FRIDAY’S BEST BET ON TELEVISION
After an encouraging series against the Dodgers, the Nationals host the Braves in the first of a three-game set. 7:30 p.m., Ch. 20, MASN
BEST OF THE WEEKEND IN SPORTS
Clemson vs. Alabama
The Tigers appear to be everyone’s pick to win the ACC and have arguably the conference’s best player in Cullen Harper. But there’s a ton of pressure on Tommy Bowden, and his team faces a tough opening test against Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.
Phillies at Cubs
Useless fact: The Cubs and Phillies have never made the playoffs in the same year. Chicago is the class of the National League, while Philadelphia is in a NL East dogfight with the Mets for the second straight year.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Pepsi 500
Well, it’s clear that Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch won’t exchange Christmas cards this year after their tussle at Bristol. But with those two already squarely in the chase, expect fireworks from some drivers on the bubble Sunday at Fontana.
Deutsche Bank Championship
The second leg of the FedEx Cup takes place in suburban Boston, with Phil Mickelson looking to defend his title from last year. Meanwhile, several players, including Steve Stricker and Rocco Mediate, have one last chance to impress U.S. Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger.
TWT FIVE: BEST BOWDENS
1. Bobby Bowden — The Florida State coach has 373 wins, more than anyone who has coached in Division I. He has won two national championships with the Seminoles and 12 conference titles.
2. Tommy Bowden — The coach at Clemson has a career record of 87-46 with eight bowl berths. He has just a 3-5 record in those games, however, and has failed to take his team to a BCS bowl.
3. Terry Bowden — Compiled a 111-53-2 record during stints at three schools, including six years at Auburn. Now an analyst with ABC/ESPN.
4. Jeff Bowden — Was the offensive coordinator at FSU under his father before being forced to resign in 2006. Had previously coached at Salem, Samford and SMU.
5. Mark Bowden — No relation to any of the Bowdens above. Gained attention as a journalist and author of the book “Black Hawk Down,” which was later made into a movie. Also wrote “The Best Game Ever: Giants vs. Colts, 1958, and the Birth of the Modern NFL.” (UPDATE: Mark Bowden is actually a first cousin once removed from Bobby Bowden. “Bobby was my father Richard’s first cousin,” Mark Bowden said in an email. “They were close throughout my father’s life, and I have know Bobby my whole life….We Bowdens take great pride in Bobby’s accomplishments, and in his entire football clan’s. Seminole flags fly all over the country on game days, and my eldest son is a proud FSU alumnus.”)