The fifth time was a charm for Tommy Bowden when facing his legendary father, Bobby. But Clemson’s 26–10 win over Florida State in 2003 was about more than bragging rights at the Bowden family Thanksgiving table.
One, it kicked off what Tigers fans refer to as “The Finish,” a series of three wins at the end of the season — the other two were a 63–17 beatdown of South Carolina and a 27–14 win over No. 6 Tennessee in the Peach Bowl — that temporarily saved the younger Bowden’s job (he would last until the middle of 2008).
Secondly, it knocked the third-ranked Seminoles out of the running for the BCS title. And Florida State hasn’t come close since then.
Until this year. No. 4 Florida State hosts No. 10 Clemson on Saturday in a game with even more drama than a Bowden Bowl.