry Coker said. "He's available. We definitely would like to get him some playing time. It won't be in the rotation where he's going to get the same number as Vince and Orien Harris. They're going to get the bulk of it."

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STAYING HOME:@ The Hurricanes will be the visiting team in the Orange Bowl, but they sure won't feel like it. Even though the players have spent the last week in a hotel, they have practiced at their on-campus facility in nearby Coral Gables.

"For me, if I need clean socks, I can run home and get them," coach Larry Coker said. "Being able to practice at our facilities has made it pretty comfortable for the players."

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