Ohio State’s dislike for Clemson and its head coach, Dabo Swinney, continues to grow.
Swinney has doubled down on his ranking of Ohio State in his final Coaches’ Poll ballot. The Clemson head coach ranked his College Football Playoff opponent No. 11 in his final top 25 of the regular season.
The Clemson head coach addressed his controversial ranking on ESPN this 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 (on Swinney’s Coaches Poll ballot),” 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.”
Ohio State fans are not happy with Swinney. Buckeye Nation believes Swinney would be saying much different things if Clemson had played just six or seven games.
So disingenuous. There’s a 1000% chance Dabo would have been lobbying his team into the field if Clemson had the six-game schedule. https://t.co/sRoiiucDFa
— Jason Priestas (@priestas) December 27, 2020
Buckeye Nation has also found this September quote from Swinney, in which he says he wouldn’t have a problem with a Big Ten team making the playoff despite playing fewer games.
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
Now, did Swinney know back then that Ohio State would play only six games compared to other conferences with 10 or 11? Probably not.
But it’s fair to wonder what Swinney would be saying if it was his conference that played just six or seven games.
Ohio State and Clemson will meet on the field on Jan. 1. Kickoff between the Buckeyes and the Tigers is set for 8 p.m. E.T. on ESPN.