Sound Off

The Bowden Family is a close-knit group. Even so, ABC analyst Terry Bowden is not bashful when chatting about college football -- even when it comes to FSU, coached by father Bobby, and the Clemson Tigers, coached by brother Tommy. Click here for this exclusive interview as Terry covers a variety of subjects, from the 'Noles' season-opening victory over North Carolina to the Tigers' season-opening defeat to Georgia to the job offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden has done the past three seasons.

On Florida State:

"I thought Florida State did everything they needed...I think that was a win my dad needed to have. He really needed that for himself personally. Just the fact that so much was going on in the off-season and for the defense to play so well and for Chris Rix to show the poise that he did. I think I was excited for my father just because…he was a little more bubbly. I bet he wouldn't stop talking during his press conference."

On Tommy, whose Clemson Tigers fell 30-0 to Georgia last Saturday:

"All I can do is be positive with Tommy. Just like my dad would say, ‘Tommy we got beat by Miami 31-0 one year and went on to rest.' He has to hope that changes. He didn't play very well. I thought it was very much like Florida State after the 2000 championship game where they tried to go to the running attack. They tried to force it and weren't very good. I think Tommy made a commitment to go to the running attack. You try to force it and it's not very good. Unfortunately, there's no time for growing pains at Clemson. Definitely a hot seat for Tommy. Everybody can't win every time. We can't overestimate Florida State. We can't overestimate the Gators. You can't overestimate Texas. A lot of teams that played well in that first game. It's a long season. By the time Florida State plays Florida and Clemson plays South Carolina, most people won't remember the score in that first game."

On FSU's receivers:

"Last year the receivers were more experienced but they dropped balls. Worse than I've seen in a long time. These young guys at least caught everything. They caught passes. The running game is going to be there. I think you have to be excited about Lorenzo Booker and a healthy Greg Jones. But the receivers are talented, young and I was very impressed by the way they caught the ball. But overall it's the defense that's going to give Florida State a chance to get back. I enjoyed just seeing the defense run around. It looked like the old defense. I hope that's not the worst ACC team they were playing but North Carolina did look very good."

On Jeff Bowden:

"He sure has. It has been unfortunate. Jeff worked for me for seven years as my offensive coordinator. I hate to say but he's just as good as the rest of us -- well, Tommy's not doing real well right now (laughing). All coaches have their ups and down. Jeff had his hands tied. He's had to take a lot of criticism and had to sit there and take it. First of all, he wasn't calling plays the first two years. He didn't start calling plays until the Florida game last year and did a pretty good job. And, when he got there, he didn't call plays against Oklahoma in the national championship game and that was a pretty lousy offensive performance. But what happens is my dad demanded they go to a running attack, very much like Tommy is trying to do. And he followed orders. Okay, we will go out there and run the football. Well, it was ugly but they did learn how to run the football again. It's hard to shift from the shotgun to the I-formation. But he was given the orders to put a running attack in. There's not much I can say because I am blood and they will say you are just protecting your brother. But I happen to know how well he can coach and he can run an offense. I am glad to see them putting the whole thing together and him up in that box. If he fails…if he's held accountable, I think he wants to call the plays and say people it's my fault, I need to go. Or let me move on and move up."

On first week:

"Nothing is good as it seems or as bad as it seems. Let's see Florida State the next two weeks and how they play. They have a tough Maryland team that wants to regroup and I think is better than they played. Just like the Florida Gators down here that I talk to on my radio show (in Orlando), let's wait after the Miami game. I think everybody has to wait. I think the truth is somewhere in between. I've listened to the University of Florida and they are trash-talking. I think they are hungry to do that but I think you have to wait a little bit. Every team in the country…like I say, for Tommy it's not as bad as it looked and for Florida State it may not be as good as it looked."


Nole Digest Top Stories