With a split in four College Football Playoff games in as many years, including three national title showdowns, Clemson and Alabama are clearly on a similar tier right now. The Crimson Tide have more history and long term success, but Dabo Swinney’s program is at least in the same conversation.
It is impossible to deny that given the magnitude of the most recent national title. Clemson blasted ‘Bama 44-16.
The two also share interesting history as it pertains to Swinney himself. He is an Alabaman, and an alumnus of the Crimson Tide program.
Many have identified him as the logical successor to Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa some day, though he’s loudly rebuffed that idea. Time will tell if he turns it down when the time comes.
For now, Dabo Swinney is downplaying the comparisons between the Alabama and Clemson programs.
He’s not interested in hearing people say that Clemson has surpassed the Crimson Tide off of one game.
From The Clemson Insider:
“I’m not worried about that. That was last year. It is what it is. We won the game,” Swinney said when asked about the comment. “Whether you win by one point or whatever the score was. We won and you move on.
“It’s like in ’15. There was a lot of comments about that game, but they won the game. At the end of the day you move on. You get better and you learn from it.”
“We are not trying to catch Alabama or pass Alabama or anything,” Swinney said. “We are just trying to be the best Clemson we can be year in and year out, regardless of what anybody else is doing out there. That is really my focus day in and day out, year in and year out.”
Thus far, “the best Clemson they can be” is the best program in the country, and one that can stand toe to toe with the Tide. Whether the program can stand the test of time is a question, but few saw Clemson elevating to this level even just five years ago.