CHARLOTTE — On a day when the Atlantic Coast Conference was boasting its new television network, the ACC Football Kickoff became a war of words between Clemson and Alabama on Wednesday.
It all started in Birmingham, Alabama when Crimson Tide linebacker Dylan Moses told the media at SEC Media Days that “Clemson was not the better team” and that Georgia was the toughest opponent they had played during his time at Alabama.
Of course, thanks to Twitter, the news quickly got back to Clemson players Tanner Muse and John Simpson, as well as head coach Dabo Swinney, at the ACC’s media event from the Charlotte Westin in downtown Charlotte.
“Alabama was a really good team. They played really, really hard, man,” Simpson said. “They have their opinions that is just how it is going to be. We got our opinions and they got theirs. If that is how they feel than that is how they feel.
“I personally feel that Notre Dame was the best team we played. Notre Dame was really good. I think Notre Dame was better than Alabama was.”
The Tigers pounded Alabama, 44-16, this past January in Santa Clara, California, including 30 straight unanswered points to become the first major program in college football to post a perfect 15-0 record. The win clinched Clemson its third national championship and its second in the last three years. In both cases, the Tigers beat Alabama.
“I don’t know what I am supposed to say,” Swinney chuckled to the media. “We were the better team that day, so that is all that matters.”
After a pause for a second or two, “There is really nothing else to say,” Swinney said.
Even Boston College head coach Steve Addazio got in his shot at Alabama when he was asked if Clemson had separated itself from the rest of the ACC.
“Yeah, they’ve separated from the ACC, but they’ve also separated from Alabama,” he said.