A couple of ESPN analysts weighed in on Dabo Swinney and his Clemson football program following the 19th-ranked Tigers’ 20-13 victory over Iowa State (7-6) in the Cheez-It Bowl on Wednesday night.
With the win, Clemson (10-3) has now recorded at least 10 wins for a school-record 11th consecutive season. Clemson became only the third program in history ever to post 11 consecutive 10-win seasons, joining Florida State (14 from 1987-2000) and Alabama (14 from 2008-21).
“If you’re Dabo and you’re Clemson, your program has become a model of consistency,” ESPN analyst Booger McFarland said. “You talk about the 10 wins 11 years in a row. So now, when you go on the road recruiting, you can sell that along with the family environment, education. Dabo has built a monumental program there in Clemson.”
Swinney earned his 150th career win in his 14th season (including an interim stint in 2008) to move past Barry Switzer (149) for sole possession of the third-most wins through the first 15 seasons of a coaching career in FBS history. Swinney also joined Urban Meyer (165) and Bob Stoops (160) as the only coaches in FBS history to win 150 games in the first 15 seasons of a head coaching career.
The Tigers won 10 games in a season in which they started 2-2 or worse for the second time in school history, joining the 2014 Tigers that rebounded from a 2-2 start through four games (and a 1-2 start through three games) to finish 10-3 with a bowl win in Orlando.
Beyond the 2021 and 2014 teams, the only other Clemson team to reach even nine wins after starting .500 or worse through four games was its 2009 team, which started 2-2 and finished 9-5.
“We’re in an era where if you lose a couple games, if you’re Clemson, and don’t make it to the playoff, you don’t win the ACC Championship Game, this season feels like a loss,” ESPN analyst Joey Galloway said. “But it isn’t when you can see (Swinney’s) attitude at the end of the game. He’s proud of this football team.”
–Clemson Athletic Communications contributed to this story
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