Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has reason to feel confident coming off of an epic national championship win over the dominant Alabama Crimson Tide, but is perhaps feeling a little bit too good?
That remains to be seen because Clemson has some big question marks heading into 2017 — especially at quarterback. That uncertainty certainly didn’t stop Swinney from bashing last season’s CFP semifinal opponent, Ohio State, though.
In fact, he took a shot at the whole Big Ten.
Recently speaking on WCCP, a South Carolina radio station, Swinney said he knew Ohio State was going to be in trouble going up against his Tigers. To his credit, Clemson did beat the Buckeyes, 31-0, so he may have had a small point. Still, fans of the Big Ten couldn’t have been happy to hear it.
Here’s what Swinney said, per Alex Kirshner of SB Nation:
“That’s another reason why we’ve been so successful,” he told host Walt Deptula. “Nobody wants to talk about that. Go back to last year. We’re trying to figure out a way to put four Big Ten teams in the playoff. And let me tell you, if they’d have figured it out, they’d have done it. I didn’t pay no attention to the Big Ten. You just kind of buy it, right?
“That’s just what’s out there. And then we get ready to play Ohio State and I start watching the tape, I watch every single game, and I go in and tell our guys. I’m like, ‘Boys, these guys are in trouble.’ I mean, I’ve watched the whole league. I’ve gone through the whole league both sides. These guys are in trouble. And that’s exactly what happened. Again, that’s a credit to our league.”
Ohio State came into that semifinal game ranked No. 3 in the nation and the Buckeyes did play a decent schedule in 2016. They beat No.14 Oklahoma in Norman, 45-24, and also beat No. 8 Wisconsin on the road in overtime. They killed No. 10 Nebraska, 62-3, and took No. 3 Michigan to overtime before winning in somewhat controversial fashion.
Ohio State did have a tough season, but apparently, Swinney felt that his Tigers were better tested. With a schedule that featured Auburn to start the season, No. 3 Louisville with eventual Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, a game at No. 12 Florida State, and against No. 23 Virginia Tech his logic does have a decent argument.
Unfortunately for Big Ten fans, Clemson’s blanking of Ohio State is an even better argument though, and it speaks volumes.