No surprise, but Dabo Swinney’s comment and reason why he ranked Ohio State No. 11 in his coach’s poll last week, took center stage Monday as Clemson coaches and players spoke to the media in preparations for Friday’s Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
Even Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables was asked about his head coach’s view on the subject.
“Yeah, he’s going to speak from, again, his heart. And he’s going to stand on his beliefs,” Venables said. “And he’s certainly not going to be politically correct.”
Swinney said he ranked the Buckeyes No. 11 not because of their play, but for the simple fact he thought those teams who played at least nine games, considering what everyone has had to go through to play that many games, deserved to be ranked higher.
He did not think it was fair to punish teams such as Texas A&M, Florida, Georgia and Cincinnati because they played more games. He reiterated it had nothing to do personally with Ohio State. It was just something he believes in.
“I’ll be honest, certainly I’m paying attention, but it doesn’t really affect us at all,” Venables said. “Again, this is just another great opportunity.
“So, whether or not he upset the apple cart or what not, Ohio State is going to be excited to play just because it’s a great opportunity. You get in the playoffs, that’s what it’s all about, is making the most of your opportunity.”
Revenge, making up for missed calls by the officials or what Swinney said, they are just storylines leading up to the College Football Playoff Game, as for all of those things motivating the Buckeyes and giving them a reason they need to beat Clemson, Venables is not buying it.
“You don’t need any extra motivation playing these games. You kidding me? It doesn’t matter who you’re playing,” he said. “It’s what you’re playing for, and that’s what our focus has been on here.”