College football is American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities. It was through college football play that American football rules first gained popularity in the United States.
American football (known as football in the United States and gridiron in some other countries) is a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field 120 yards long by 53.33 yards wide with goalposts at each end. The offense attempts to advance an oval ball (the football) down the field by running with or passing it. They must advance it at least ten yards in four downs to receive a new set of four downs and continue the drive; if not, they turn over the football to the opposing team. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown, kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal or by the defense tackling the ball carrier in the offense's end zone for a safety. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.
American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sport of rugby football. The first game of American football was played on November 6, 1869 between two college teams, Rutgers and Princeton, under rules resembling rugby and soccer. A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", established the snap, eleven-player teams and the concept of downs, and later rule changes legalized the forward pass, created the neutral zone and specified the size and shape of the football.
Robert Cleckler "Bobby" Bowden (born November 8, 1929) is a retired college football coach who holds the NCAA record for most career wins and bowl wins by a Division I FBS coach. He coached the Florida State Seminoles football team from the 1976 to 2009 seasons. During his time at Florida State, Bowden led FSU to an Associated Press and Coaches Poll National Title in 1993 and a BCS National Championship in 1999, as well as twelve Atlantic Coast Conference championships since FSU joined the conference in 1991. After a difficult 2009 season and amid questioning fans, Bowden announced his retirement from FSU on December 1, 2009, just weeks after his 80th birthday. His final coaching appearance was the 2010 Gator Bowl game on January 1, 2010, with a 33–21 victory over his former program, West Virginia.
Bowden finished his career first in all-time wins by a Division I-FBS coach with 389 wins. A March 6, 2009 NCAA ruling requiring Florida State to "vacate wins for any games in which an ineligible player participated," threatened to remove as many as 14 of Bowden's wins from the 2006 and 2007 seasons in relation to an academic scandal; Florida State appealed the ruling. The NCAA upheld the ruling on January 5, 2010. Upon final investigation by Florida State University it was determined that Bowden was to vacate 12 wins, bringing his final career record to 377–129–4. At the time, this placed him second to Joe Paterno, coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions. However, sanctions handed down by the NCAA as a result of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal caused all of Paterno's wins from 1998 to 2011 to be vacated, reducing his total to 298.