Normally, I’m the biggest fan of people being sassy or taking shots. However, Dabo Swinney is just being petty.
In the latest USA Today Coaches’ Poll, Swinney reportedly voted for Ohio State not just outside the Top 4, but outside the Top 10.
Now, Swinney isn’t the only coach to keep Ohio State outside the Top 4, but he is the only major coach to have them outside the Top 10.
Swinney, Smart & Saban among 7 coaches voting Ohio State outside Top 4 in USA Today coaches poll. Where they ranked OSU
11. Dabo Swinney, Clemson
6. Kirby Smart, Georgia
5. Nick Saban, Bama
5. Jamey Chadwell, Coastal
5. Butch Davis, FIU
5. Dana Dimel, UTEP
5. Gary Patterson, TCU
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 21, 2020
Swinney has been adamant (recently) about some teams being more deserving than others to be in the College Football Playoff. He’s made the argument that the College Football Playoff Committee should penalize teams for playing fewer games.
However, what Swinney fails to acknowledge or apparently realize is the teams had no say in the matter. I never thought I’d be defending Ohio State (bleck) against Clemson, but here we are, let’s go back for a second…
The Big Ten announced their initial football schedule on Aug. 5. Then, less than a week later (Aug. 11) the conference abruptly canceled their season, with hopes of playing in Spring 2021.
However, after the SEC, Big 12 and ACC spat in the face of COVID-19 by playing football anyway, the Big Ten announced a new eight-game schedule on Sept. 19, which began on Oct. 24.
With the eight-game schedule, the conference required teams to play at least six games to qualify for the Big Ten title game. Of course, that rule changed when it looked like Ohio State wouldn’t play six games before the championship.
First, like I said none of the players or coaches in the Big Ten (or the Pac-12 for that matter) really had a say in whether they would play in the fall or the spring.
Ohio State begged to play almost from the moment it was announced the Big Ten was canceling fall football. They wanted to play 10-plus games. They wanted to play a full season.
However, due to the pandemic and the conference making the decision for them, Ohio State was forced to wait.
Look at this for a second in an alternate reality. Let’s say the roles were reversed.
If the ACC had canceled football and then changed their minds causing Clemson to only play six games. How hard do you think Dabo Swinney would be fighting that the Tigers DESERVE a spot in the College Football Playoff?
He would be telling everyone who would listen that “we played the games that we could” or “we can’t control the conference’s decision-making” or “we wanted to play, but the conference said no” or “we did everything in our power to earn a spot, we won all our games, we won our conference championship game, we deserve to be in the top four.”
There is no way Swinney would be arguing that six games is not enough if he was in Ohio State’s position.
You know how I know that? Here’s what he said in September…
Dabo on if he has problem w/ Big Ten in CFP despite less games: “Shoot, in a year like this, no. It’s a crazy year. Who knows how many games anybody is going to have? You have some of the best teams & coaches in that league. It’s not their fault. They’ve worked their butt off.”
— Anna Hickey (@AnnaH247) September 16, 2020
So, Swinney can just shut up.
Swinney didn’t stop the disrespect at putting Ohio State at No. 11 in an arbitrary coaches poll. He also took a pretty pointed shot at the Buckeyes when asked about preparing for the No. 2 Clemson-No. 3 Ohio State CFP Semifinal game.
“It does make it a little easier ’cause there’s not as much tape to pour through. You can’t make it up, there’s only six games.”
Dabo Swinney discusses his preparation for Ohio State 👀
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) December 21, 2020
Finally, if I’m Swinney why would I want to give the Buckeyes this much bulletin board material??
I’m not sure what would motivate players to perform better, but I’m pretty sure these two things would work:
“The coach on the other team doesn’t think we deserve to be here because we only played six games! He thinks we’re not even a Top 10 team in the entire country!!!” I would say if I was Ohio State head coach Ryan Day.
Maybe that doesn’t matter to the Buckeye players. However, we also know how often Dabo Swinney would say “no one thought we belonged here,” while Clemson sat at No. 1 in the country over the last few years.
So, maybe telling my players that our next opponent doesn’t think we deserve to be here would be enough to make them come out and stomp the Tigers.
Again, I’m not a Buckeyes fan — never have been — but after Swinney’s ramblings, I’m rooting for Ohio State to win the whole damn thing this year.