SUNSET, S.C. — On Monday the Atlantic Coast Conference media voted Florida State to win the conference championship for 2017. On Tuesday, Dabo Swinney said he did not care.
Swinney held his annual media golf outing at The Reserve on Lake Keowee in Sunset, S.C., and he told the media all the preseason predictions and talking is fun, but in the grand scheme of things, none of it means anything.
“We just had a meeting with our team yesterday and that is one of the things I told them,” the Clemson coach said. “All of this preseason stuff, and I know it is necessary and it is awesome to be able to have a job where people are really interested in it and everybody wants to talk about it and everybody is excited about the season to come. That is the cool part, but for me, when this is what you do and you are dealing with a bunch of young people, it is just a waste of time for my players to have to worry about any of that stuff because it just does not matter.”
Clemson, who has won the last two ACC Championships and is the defending national champion, was picked by the media to finish second in the ACC’s Atlantic Division. The Tigers also finished second to the Seminoles in the number of votes to win the overall championship as well.
“As you guys have heard me say many times, the preseason stuff is all based on who left, potential and what other people think,” Swinney said. “None of that really matters. What matters is what we think and how we prepare and how we develop and what we have done since February, since January. That is really what matters and not many people really know what had happened, what has taken place or really know our roster or the mentality of and psyche of our team.”
Swinney says it is easy to get distracted by all the preseason stuff and it is fun to hear all the different opinions in regards to his team. However, the cool part about it all is that it is irrelevant to what they have to do.
“We have been picked to win the league and we have won,” he said. “We have been picked not to win the league and we won it. We have been picked to win the league and we lost it. We have been all across the board.
“We just want to be the best version of us each and every year. What does that look like? I don’t know. Sometimes people judge your team based on your record. That is a weekly thing and a judgmental thing. That is not how I look at it. I look at commitment, preparation, the character of our team, the culture of the program, the chemistry, how they love each other, the attention to detail and our practice habits. There are a lot of things that can go into winning a game or losing a game.”
And if his Tigers can do all of those things, “then I can live with the results,” Swinney said.
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