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Bowden prediction

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Florida State coach Bobby Bowden told Tony Barnhart he is "strongly leaning" toward coming back next season.

I don't think it will be Bowden's choice, and therefore I predict this will be his last season.

There are too many disgruntled people in positions of power -- money men like boosters and trustees -- who will influence the decision, and by holding private meetings this month, they've already spoken loud and clear. Outgoing university president T.K. Wetherell has long been a Bowden loyalist, and last week he passed the buck to athletic director Randy Spetman to make the final call.

Florida State is 0-3 in the ACC right now and has a much needed bye week before heading to North Carolina next Thursday. Every team remaining on the Seminoles' schedule is average and beatable, save for Florida. The problem for Bowden is that his team is also average and beatable.

Frankly, I don't think it would matter if Florida State beat every one of its remaining ACC opponents. A seven-win season in Tallahassee is no longer acceptable, and I predict FSU officials will make that clear at the end of the season by refusing to renew Bowden's contract for a final year.

Regardless of how you feel about Bowden or this situation, there is one fact everyone seems to be missing -- in the end, Bowden's future at Florida State is not in his hands. Not anymore.