John Swofford says Tigers "are setting a tremendous standard" for the rest of the ACC
|Thursday, January 31, 2019, 7:01 AM- -|
The Clemson football program is on a roll, and no one is more cognizant of that fact than ACC Commissioner John Swofford. Swofford is not only impressed with what the Tigers have achieved, he believes Clemson’s dominance surpasses the dominance flashed by Florida St. in the early ’90s.
Clemson defeated Alabama 44-16 in early January to win the school’s second National Championship in the last three seasons and the third in school history. The Tigers and Tide have put together impressive resumes over the last several seasons - Clemson and Alabama now have a combined 110-8 record since 2015. Excluding the four games the teams have contested against one another in that time frame, the Tigers and Tide are a combined 106-4 (96.4 percent) against all other competition over the last four seasons.
The title game was a matchup of two winningest senior classes in major college football history, as Alabama and Clemson entered the contest with 55 and 54 wins over the last four years, respectively. The win by Clemson extended its ACC record for a senior class to 55 and tied Alabama’s seniors for the most in history.
Swofford said the Tigers’ ascendance into the football elite has been a plus for the conference.
“Well, it means a lot to the conference. Obviously, it means a lot to Clemson. Clemson is carrying our league with them into the CFP and into the National Championship,” Swofford told TigerNet. “Anytime a league has a team in the National Championship Game it's a huge plus, not only for that particular program but for the entire league.”
The Tigers have won four consecutive ACC Championships and have appeared in four consecutive College Football Playoffs, and we asked Swofford what it would take for the rest of the conference to catch up with Clemson.
Swofford smiled and said Clemson is on another level, and he believes that dominance surpasses what Florida St. accomplished with their two national titles in the ’90s.
“It's hard. There aren't many people in the country catching these guys,” Swofford said. “I think the great thing is that Clemson football is setting a tremendous standard for the rest of the league. I think it's incredibly impressive. And, with all respect to those Florida St. teams of the early 90's when they were just dominating the ACC, this Clemson run has come against an ACC that is much stronger internally from top to bottom than it was during the early '90's when that Florida St. dominance was there. To me, that is one of the more impressive things about what Clemson is doing during this run right now.”
Swofford went on to say that Clemson has everything in place to continue that dominance, and if other schools want to reach those lofty heights, all they have to do is look at Dabo Swinney’s program.
“Clemson is without question one of the elite programs in the country and it's built on the right kind of foundation and the consistency is there and the academics are there,” Swofford said. “The quality of players is there and the leadership is there, so if you want to build a great football program, Clemson is the place you should look to learn how to do it and figure out how to do it.”