Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney used his Wednesday teleconference call with ESPN’s Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit as a therapy session instead of previewing today’s game against NC State.
Herbstreit said during ESPN’s College GameDay Show on Saturday that he and Fowler just stayed quiet as they allowed Swinney to rant on how he feels the College Football Playoff Committee and others this year have been disrespecting his team all season.
In his 24 years working for ESPN, Herbstreit says he has never been on a call like that with a head coach.
“I think it was therapeutic for him to get some things off his chest,” Herbstreit said. “We just sat there and listened, and he is fired up — not just to play NC State. He feels there’s a double standard out there, which you could make a strong case … Seven of their nine games they’ve won by 30 points or more. They had one close call against North Carolina, where they didn’t have the fastball working. But it was a bad day where they found a way to win.
“And he feels that, as he said, people have amnesia — people forget who Clemson is and what they’ve done, what they’ve accomplished.”
Though Herbstreit did not say which team was the subject of the “double standard” it is obvious he was speaking about Alabama. The Crimson Tide, who has played a similar schedule to this point as Clemson’s, is ranked No. 3 in the CFP rankings, while Clemson is No. 5.
Clemson has won two of the last three national championships and are 64-4 in the last five seasons. The Tigers currently own the nation’s longest active winning streak at 24 games.
“He is wound up with the disrespect, and not just the rankings, but the narrative that is out there about his team,” Herbstreit said. “I think they are going to be on a mission tonight. Regardless of who they are playing, you will see a lot of 9, a lot of 16, a lot of 3, a lot of 5 and a lot of 8.”
Clemson plays at NC State tonight at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised by ABC.