NEW ORLEANS — Clemson linebacker Chad Smith wishes he and his teammates could play Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship today.
The Tigers arrived in New Orleans Friday in advance of the national title game against LSU, which will be played at the Superdome in New Orleans. When the two Tigers tangle just blocks away from the famous Bourbon Street, it will have been 16 days since the national semifinals.
“We are ready,” said Smith after the Tigers arrived at 4:03 p.m., central time at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. “We honestly wish we could play the game today, but it is a process and we still have one more day for preparation and we are looking forward to it.”
When Clemson came for the Sugar Bowl in 2017, it was given a warm reception by the CFP and the city of New Orleans. The Third Line Band played the tunes and had everyone dancing as the Tigers got off the plane.
The only blemish to the arrival was the orange carpet that would not stay down as the wind kept blowing it up as Dabo and Kathleen Swinney tried to walk down it as they got off the plane.
“It was pretty unique,” Smith said. “Definitely only New Orleans. It was special. I am glad to be back here. I’m really looking forward to the game. I really appreciate the College Football Playoff setting this all up. We are grateful for this opportunity and we are looking forward to it.”
Smith said the past 12 days have kind of flown by as they have prepped for the LSU matchup, but he admitted Friday was kind of a slow one as the Tigers made their trip to Louisiana.
“So far, this whole day has been dragging on and I feel like it is probably going to be like that until the game starts,” Smith said. “We are really excited for this opportunity. We are really eager to show what we can prove on the national stage, so it is exciting.”
Clemson is going back to the national championship game after once again winning the Fiesta Bowl over Ohio State. Get your official national championship and Fiesta Bowl champs gear right here!