Bowden Downplays No. 9 Ranking

CLEMSON - Tommy Bowden addresses the media before his team's first practice of 2008.

(6:41)

You are ranked No. 9 in the nation in the preseason polls. Does that sound right?
Bowden: Well, I wouldn't have any idea for it to be this early in the preseason. It's something that's not very significant until the end of the year and that's what we've talked about with the team. It's an honor to be ranked that high. I don't want to say it isn't because you had to accomplish something the previous year. If it creates a sense of urgency, a hunger then that's good. If they understand that process that it takes to be there at the end of the year- that's good. If it's business as usual as a result of this ranking, then that's not good. So we'll see how they respond over the course of the next three weeks.

Given the experience you have coming in, do you do anything differently than what you've done in the past?
Bowden: No. They've been through preseason practice before but not when they've been ranked in the top 10. The biggest thing is how they respond. Do they respond with a sense of urgency and hunger because the bull's eye is on them? It's a little different because I'm not used to answering these questions.

Because you open in the Georgia Dome, do you almost look at this like it's a bowl game?
Bowden: That's different. It's different than an away game. Different than a home game so it will be a similar to a bowl game. That's the atmosphere the Atlanta people want to create I believe. The difference is the players don't get bowl money so that's different. It's a great showcase for us.

Obviously the questions about the offensive are there. Can you just address those?
Bowden: Well the facts are the facts they just haven't lined up and started very much. They are good players. They are talented players but experience is critical at that position. The biggest thing you try to do is simplify assignments. You can't have hesitation or doubt at that position. That's what we'll try to find out the next three weeks. How much can we carry in that game so that our group of guys aren't confused.

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