Commentary: Fans Will Have to Get Used to Bowden Rumors


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CLEMSON -- It may be a non-story here (for now), but the state of Alabama is bum deep in Bowden rumors.


Another slow start by the Crimson Tide, including losses to UCLA and Southern Mississippi, has Mike Dubose on the chopping block.


Again.


It was just a year ago that revelations about his personal life, coupled with an early-season loss to unheralded Louisiana Tech, had Dubose on his way out the door, yet another victim of post-Bear syndrome. But that would prove to be the last game Alabama lost in 1999, and Dubose not only was allowed to keep his job, but was awarded a nice new contract extension.


My, how times have changed.


Again.


Just weeks after touting itself as contenders for the national championship, Alabama (1-2) is finding it difficult to even think about winning the SEC West. And sure enough, with the losses have come the rumors, and those rumors center right here in Clemson.

Bowden was born in Birmingham and still has family in the city. He has lived in the state five times, three as an assistant coach ‹ twice at Auburn, once at Alabama.

So now, when the latest Dubose demise rumors hit the media, it's only natural that Bowden becomes the center of attention for success-starved Crimson Tide fans. A columnist in Mobile, Ala. Thursday went so far as to insinuate that those close to Bowden feel he would love to leave Clemson.

"Bowden family friends indicate he would jump at the chance to get into the Southeastern Conference and especially at Alabama," wrote John Cameron of the Mobile Register.

Apprised of Cameron's remarks following Thursday's practice, Bowden was quick to dismiss them.

"I'd say that would be inaccurate. Very inaccurate," he said. "Family friends...I've got my wife and my father. I've got two. You (the local media) haven't said anything. The players haven't said anything. It's a non-factor.

"It's like I said (Wednesday), you've got two guys with two four-year contracts. We're 3-0 and they're 1-2. If it were the other way around, if we were 1-2, rumors would have him coming to Clemson."

Probably not, because Clemson fans' love affair with Bowden remains in the honeymoon stage. Given the excitement he has generated in just over 18 months, Bowden can do little wrong at a school which traditionally accepts nothing less than perfection.

But if this season's 3-0, point-scoring barrage of a start is a true indication of how good this team really is, Clemson fans should get used to rumors and expect more and more of them every year. Good coaches, with solid track records of success, are being sought after all over the country.

And with a wide-open offense that recruits itself, not to mention a famous name, Tommy Bowden will be the first choice of many schools hoping to reverse their football fortunes.

If he remains successful, every year someone will come calling. Every year Clemson fans will hold their breath. And every year, Clemson's administration will be faced with finding a way to keep its prized head coach.

Every year, Tommy Bowden's stock will continue to rise.

Every year, he'll look down from his orange and white catbird seat, knowing his financial future will never be in doubt.



Dan Scott is the sports editor of Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Daily Messenger.
His columns can be read at www.dailyjournalmessenger.com.

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