The college football world lost a legend on Sunday.

Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden, who spent 33 years leading the Florida State Seminoles and 5 years leading the West Virginia Mountaineers, passed away at the age of 91.

Bowden, who was born in Birmingham, AL, won two national championships during his illustrious career. He also won 12 ACC championships and routinely had Florida State among the top programs in the nation.

In early 1999, Bowden’s Seminoles played the Tennessee Vols in the inaugural BCS national championship game.

Tennessee was the consensus No. 1 team in the nation at the time. Florida State ended up being ranked No. 2 in the controversial BCS rankings. Kansas State was ranked No. 2 going into the final weekend of the season, but they dropped a game to No. 10 Texas A&M.

Florida State was ranked No. 5 going into the final weekend. After a win against Florida, the Seminoles leapfrogged Texas A&M, UCLA (who also lost), and Florida.

Bowden’s Florida State squad lost early in the season to an unranked NC State squad.

As you can imagine, Kansas State wasn’t too happy about missing out on the chance to play the Vols.

Bowden seemed to agree with Kansas State. And he became an early proponent of a playoff system, despite his team benefiting from the BCS rankings.

“Tennessee came in through the front door,” said Bowden before playing the Vols in 1999 (via the NY Times). “We came in the back door.”

“There are some other teams that maybe deserve this more than us. I think maybe we should have a four-team playoff,” added Bowden.

“I’ve never accomplished so much doing nothing and just sitting on the couch,” joked Bowden after Kansas State and UCLA lost to give FSU a spot in the championship game.

There’s no doubt Bowden was a good man. It’s hard to imagine many coaches benefitting from a flawed system and having the character to admit that other teams deserved it more.

RIP Bobby Bowden. The world lost a great one on Sunday.

Featured image via Bob Self/Florida Times-Union via Imagn Content Services