If Rick Catlett has his way, Bobby Bowden's final game at Florida State will be in the Gator Bowl against West Virginia.
Catlett, the president of the Gator Bowl, said Tuesday that his bowl has the right to invite Bowden, who announced his retirement on Tuesday, and the Seminoles despite their 4-4 ACC record.
"We want Florida State," Catlett said. "We want Bobby Bowden to end his career in the Gator Bowl."
To pair FSU against West Virginia, Bowden's previous coaching stop, the Gator would have to maneuver around the ACC's "one-win" rule. Typically, the ACC would not let the Gator select FSU before teams with a conference record of 6-2 or better.
But Catlett said his contract with the ACC allows him to pass on the loser of Saturday's conference championship game, either Georgia Tech (7-1) or Clemson (6-2), and select the Seminoles as long as Virginia Tech, which finished 6-2 in the ACC, is not available.
"If Virginia Tech is there, we have to take them," Catlett said. "Every indication is Virginia Tech will go to the Chick-fil-A [Bowl]."
By taking Georgia Tech in 2006, after its loss in the ACC title game, Catlett said he fulfilled his contract with the ACC to take the loser of the championship game once in a four-year window.
Bowden has led FSU to 27 straight bowl games. The first, in 1982, was against West Virginia in the Gator Bowl.
Catlett said West Virginia, where Bowden coached from 1970 to '75, is the natural opponent for FSU.
"That's not a done deal but it makes a lot of sense," Catlett said of West Virginia.
Florida State moving up the ACC ladder moves either Miami or North Carolina down. The Champs Bowl selects after the Gator and would have the ability to select Miami (5-3) over Clemson (6-2) but not Georgia Tech (7-1).
The Music City Bowl is as far as the loser of the ACC championship game can contractually fall if the Champs passes on Clemson.
Music City officials had been angling to line up UNC with Kentucky from the SEC. That matchup could still happen, but bowl officials will have to wait for the result of the conference championship game to finalize it.
The choices for the Meineke Bowl in Charlotte would then be Miami or UNC.