Swinney says Saban trying to "kiss up" for onside kick

by - Senior Writer -
Swinney doesn't buy Nick Saban's compliments (Photo by Jeremy Brevard, USAT)

CHARLOTTE, NC - University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban told an ESPN reporter earlier this week that Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson was the best quarterback in college football since former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, but Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney isn't buying the praise.

In fact, Swinney jokingly said the compliment is Saban's way of trying to kiss up for the onside kick that helped Alabama beat Clemson in the national championship game last January.

"I think that Coach Saban is just trying to kiss up for that onside kick," Swinney told the media at the ACC Kickoff in Charlotte Friday. "He’s just trying to be nice. No, it’s nice of him to throw out some good compliments especially about Deshaun and our program. He has a great respect for our program, I know he does. He also knows, just like I do that all of this stuff is really meaningless. There have been a lot of teams picked to win it all and when it’s all said and done, they don’t deliver the trophy and say y’all were the preseason winner. It doesn’t work that way."

Swinney said he's just happy to have a team that will be in the hunt again this season.

"We’re just proud to have a team that’s relevant and a program that people expect to have a chance or be in the hunt, because we do. We’ve got a chance and we’re in the hunt, but there are several other teams out there just like us," Swinney said. "There is no ranking in my opinion. I would say we don’t do rankings until October because you just don’t know in college football because there’s too much turnover and transition and injuries in camp to change all of that stuff. I know it’s part of it and it’s fun and it helps to pass time until we get to the season."

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