I hate I am having to write a column to explain why
Why is Dabo Swinney’s decision not to give Kelly Bryant a national championship ring a story? It should not be. I even hate bringing it up in a column. But I have to because there are so many people in the national media that sound ridiculous about this subject.
Does Kelly Bryant deserve a ring? The answer is simple. No! He does not deserve a national championship ring because Kelly Bryant did not help Clemson get to or win the national championship last year.
As one of our esteemed TCI members wrote yesterday, if he was to leave his job in April, does that mean he gets a Christmas bonus in December? He did work for a quarter of the year, right?
Kelly Bryant was 16-2 as a starter at Clemson. He led the Tigers’ to an ACC Championship and the College Football Playoff in 2017. He deserves all the credit in the world for those accomplishments and no one will ever take that away from him. In the process, he got an ACC Championship ring and a Sugar Bowl ring for those accomplishments. Guess what? He also got a national championship ring in 2016, when he was a member of that team.
Bryant was not a member of Clemson’s 2018 Football Team. He started off as one, but he chose to leave the team. He chose to. No one asked him to leave.
He played in just four of 15 games. What precedents would Dabo Swinney set for the players that stayed if he rewarded a player who quit the team with a national championship ring?
I see nothing wrong with Swinney’s decision and reason for not giving Bryant a ring. He did not deserve it. Even Bryant said so this afternoon.
Yes. Kelly Bryant helped Clemson beat Texas A&M. But you can’t say with confidence Clemson would have lost the game had he not played, either.
If you want to play “the what if game” we can. What if Swinney decided early in fall camp last year that Trevor Lawrence was the better quarterback? Instead of giving Bryant the opportunity to win the job, like he did, what if Swinney pulled the trigger early in August and started giving Lawrence all the first-team reps? That Texas A&M game might have been a little different.
Remember, Lawrence did throw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Tee Higgins against the Aggies, and he did not play his best that afternoon. What if he took all the reps leading up to that game? Do you think things might have been different?
Once Swinney gave Lawrence the job last year, look how quickly he progressed and look how dominant Clemson became afterwards. Swinney made a decision that was in the best interest of his team and Bryant made a decision that was in the best interest of his football career.
There is not a story here. I hate I had to write a column about it to explain why.