Originally created 08/27/99

Family anticipates matchup



College football's first father-son confrontation is set for Oct. 23 in Death Valley when Florida State faces Clemson.

Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden, the patriarch of college football's first family, could reach the 300-win plateau by defeating his son Tommy.

Ultimately, it may be remembered more as a war of words than a football skirmish.

"If they don't win them all, they ought to shoot the coach," Tommy Bowden said.

To which his dad responded, "If Clemson don't win eight games, he ought to be shot."

Florida State is among the preseason frontrunners for the national championship, while Clemson is attempting to rebound from last year's 3-8 misery.

The historic event originally was scheduled for Aug. 26, 1999, when Terry Bowden's Auburn team was to play his father's Seminoles. When Terry was fired midway through last season, Auburn backed out of the nationally televised game.

"I had been pretty much reserved to the fact it would be Terry," Tommy Bowden said. "I'm very excited about this. Playing Dad with a poor record could make that game very insignificant from a national standpoint."

A year ago, FSU beat Clemson 48-0 in Tallahassee, Fla. Since the 'Noles joined the ACC in 1992, the Tigers haven't beat them, scoring all of three points in four games at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Games at Death Valley have been more competitive, with Clemson losing by four, 19 and seven points.

So who does the Bowden family cheer for, father or son? Normally, Tommy's mother, Ann, would pull for the underdog, which would be Tommy. It will be hard to root against her husband if his Seminoles are contending for a national championship.

"I'll be the only one rooting for me," 45-year-old Tommy Bowden said.