Family Affair

Florida State and Clemson tangle on Saturday, meaning it's another version of Father (Bobby Bowden) vs. son (Tommy Bowden). The last time Bobby Bowden prepared to face his son, Clemson coach Tommy Bowden, he feared a FSU victory could cost Tommy his job. Well, Tommy pulled off the win and and kept his job. But those impatient Clemson boosters are stirring once again as the Tigers limp into Tally at 1-2. Of course, Bobby Bwoden has heard concerns with his hiring of son Jeff Bowden as well.

There comes a time each season when Florida State coach Bobby Bowden must defend son Jeff, the Seminoles' offensive coordinator.

Jeff and FSU's offense were criticized heavily following the Seminoles' defeat at Miami. FSU's offense played much better in last Saturday's home-opener against Alabama-Birmingham, though concerns remain.

Bobby Bowden says there are times when chatting with Penn State's Joe Paterno the two talk about sons.

"Joe and I do and naturally we'll talk about sons. Don't raise your son to be a cowboy. Don't raise him up to be on your staff either," Bowden said and laughed.

"When you hire your son, you know what's going to happen. Unless you play great offense every week, he is going to catch it and a lot of people are going to do it out of spite. A lot of people are directing at me, but they like me and they don't want to get on me, so they get on his boy. They get on his son. That'll get Bobby."

Bowden believes hiring a son on his staff is the right thing to do. Bowden also said fingers need to be pointed at him -- not Jeff -- when the Seminoles' offense struggles.

"Let me ask you this. Look at the Stoops brothers. Now they hire brothers," Bowden said.

"Is that the same thing or is it just for sons? Look at the success they've had. Now they're head coaches. There's success stories too. Then another thing people don't realize, our offensive staff does about what I tell them to do. So a lot of the problem is my fault if it's not doing good."

Of course, Bowden admits fans don't believe that, instead pointing their ire at Jeff.

"And they're not going to believe it," Bowden said.

"We've had some success. Offenses, I've said before, you've heard me say it, but it's so true -- offenses are fickle. Offenses are so fickle. If you're playing great defense, men, you've got a chance away from home. You've got a chance in bad weather. You've got a chance at home. You've got a chance everywhere if you've got a great defense. Offense, you can have a great offense but it's fickle. It might not want to click that day."

"What happens is fans only look at their team. They don't look what happened to that team over there and that team over there and that team over there. They're having the same problems. LSU-Auburn. Florida State-Miami. I see it all the time. I'm conscious of it so I see it all the time."

Bowden believed the Seminoles played better in Saturday's win over UAB, starting with the improved play of quarteback Chris Rix. The Seminoles now turn their attention to Saturday's ACC showdown against Clemson, coached by Tommy Bowden.

"The first thing we had to do was get consistency from our quarterback. Consistency from our quarterback," Bowden said.

"But being fair, being fair, take Southern Cal, take Florida, take Georgia -- could any of them take five offensive linemen who are returning from the year before, five starters back, and then go play somebody like Miami without him, without him, and this guy goes out a half, first series of the second half, and play with three subs and expect to get any kind of consistency? Could anybody? Could the pros do that? Could they take their front five and take three of them out of there and still execute?

"I don't think so, but people won't take that into account at all."


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