Dabo questions ‘Bama’s “grind” of a schedule
By: Mike Olson
“Clemson doesn’t play anybody.” That phrase has followed the national champion Tigers since they came into the college football playoff spotlight. Clemson head coach, Dabo Swinney, is turning that narrative around on the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The two teams met in each of the past four college football playoffs, with two of those match-ups being for the national title. Clemson won both of those championship games.
Last year, when Clemson stomped Alabama in the championship game by a score of 44-16, some said that the Crimson Tide entered the game battered due to their tough SEC schedule while the Tigers waltzed in off their relatively easy ACC schedule.
Dabo is tired of hearing these comments over and over.
“Listen, the SEC is a great conference, but I don’t think they’ve been as deep the last few years… I think they’ve had two or three really good teams and then it’s kind of been hit or miss from there,” Dabo said in a recent interview with ESPN. It’s an awesome league, for sure, and I know people say that Alabama was tired because they went through the grind and had to play all these teams. Well, they won by an average of 33.1 points per game [going into the playoff], so they ought to be well-rested.”
“My thing on that is, ‘Are you serious? They’re tired?’ Then you look at Clemson, and we won 12 games by 20-plus. Who really challenged Alabama in the SEC? They didn’t get challenged by anybody until the Georgia game [for the SEC championship].”
Swinney doesn’t want to hear any more excuses for Alabama, but at the end of the day, he’s focused on his Clemson Tigers.
“I don’t sit around and worry about it. I’m never going to apologize for trying to be the best that we can be. That’s what I was hired to do,” said Swinney.