BOBBY BOWDEN'S SON Tommy won't be on the sideline when his father coaches his final game for Florida State in tomorrow's Gator Bowl.

And for good reason.

Tommy Bowden, the head coach at Clemson from 1999 to 2008, will be among a contigent that will stage a "bowl" game for U.S. troops in Baghdad tomorrow.

The teams will be composed of former college/pro players - including former Eagles quarterback Ty Detmer - and military personnel. Former Dallas Cowboys/

University of Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer will head up one squad and Tommy Bowden the other.

The player roster is non too shabby, either. Along with Detmer are Tee Martin, Tommie Frazier, Garrison Hearst, Rocket Ismail, Tony Casillas, Brian Bosworth, Bruce Smith and Joe Washington.

The idea is to bring a bit of "bowl week" to the troops. The game will be held at Camp Victory and will be televised at halftime of Monday's Fiesta Bowl.

"It's kind of a microcosm of how people in the United States feel about our troops," Tommy Bowden told the Associated Press. "Hopefully, this can be a small dose of appreciation from the sport of college football."

Bowden signed on to coach the game long before he found out his father was retiring after 34 seasons at Florida State.

But Bobby Bowden isn't the least bit upset.

"I told Tommy, 'When you get over there, you tell them I want to go over there,' so I wouldn't be surprised if I get an invitation some time in the next year," Bobby told the AP last week. "Those guys really appreciate it."

Tommy Bowden said he expects to get more out of the experience than the troops.

"I already had a strong, strong appreciation of the sacrifices that the military makes," he said. "I'm going to get a firsthand taste of what it's like to be away from home in the holidays. These people put their lives on the line for the ultimate sacrifice. I'm going to come back with a greater appreciation of what these people, our troops, are giving up in order for us to live a life of comfort."

- Tom Mahon