A Meaningful Bowden Bowl V

Coming into the season, there were two games that most Clemson fans had penciled in on their schedule as "must see" games. With the season opener agianst Georgia now well behind us, there's one game that I'm pointing to in November, hoping that it somehow has championship implications.

And you know the one I'm talking about.

Clemson versus Florida State on November 8th, 2003.

I know, I know- that's a game that is a good 6-plus weeks away. But at the same time I'm holding out hope that somehow the ACC Championship will be on the line when Noles make the trip up to Death Valley.

Florida State appears to be well on their way to holding up their end of the bargain with three early season conference wins over North Carolina, Maryland, and Georgia Tech.

All they have to do between now and then is handle the Duke Blue Devils on the road, before traveling up to Charlottesville for an interesting match up with Virginia, and then close it all out with a home win over Wake Forest.

Not the easiest schedule, mind you, especially when you consider that the Noles also have games against Miami and Notre Dame as a part of a brutal non-conference schedule, but certainly FSU will be favored in each of those ACC contests.

For the Tigers, the road looks significantly more difficult, with home contests against North Carolina and Duke sandwiched in between road games against Maryland, N.C. State, and Wake Forest.


Even after a 39-3 drubbing of Georgia Tech, I wouldn't even think about predicting the Tigers to come out victorious in all five of those contests.

N.C. State looks like a team that score in bunches on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Maryland has just destroyed the Tigers in each of the past two seasons. Even the Virginia Cavaliers have managed to pull back-to-back upsets on the Tigers.

But what if, just what if, Clemson was able to sneak through that brutal stretch of games at 4-1 or 5-0?

Think about the atmosphere in Death Valley for Bowden Bowl V. Think about what it would be like to play the Seminoles in an ESPN night game with the possibility of having Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and company broadcasting College Gameday from Clemson.

And even though Bobby Bowden has said publicly that he'd like to continue to coach for the foreseeable future, you have to wonder if that will actually come to fruition.

Maybe this would be the last time he coaches in Death Valley. Maybe this will be the last time his son Tommy will have the opportunity to beat his dad in front of the home folks.

That's the beauty of running a so-called, "fan web site." You can write about these sort of scenarios and ponder the possibilities, instead of just writing about the same old things over and over every week.

I have to admit, thinking about potential of a game that could have that much magnitude is something that should stir the pot of most Clemson fans.

After all, it's been more than 12 years since the Tigers have brought home an ACC title on the gridiron.

Sure, there's a long ways to go until a game like this can actually take place. The Tigers will have to play out of their minds in College Park to beat the Terps, and they may have to put 55 points on the board to topple the Wolfpack.

But after seeing this team, this coaching staff, and this program starting to come together a little more in the last three weeks, I have hope.

And that's something a lot of people didn't have after what we saw on August 30th.

CUTigers.com Top Stories