CLEMSON FOOTBALL

Dabo Swinney said players aren't robots in his assessment of Clemson as a top-5 team, but he's seeing what he needs to.
Dabo Swinney said players aren't robots in his assessment of Clemson as a top-5 team, but he's seeing what he needs to.

Swinney: "I don’t think anybody knows who anybody is right now after three ballgames"


by - Staff Writer -

Clemson has notched the goal going in each week so far this season, Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney said Monday on his call-in show.

Three “best of one” games and three wins. Is Clemson playing like the top-5 ranking that it carries in the AP and Coaches Poll currently? Swinney says it’s hard to have an idea of that picture anyway this early.

“I don’t think anybody knows who anybody is right now after three ballgames,” Swinney said. “I know the rankings and all that stuff – we’re wherever, a top-5 team, but that’s all based on past success. It really is at this point. And that’s great to have some street cred if you will. You have to go earn it. So that’s what we’re in the process of trying to do.”

While keeping to the game-by-game mentality, Swinney did go back to his two national title teams for comparison.

“We’ve just got to be good enough to win the one we’re playing,” Swinney said. “You keep growing and keep getting better. There’s so much that’s going on during a season – these kids aren’t robots. They’re not video-game androids. They’re real people. Life is going on. There’s a lot of things. There’s different levels of maturity and development and so forth. The name of the game is to win the one you’re playing.

“Shoot, I remember in ‘16 – we win the national championship, and man, I wanted to choke ‘em every week for the first seven weeks because we just weren’t playing like I knew we could play. We were kinda the cardiac kids. We were ranked 1 or 2 or 3, but we weren’t playing like the 1, 2 or 3 team in the country. It was a challenge, but by the end of the year, we were the best team in the country. And unfortunately, we lost a game, but we rallied and won it all. In ‘18, that was a different team. Man, they were dominant all year.

“Even still, you have to go and prove it every week.”

Swinney likes what he’s seeing from his team.

“So that’s what we’re in the process of trying to do. If we’re going to be that, then you handle your business in the task at hand,” Swinney said. “You give it all you can each week and you look up at the end of the year and see what happens. Hopefully we get better and better each week - I do think we’ve made a lot of improvement. We’ve still got some things that we’ve got to learn from. If we do, we’ll keep improving.”

The Tigers return to action on the road at Wake Forest, which is also 3-0 and ranked as high as No. 16, for a noon kickoff Saturday (ABC).

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