CLEMSON - Tommy Bowden has looked at Florida State's 26-20 loss to Louisville
in every way imaginable, and nowhere can he find evidence the setback will be
good for Clemson.
The Tigers' head coach is preparing his team for Thursday night's Atlantic
Coast Conference showdown with the Seminoles in Tallahassee, and can only see
FSU benefiting from the defeat.
"They've got Miami and Notre Dame after us, so they'll be focused," Bowden
said. "If they lost focus they'll be refocused, believe me. We'll get their
'A' game. Not that we wouldn't. Seems like we get it every year."
One popular train of thought making the rounds these days is that the
Louisville loss again exposed weaknesses in Florida State's personnel.
Another is that the steady stream of assistant coaches leaving the Seminole
program - Chuck Amato to N.C. State and Mark Richt to Georgia, among them -
has taken its toll on the program's symmetry.
But if Bowden sees the same things, he's quick to set them aside. He still
refers to Florida State as the class of the ACC, and believes his team gained
nothing from the Louisville debacle.
"If they'd come out of that game really beat up, then that would be to our
advantage," he said. "But I didn't see any major injuries. They're going to
have a normal work week to prepare. We'll have just a few more days
"I can't see any plusses for us. Just negatives."
If he really feels that way, Bowden might be wise to learn a rain dance
between now and Thursday night.
The Tigers have played consecutive games in varying degrees of rain, beating
both Georgia Tech and Ball State. Meanwhile, FSU head coach Bobby Bowden
constantly referred to the hard, steady rain in Louisville as one reason for
the ineffectiveness of his offense.
Alas for the younger Bowden, however, the forecast for Thursday is only for a
30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms. Any rain caused by Hurricane
Lili is more of a threat for Texas, Louisiana and Alabama, with western
Florida not expected to be effected.
"They have better overall athletes than both us and Louisville," Bowden said.
"The rain can equal that out, though. It did in the Louisville loss."
Clemson Young Alumni Association FSU Viewing Party in Greenville
Watch the CU/FSU game next Thursday, Oct. 3 at Wild
Wing on Washington St. in downtown Greenville. The game kicks off at
7:45pm, but everything gets started around around 7pm. If you have any questions
email Pam Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the Florence Morning News. He also hosts SportsTalk from 10 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9. Click here for Dan Scott's SportsTalk discussion board.