CHARLOTTE — Tanner Muse played it cool and took the high road when asked for his response to the comments that were made by Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses about Clemson during SEC Media Days on Wednesday in Hoover, Alabama.
At the 2019 ACC Football Kickoff at the Westin Charlotte, the senior Clemson safety shrugged off the disparaging remarks from Moses, who was quoted as saying that the Crimson Tide’s 44-16 loss to the Tigers in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game was “more about preparation” and that he “wouldn’t say they (Clemson) were a better team,” according to Josh Kendall of The Athletic.
Moses added, “Georgia is definitely the hardest team I have played in college.”
“It doesn’t bother me at all,” Muse said. “He’s entitled to his own opinion, so he can say what he wants to. But at the end of the day, it’s about wins and losses. So, you either win or you lose, and then say what you want afterward. But at the end of the day, the final result is the final result. There is no changing it, only what you do next.”
Also at SEC Media Days, Nick Saban made an excuse for the Tide’s thrashing at the hands of the Tigers in January’s national title game. According to Gene Sapakoff of the Charleston Post and Courier, the Alabama coach chalked up the defeat in part to the fact that his players had “personal outcomes ahead of team outcomes” in mind and that his team “had a lot of distractions at the end of the year.”
The knocks against Clemson are nothing new for Muse and the Tigers, who have become used to others trying to tear down and take away from what they have accomplished.
“Really, the team hasn’t been appreciated,” Muse said. “It’s always about somebody else, which is cool. We don’t mind it at all. We’re always trying to be the best version of us.
“The appreciation always comes after the fact. So everybody’s like the best ever, 15-0. But that wasn’t the storyline all season. It was all about what Alabama was doing. They were so great, and they really were. They were blowing up records offensively and defensively, and they had a great year. But it’s kind of how it always is, underappreciated. But that’s OK.”
Others have claimed that Alabama’s performance against Clemson was impacted by what they believe was a more difficult schedule leading up to the championship game, though Muse isn’t buying that either.
“I take pride in this ACC,” he said. “I feel like it’s got a lot of good teams, and we go through the same thing. We both played 15 games. So, I don’t see it as that. … I don’t see it being any different – ACC, SEC, Big 12, Big Ten. They’re all great conferences, Power Five conferences, so it is what it is.”
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney loves to play the “disrespect” card with his team to keep his players motivated, and he should have no problem finding new ammo to work with heading into the 2019 season even though the Tigers are coming off a perfect 15-0 campaign.
“I’m sure he’ll have something cooked up for us,” Muse said. “After summer meeting, usually the fall camp is usually when he gets his slogans and all that good stuff. So usually during the season, he’ll have some good stuff for you.”