Though Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer does not like to play so many games at night, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney does not necessarily agree with him.
Meyer told the media last week he wishes they could set some kind of cap on the number of night games a team can play. For Swinney, he feels doing that would be difficult for teams such as Clemson and Ohio State because they are always in the conversation for the College Football Playoff.
“I think a lot of that depends on the type of team you are, the season you’re having and the TV demand and all that,” Swinney said Wednesday during the ACC Coaches’ Teleconference.
Playing at night has not bothered Clemson, even if it is on the road. Dating back to the start of the 2015 season, the Tigers have played at night nine times, including its last eight. They are 8-1 in those games, with the lone loss coming last week at Syracuse.
“Its late nights, but we’ve been pretty successful, so it’s hard for me to complain,” Swinney said.
The only complaint Swinney really has is how it makes for long nights. Because they have to come from the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport—a 45-minute drive from Clemson—the Tigers don’t get back to Clemson until about 5 a.m., in the morning following a night game on the road.
“It’s tough when you play that many away from home and especially with our situation here at Clemson, because we have to go all the way to Greenville,” Swinney said. “I think we got in about maybe five o’clock last week and it was a short week. It’s hard but it is what it is.”
But that is what comes with being a successful program, and it’s a problem Swinney is glad to have.
“Like I said, if you’ve got a good team, TV is always going to dictate that type of stuff,” he said. “I mean, for example, we went to Louisville, its game day, and so it’s great to be able to play in those types of games. But that part of it is if you’re the traveling team, you know you’re going to get home at 5:30 in the morning or so.
“I don’t know how you could control it with a cap or anything because again, TV is going to really dictate that, you know the demand for the type of game. It is what it is,” he said.
By the way, Clemson’s game against Georgia Tech on Oct. 28 is another night game. However this time, it’s at home.