Swinney Not Having Any of the 'Rhetoric' about Tigers' schedule
CLEMSON — Apparently Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney is tired of defending his programs' schedule — as well he should be.
Every season, before the College Football Playoff rankings are set to be released, Swinney must begin what has become an annual ritual of defending his Tigers playing in the ACC. In fact, last season, it was the "easy schedule" that allowed the Tigers to run through the playoffs like a hot knife through butter.
But when Swinney was asked about his thoughts on how the national media perceives the Tigers' schedule and whether or not he thinks about that when subbing players into games earlier than most coaches, he couldn't contain himself.
"If I were thinking about that, do you think Travis Etienne would have had the carries he had last week? I couldn't care less," Swinney said. "That rhetoric? We've played the same schedule since I've been head coach here. We've played the same conference schedule and two SEC teams. Every year ... it's we don't play anybody. We've become a dominant team in the postseason and now they're saying that's because we don't play anybody in the season. I just laugh. It's the same old spin."
Swinney then proceeded to take on his alma mater, the University of Alabama, and their schedule.
"Who has beat Alabama in the SEC? Who? How many games have they lost in the last five years in their conference," Swinney questioned. "It's not many, but yet we have had a great run in our conference and it's because no one else is any good, right? I can't control what other people think. We've had the most bowl teams the last three years of any conference in college football. But nobody talks about that. It's laughable. It's great.
"It creates a lot of excitement. For us, we just stay locked in on what we can control. We're excited to play anybody that we can play. We've had a lot of great moments here against a lot of great teams. We just worry about Clemson."
Even with the success that Swinney and the Tigers have experienced, he is not surprised in the least that the Tigers are still searching for the credit they deserve.
"No. We needed a network, I guess," Swinney said smiling. "We finally got one for the ACC. All these other networks talk about their leagues. That's what they should do. We've been successful without a network. We've got some people sitting around talking about the ACC all the time and in a positive way. The last six years the ACC has won three national titles.
"I just laughed (when Swinney heard that Alabama was blaming their loss on Clemson's schedule). We were the better team that day. And they were a great team. The year before they were the better team. They just whipped us. We could have won the game but we didn't play well enough and didn't deserve it. There aren't any excuses. We just got beat.""