|Dabo says Clemson "might as well be in the SEC"|
|by David Hood - Senior Writer - Friday, December 28, 2012 1:44 PM||
ATLANTA, GA – One of the main storylines in Clemson’s matchup against LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl next Monday is the hoopla surrounding an ACC versus SEC matchup, and Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
View Full Profile thinks that his Tigers might as well be an SEC team.
Swinney, speaking to the media Friday morning in a bowl press conference, mentioned Clemson’s schedule when saying that Clemson might as well be in the SEC.
“In the span of 12 months, starting this past August, we will have played Auburn, South Carolina, now LSU and then Georgia to open up the season,” Swinney said. “So we might as well be in the SEC. Heck, that's a pretty full schedule right there. But we're excited about having that opportunity. And if you want to be the best, you want to put yourself in those situations to play the teams that are considered the best.”
However, Swinney said he didn’t want his team to get caught up in conference arguments.
“For me we don't really spend a lot of time talking about the conference or any of that other stuff. We've got one agenda and that's to try to be the best Clemson that we can possibly be and try to play our best football game,” Swinney said. “All the other stuff is great, but to be honest with you it's just distractions for what we're trying to accomplish. So that's just a side part of it. We win the game, that gives somebody something else to talk about, but it's really not about that.”
He did concede that the SEC has been the nation’s power conference recently, but said that trends such as that one tend to run in cycles, and his concern is on getting Clemson into the national championship conversation, regardless of conference affiliation.
“Obviously the SEC has been the power conference in this country for the last several years,” he said. “But I believe those things come and go in cycles, and our focus at Clemson is to be the best we can be and bring the national championship back to the ACC through Clemson. That's our focus. Nothing more than that. It would be great for us to find a way to win this game and not have to answer that question anymore, at least for a few months.”
When asked what made the SEC such a great conference, Swinney said it wasn’t about the full conference, but a few teams that make national headlines each year and then gave credit to the SEC’s television contract.
“I think that it's been more top heavy as far as conference goes. This year's been a little bit more unusual,” Swinney said. “I would say. Some really dominant, a few dominant teams. A few more dominant teams. But I think just their TV contract has been huge. I think that's probably been one of the things that impacted them tremendously. Recruiting. Got great coaches. Great tradition. And it's a great area to recruit college football players here in the southeast. And I think that they've maximized every opportunity and every resource that they've had available to them through their conference.”
He then said it was time for the ACC to be like the SEC and produce one or two dominant teams.
“I think they've done a good job of being together as a conference,” he said. “And, again, they've produced one or two dominant teams over the last several years. And I think their conference, the teams in their conference have won about 14 or 15 national championships in the last 30 years, I think. And I believe the ACC's teams we've had about 11. So it's for whatever reason our conference, we have really not produced that dominant team. And we've been very, a lot of parity. Very competitive from top to bottom. Much more balanced in that regard. The SEC has been really heavy on the top end and with some very, very dominant teams that have been 12 -0 or 11-1 pretty consistently. And I think it all goes back to just, first of all, great, great programs, great, great coaches, the area that they're in, great TV contract exposure, all that stuff and recruiting at a high level.”
|Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment||