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Bowden Planning Return to FSU Next Year

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Three days before what could be Bobby Bowden's final game on the sideline of Florida State's Doak Campbell Stadium, this much is clear: If left to him, he'll be back as Seminoles coach next year, and Saturday won't be a farewell.

Bowden said as much in an interview with USA TODAY on Tuesday, disclosing he has made a decision on whether he'd like to return for a 35th season. "You can figure it out," Bowden said. "Here I am, 80 years old, and I'm just as excited now as I was 50 years ago as far as going on the field and looking at film and making decisions here in the office."

While he said he didn't want to make a definitive declaration, Bowden's wife, Ann, was less circumspect.

"They'll have to fire him for him not to go another year. . . . If they've got guts enough to do it, let them do it," she said.

Nearing the end of a disappointing 5-5 season, Bowden and FSU meet Maryland in Saturday's home finale. They close the regular season Nov. 28 at Florida. Bowden's future beyond that has been a subject of intense speculation, particularly since the chairman of FSU's Board of Trustees voiced disappointment in the Seminoles' declining record last month and said it was time to turn the program over to offensive coordinator and designated successor Jimbo Fisher. FSU must give Fisher the job by Jan. 10, 2011, or pay him $5 million.

The school has been noncommittal about another season for Bowden, whose 387 victories in 44 overall years of major-college coaching rank second to Joe Paterno's 392. Athletics director Randy Spetman says he and FSU President T.K. Wetherell will sit down with Bowden after the regular season and "talk about where we are. . . . We've just got to make sure we do it in a professional manner (and) for our whole program keep this program going in a positive direction."

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