Though Clemson has won two national championships in the last three years, Dabo Swinney feels the narrative when it comes to Clemson and who it plays every year is still the same as it was when he became the head coach back in 2009.
“We have gone and won, and we have beat the best of the best of the best of the best of the best, so history should matter for a little something here because the same rhetoric has always been the same,” Swinney said during his Sunday conference call with the media. “Again, at some point, it ought to be about who you are and how you play, instead of all the rest of that stuff.”
Swinney is of course complaining about the Tigers’ being called out for playing a weak schedule due to the fact the Atlantic Coast Conference, as a whole, is having a bad year. The College Football Playoff Committee used the Tigers’ lack of a strong schedule as a reason why they had Penn State ahead of them in their rankings last week.
After playing non-conference foes such as Georgia, Auburn, Notre Dame and Texas A&M, to go along with rival South Carolina, and beating them more times than not, plus beating traditional powers Oklahoma, Ohio State and Alabama multiple times in the postseason, Swinney feels like Clemson has proven itself and should not be held accountable for the way other teams are performing in the league.
Clemson is 11-2 versus the SEC in their last 13 games against its member institutions.
“We have certainly had a great run (in the ACC), but it is not easy to do. It is not easy to win. That is for sure,” he said. “But I think, regardless of who we play, we can only play the schedule that we have, but at the end of the day we have been able to play with anybody when we had to.
“We have won two out of the last three national championships and the rhetoric was the same then as it is now. It just kind of is what it is. It doesn’t really bother me one way or the other. The only thing I stay focused on is our team and our program, how we play and the focus and mindset that we have and making sure that we are being a consistent program year in and year out. We have been able to do that, and we are really proud of that.”
Swinney pointed out the Tigers just have not beat teams like Oklahoma, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Alabama, but at times they have beat them soundly, and in most cases were the underdog coming into the game.
“I am proud of the program we have built. I am proud of our league,” he said. “Again, this year, we don’t have as many teams that have finished up ranked, but we do have several teams that will get back to the postseason and will do well.”