CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Florida State coach Bobby Bowden's advice to his players is simple:
Don't listen to the vitriol with which they are sure to be bombarded after a 28-21 loss at Boston College, which dropped the Seminoles to 2-3 overall and an unprecedented 0-2 in the ACC.
"I don't do a lot of reading when we're doing bad," Bowden said Sunday afternoon. "I think (the players are) smart enough to know that we'll be the ones who determine what we do and what kind of progress we're going to make, and not what speculation is.
"I think there's enough quality on this football team and enough brains on this staff to eventually get this thing together. You can't give up. That's the thing about it. You can't give up. I refuse to."
They seemingly have gotten that message.
"You can't care. You can't worry about it," QB Christian Ponder said. "You've got to believe in yourself, believe in your team and not worry about what other people think."
That figures to be job No. 1 for the coaches this week, perhaps more so than devising a way to stop Georgia Tech's option or figuring out a way to be more effective at the goal line on offense.
"That's what coaching is," offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said. "We've got to sit down and look them in the eye (and tell them), 'I believe in (you).' Hopefully they'll keep believing in us. I think they will. I think we can show them how close we are."
"You don't have to worry about us," WR Bert Reed said. "We've got guys with character. We're going to fight, and we're going to come out of this. … We're going to take shots from a lot of people. Guys got to know that. You can't listen to that stuff and go about your business and do what you have to do to get better."
Bowden's future: Although some folks in the media are calling for Bowden to announce that this season will be his last, he is ignoring that.
"I will determine my situation with (the president of) Florida State University when my move has to come," he said. "I already know in the back of my mind when I want to leave here, so I won't let some guy's speculation tell me when to move or what decision to make."
Getting younger: Freshman DB Xavier Rhodes played for the first time Saturday, getting in on the punt return team in the third quarter. He's the 12th freshman to play this year.
Odds and ends: Senior WR Louis Givens, a one-time walk-on, scored on an 11-yard run, his first career touchdown. … Bowden said he had no new information on senior CB Patrick Robinson, who left the game with a left ankle injury early in the second quarter. … The Georgia Tech game Saturday will be on ESPN2. Kickoff is at 8 p.m.
Brian Landman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3347.