Bowden's Sunday Teleconference

CLEMSON - Head coach Tommy Bowden met with the media after Saturday's loss to Boston College.

EYE ON NEXT WEEK: The Tigers, now 8-3 on the season after falling to Boston College 20-17 Saturday night, will wrap up the 2007 regular season next weekend against archrival South Carolina in Columbia.

The Gamecocks, once ranked sixth in the nation after getting off to a 6-1 start, have lost four games in a row and are coming off a bye week. In addition, for the second straight season third-year head coach Steve Spurrier has guided his team to a 3-5 record in the SEC.

South Carolina defeated Clemson last year in Death Valley, 31-28 when Jad Dean missed a 39-yard field goal as time expired. The Tigers won their last trip to Williams-Brice Stadium in 2005, 13-9.

Going back to 1980, the Tigers have only lost twice in Columbia: a 20-7 loss in 1987 and a 20-15 loss in 2001.

Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden was asked Sunday about the Boston College game beating the team twice and he responded by saying, "You mention it to them. I think we'll play hard against South Carolina. ... This game means a lot to our players, especially from this state. But you never know until you play the game how mentality fatigued you are.

"The players will bounce back. We bounced back after the Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech loss. We'll bounce back."

BOWL POSSIBILITIES: While all the bowl possibilities are far from determined with a week left in the regular season and the ACC Championship game yet to be played, it would be hard to imagine the Tigers falling past the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando.

The more likely scenario however would have the Tigers not falling past the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville.

The Gator Bowl, which pits the No. 3 selection from the ACC versus a team from the Big East or Big XII, reportedly wanted Clemson to face Texas last year, but instead were forced by the ACC to select Georgia Tech, the loser of the ACC Championship game.

The Tigers could end up in the Chic-Fil-A Bowl should they beat South Carolina and Boston College lose the ACC Championship game and bowl officials choose Clemson over Boston College because the Tigers are within a loss of the Eagles.

The only thing that is known for sure at this point is that the winner of the ACC Championship game will go to the Orange Bowl and the Chic-Fil-A Bowl, Gator Bowl and Champs Sports Bowls will chose from Clemson, the ACC Championship game loser and the loser of the Virginia Tech-Virginia game next weekend.

Bowden said improving the Tigers' bowl stock is not at the forefront of his mind this week. Beating South Carolina, however, is.

"We'll talk more about winning the (South Carolina) game. Nine wins is obviously better than eight and I've mentioned (bowl possibilities) in the past but I'll talk more about winning the game."

BOWDEN JOB SECURITY QUESTIONS: Bowden was asked Sunday if he felt pressure to win Saturday's game against South Carolina in order to save his job.

He said, "I don't think about that. We got eight wins trying to get nine. My mind is geared more towards this week. I was real pleased with our effort in the Boston College game this week. Offense. Defense. Special teams.

"You hate to lose. As far as that happening ... God will take care of me. But jobs like this, Tennessee, Michigan, Florida ... where championships are expected. You don't really flinch. It doesn't cause you to flinch at all."

Bowden also was asked how he would respond to the fans that suggest this is the same old Clemson after falling just short of the Atlantic Division title for the third straight year.

"Well, I thought it was a well-played football game," he said. "That might be us next year. What it is, is what it is. Three years in a row we've come out second in the division. Sure I'd much rather be in the championship game. Always the bridesmaid and never the bride."

QUICK HITS: Bowden was asked if he was concerned about his team's inability to run the football against Boston College and he responded by saying, "They were second in the nation against the rush so we were anticipating difficulties." The Tigers rushed for just 47 yards for the game. ... Bowden said he felt as though his defense was good enough this year to win a conference championship. "We are on the verge, offensively and defensively," he said. "Obviously by the game we are close to a championship level. …

"We're not going backwards. Talent-wise we aren't going backwards. I don't think we are going backwards at all. We were closer this year. We'll keep elevating recruiting."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "When I talked to the team, my comments were after the game that you played as hard as you could. I told them a great player made one more play. He's going to be an NFL quarterback." – Tommy Bowden on talking to his team about Saturday's loss. Top Stories