Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney hijacked the coaches’ teleconference Sunday to preview next Saturday’s Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game against Pittsburgh. However, it turned into a message where he told the fans, and the media, he did not appreciate those who wrote or said Saturday’s 56-35 win over rival South Carolina “felt like a loss.”
Though the Tigers beat the Gamecocks for a fifth straight year, they allowed 600 total yards, while USC quarterback Jake Bentley threw for 510 yards, the most ever against a Clemson team in the series.
Swinney indicated on Sunday he saw stories written about the game and heard how some fans were not happy about the result.
Before Saturday, Clemson (12-0) had not beaten the Gamecocks five years in a row since the 1934-’40 era when it won seven straight.
“I have been a part of this thing for sixteen years,” Swinney said. “I just want to win by one more point. If that ever gets to where that is not enough. It is time for me to move on to somewhere else… I’m definitely not going to be disappointed over a 21-point win over a state rival, ever.”
Swinney send a direct message to those who were disappointed with the Tigers’ win.
“And you people that suggest that it felt like a loss, y’all need to check yourself, too,” he said. “And for all of those people out there that want to complain about the five wins in a row and by winning by three touchdowns … Man! That is shameful! That is a lack of respect for our program and a lack of respect for these players and coaches put in.
“I hope you write that… This a 12-0 football team. A senior class that has won 52 games and we have people complaining. Give me a break. If 12-0 is not good enough, then it is time to seek other places. Make sure you get that.”
When asked if the fans disappointed from the USC game was due to the program’s high expectations and maybe a spoiled fan base, Swinney said, “I’ll say it one more time. We have had eight 10-plus win seasons. We are 12-0 for the third time in the history of this school and we have won five state championships in a row. When that is not enough for some people, that is sad.
“I have been a part of that when we have lost five of those in a row. There has been some articles pushed my way and some comments from people … This program is never going to be that way and I am not going to stand for that. It is too hard to win. These players work too hard. The goal is to win period and that is just the way it is. I don’t want to ever be a program, ever, that does not appreciate winning.
“When you win by three touchdowns in a state championship, you got people that can’t appreciate that then that is really sad. That is really sad. Just look around college football. There are a lot of places out there that would love to have the program we have here. I can assure you of that.”