Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'Noles Face Old Foe in Sugar

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'Noles Face Old Foe in Sugar

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Thomas, Times-Union sports writer

TALLAHASSEE -- By the time all the Bowl Championship Series politics and machinations played out -- around 2 p.m. yesterday -- Florida State ended up with the bowl venue and opponent it wanted all along.

The Seminoles (9-4), with more losses than any team in the five-year history of the BCS, will get a chance to get reacquainted with an old friend and an old foe, Southeastern Conference champion Georgia (12-1) in the Jan. 1 Sugar Bowl.

"It's kind of not fair for Georgia, to come in there 12-1 and us with four losses," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. "But I'm excited to be there."

It will be the first meeting between Bowden and his longtime assistant Mark Richt, who has the Bulldogs back in New Orleans for the first time since 1983. It's also the first meeting between the two traditional southern football powers since the 1984 Citrus Bowl.

Bowden had spent the past two weeks hinting that he preferred the Sugar Bowl for the Seminoles' 12th consecutive New Year's Day game.

"The bad side of that is we draw Georgia," Bowden said. "I've watched them the last two games and they've looked unbeatable."

Though he had little say in the process, Sugar Bowl executive director Paul Hoolahan said his bowl was "absolutely satisfied" with the matchup, with the Bulldogs making their "long-awaited return" against a Florida State program that "is almost like relatives."

It will be FSU's fifth Sugar Bowl appearance in the last eight years, but first since Richt called the offensive shots as the Seminoles captured the 1999 national title with a 46-29 win against Virginia Tech in the 2000 game.

"I've always felt that if we played FSU in a bowl, it would be in the BCS because they're always playing there," Richt said. "I'll enjoy the experience because I have a lot of friends from there, and I have the utmost respect for Bobby Bowden."

Richt is happy the meeting will not have national championship implications.

"I don't think I could have enjoyed that [as much]," he said. …

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