Dabo Swinney continues to be asked about his Coaches' Poll top 25 ballot. And the Clemson Tigers head coach continues to give brutally honest answers.
The Clemson head coach ranked Ohio State No. 11 in his final Coaches' Poll top 25 ballot. Swinney's ranking of Ohio State was far lower than any other coach. The Buckeyes finished No. 3 in the final poll, just like they did in the College Football Playoff rankings. Ohio State will take on Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinal on Friday night.
Swinney addressed his ranking during an interview with ESPN last week.
“First of all, my vote don’t mean anything. But it means something to me, you know? It’s my poll. I do it. It creates a stir because we just so happen to be playing Ohio State. It has nothing to do with Ohio State — absolutely zero. You can change the name to Michigan or Georgia or Florida or Tennessee or Nebraska. Anytime you have a top-10 (ranking), it should be that special. This year it’s like really, really, really special and I wanted it to be that way. And so, I wanted to recognize the teams that played nine games or more. And so, if you didn’t play nine games, I just didn’t consider you for the Top 10. That’s why (the Buckeyes) were 11,” Swinney said.
“Obviously, they’re a great team. They’re plenty good enough and talented enough to beat us and good enough to win the national championship. But in my opinion, I don’t think that it’s right that three teams have to play 13 games to win it all and one team has to play eight. What universe am I living in? And it has nothing to with them. It was about qualifying. And I didn’t think they were qualified, based on the number of games, versus all these other teams. … In my opinion — Texas A&M, Florida, Oklahoma, Cincinnati — they got punished for playing more games.”
Swinney was asked again about his No. 11 ranking during his Sugar Bowl press conference on Monday morning. He was also asked about the reaction to the ranking from Ohio State fans.
"I could probably run for governor in Michigan and have a chance," Swinney joked about his thoughts on Ohio State fans.
That would certainly be one way to take the Dabo Swinney vs. Ohio State fans rivalry up a notch.
Ohio State and Clemson are scheduled to play in the Sugar Bowl on Friday night. Kickoff is scheduled for after 8 p.m. E.T. on ESPN.