Dabo Swinney Problem
Thursday Dabo Swinney angered the entire South Carolina Gamecock fan base with an attack on the University and coach Steve Spurrier. Swinney was five days removed from losing to South Carolina for the 3rd straight year and was responding to a quote that he thought came from Steve Spurrier that stated "We aren't Alabama, we aren't LSU but we sure ain't Clemson". The quote has since been stated that it never came from Spurrier, but Dabo still insisted to fire back. I personally have been very complimentary of Swinney this season. Earlier this year I wrote an article calling Clemson "College Football's Fun Team". I'm done complimenting the man though, his late season collapse and crazy attack on USC shows the type of coach he truly is.
Swinney's main attack was on the history of The University of South Carolina Football, a program that only has two 10 win seasons and one conference championship in its history. Dabo pointed out that Clemson has a national championship, 17 conference titles, and two division titles. What Dabo doesn't point out is the fact that none of those conference titles or national championship came while Dabo Swinney was an adult. Swinney is bragging about the accomplishments of men like Danny Ford and Frank Howard. Great men like Banks McFadden, Terry Kinard, Homer Jordan, Donnel Woolford, and Terry Allen helped earn those championships not Dabo Swinney. Consider this about Dabo and Clemson, since 1977 the Tigers have had 6 head coaches, Dabo ranks 5th in winning percentage among those coaches. Only Tommy West had a lower winning percentage. In the USC-South Carolina rivalry, Swinney is the first coach in nearly 5 decades to have a losing record against South Carolina.
Swinney also goes on about how childish the comments were. Childish? Dabo, you are the man kissing a rock, chest bumping players, and treating every postgame interview like you just won the National Championship. Stating that the real USC is in California and the real Carolina is in Chapel Hill comes across as childish. It's something I would expect to read on the popular Clemson Message Board Tigernet.com. I'm not sure I've ever heard Bob Stoops tell the media that the real OSU is in Columbus and not Stillwater. Can you imagine Gary Patterson telling people the real UT is in Knoxville? These are comments made by message board posters named BigTiger08 or ISTILLLOVEDANNY81, not a college football head coach.
In the 90s Steve Spurrier got in the heads of Phil Fulmer and Ray Goff by his remarks at Gator booster meetings in Florida. Spurrier liked to take a quick jab at these coaches and knew he could because those guys couldn't beat him. Spurrier is now in the head of Dabo Swinney and is just humiliating Dabo on and now off the field. The Ball Coach has to be at his house right now(maybe sipping on a Coors) and laughing at Dabo's remarks. Steve knows he has won this rivalry now and has Dabo right where he wants him.
Since we are going on the history of the schools, maybe we should look at the history of the coaches involved in the rivalry. Steve Spurrier has won seven conference championships in his career, including an ACC Championship(something Dabo has never won). Spurrier is the second winningest coach in SEC History behind Bear Bryant. Spurrier won a national championship in 1996, coached a Heisman winner, and even won a Heisman himself. While at Florida Spurrier didn't only win, but he won big. At one point his Florida teams went 3 years without losing a single conference game! Spurrier is a man that will have books written about him for decades and possibly have a movie about him one day. Swinney is just another Al Groh, a coach who will stay at a school to long, recruit well, and never accomplish anything important. Swinney should be thrilled to be on the same field as men like Spurrier and should study the way Spurrier took three college jobs in his career and improved every single one of them.
Dabo Swinney has a huge game this weekend. He could win Clemson's first ACC Championship in 20 years and should be focused on trying to beat another coaching legend, Frank Beamer. Instead he's still focused on a team he won't play again for 359 more days. Great coaches don't do this. A great coach is preparing for the next week's game as soon as the previous one is over. Unfortunately for Tiger fans, they don't have great, they have a glorified wide receiver coach. Clemson fans, this is your Dabo Swinney Problem.