The one thing 2020 has taught everyone is that nothing is normal anymore.
Normally, Clemson would not have an open date the week before an ACC Championship Game. Normally, by Dec. 19, when the title game will be played this year, conference championship week will already have already been wrapped up.
Normally, Swinney and his coaches would be on the road recruiting. However, nothing is normal these days with the pandemic still going on. The regular season in college football still has a week to go and Clemson will use the extra time to get prepped for its Dec. 19 date with No. 2 Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte.
The third-ranked Tigers (9-1, 8-1 ACC) clinched a berth in the ACC Championship Game with Saturday’s win at Virginia Tech. It will be Clemson’s sixth consecutive appearance in the league’s championship game.
How will the Tigers handle the next week?
“It is just like an open date. We have never had an open date before the championship game. But it is just like a normal open date for us,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “We have this week. We will use it like we always do with the extra time. We will take advantage of that from a staff standpoint. We will practice. We will have meetings. Our guys have finals this week. So, this is a big week.”
The players having to deal with finals while practicing is another thing that makes things a little abnormal this week. Again, usually they are off during finals week and bowl practice does not start until the weekend after finals.
This time last year, Clemson was prepping for Ohio State in the College Football Playoff Semifinals.
“I’m glad it actually worked out that we did not have the championship game this week because we do have a big week of finals,” Swinney said. “We are normally done by this time and on the road recruiting and all of that stuff. But as far as how we will manage it, we will have to tweak our schedule just a little bit practice time wise and kind of work around the finals of our guys.
“But we will work all week and we will give them off Friday and Saturday. Most of our guys have a ton of finals on Friday. Guys will be off Saturday, bring them back Sunday and have our testing and all of that stuff and then have a normal game week.”
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