DALLAS — Like most of his football players, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney is getting to do something this week he has never done before – experience the Dallas area.
The second-ranked Tigers arrived at their team hotel Sunday evening as they get set to play No. 3 Notre Dame in the 83rd Cotton Bowl Classic this Saturday as part of the College Football Playoff.
“I’m super pumped,” Swinney said after the Tigers checked into their team hotel. “I’ve never been to the Cotton Bowl, so this is a new experience for me, been doing this a long time. I’ve always heard great things.
“What a great city, what an unbelievable hotel and a venue to be able play in. So, everybody is excited. I’m glad we are able to get out here today and get situated. It’s definitely something we’ve put a lot of work in back at Clemson. Now we’re excited to have a true game-week here in Dallas.”
The Tigers (13-0) get back to the practice field Monday afternoon at AT&T Stadium following their introductory media session featuring Swinney, linebacker Kendall Joseph and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow.
Monday’s practice is closed to the public and open to media only for a brief 15-minute window at the start of practice.
The Tigers are back in the College Football Playoff for a fourth-straight year, joining top-ranked Alabama as the only programs to earn at least four-straight CFP berths. Alabama, who will play No. 4 Oklahoma in the other CFP Semifinal at the Orange Bowl, is making their fifth straight appearance.
Clemson is also back at the place of their first-ever bowl win and first-ever win over a Top 20 team, a 6-3 victory over then No. 11 Boston College in the 1940 Cotton Bowl Classic.
“For the 1939 team to come out here and play in the first bowl game, and to not have been back to the Cotton Bowl since, I think is really special for all of the Clemson old timers for sure,” Swinney said. “For me, just another one of those neat things that this senior class is able to put on their resume.”
Clemson’s senior come into this game with a 53-4 record, the most in ACC history by a senior class. They became the first ACC team to win four outright ACC titles earlier this month when they beat Pittsburgh in the ACC Championship Game.
The Cotton Bowl is set for 3 p.m. CST on ESPN with kickoff slated for 3:10 p.m.