by David LaRose
Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney has never been shy about speaking his mind. Not after a win, not after a loss and especially not during on the field postgame interviews. He’s had some over the top moments during his time as the Tigers head coach and he believes that he is coaching the best team not only in the ACC, but in the whole country.
Swinney is a confident man and despite his vested interest in the SEC–he grew up an SEC fan and played for Alabama–he doesn’t buy into the thought that the conference, one that has won seven straight BCS National Championships, is any better than the ACC or any other power conference.
The outspoken coach had this to say on the aura of the SEC after national signing day:
“The SEC would maybe want you to think that, and that they invented football, and that you just can’t be successful if you don’t play in their league…We don’t buy that. And thankfully, the recruits that we’ve been bringing in for three years in a row don’t buy that lie either. They’re more focused on bringing a championship back to Clemson.”
From a guy that won a national championship in the SEC and grew up in SEC country, that’s a bold statement. However, you can’t fault a coach for sticking to what he believes in, especially when he’s had success where he is outside of the SEC. Swinney has evolved Clemson into a major program that has plenty of accomplishments to their name, both on the field and on the recruiting trail.
In the past two seasons Swinney has led Clemson to their first ACC Championship since 1991, a BCS bowl game appearance, a Chik Fil A bowl win over LSU, two top 15 recruiting classes and a 21-6 overall record, including a 13-3 mark in the ACC.
You could say he’s had some good seasons.
But for Clemson to be a national title contender, they will have to take the next step and have a better regular season showing in the ACC and finish the season on a better note, especially against rival South Carolina who has beaten them four straight times. Swinney says that they are on the doorstep to being great and now all they have to do is “step through that doorway to greatness.”
That’s easier said than done, but Swinney is just the man for Clemson to try and do that with. I’ll leave you with a little Dabo excitement.