Swinney knew OSU was in trouble against Clemson
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and Florida St. Jimbo Fisher have each been outspoken on the strength of the ACC the last few seasons, but Swinney took it a step further Monday when he said he knew his team could beat Ohio St. after watching tape of the Big 10 in preparation for Clemson's Fiesta Bowl date with the Ohio St. Buckeyes.
At the ACC Football Kickoff in July, Fisher bragged about the strength of the league.
"Well, I would say two of the last four national championships have come from here -- we've played for three of them," Fisher said. "[The ACC is] 8-3 in playoff games and Power Five major bowl games, we're 8-3; nonconference records against the SEC, the Big Ten and everybody else, we have the winning record Power Five wins. You have two Heisman Trophy winners, also the runner up last year. The coaches, you have six coaches in the top 20 and all-time winning percentage in college football."
Swinney agreed with Fisher's comments.
"There's one conference that had a winning record versus Power Five teams [in 2016]: the ACC," Swinney said. "One conference had a winning record versus ranked teams: the ACC. We had 11 bowl teams. We were 10-4 versus the SEC. There's a reason why we have played so well.
"We've won five bowl games in a row, and you know, I mean, it's not because I'm some great coach. I've got a good staff and all that. We've had good players. It's what we practice against every day, and it's what we play against week in and week out."
Swinney added to his comments Monday. During an interview with Walt Deptula on WCCP-FM, Swinney said the ACC's strength of schedule has been a big part of Clemson's success. He added that he knew Ohio St. was in trouble when he watched the Buckeyes' game film.
"That's another reason why we've been so successful. Nobody wants to talk about that. Go back to last year. We're (college football) trying to figure out a way to get four Big Ten teams into the Playoff," Swinney told Deptula. "And let me tell you, if they could have figured it out they would have done it. And I didn't pay any attention to the Big Ten. You just kind of buy it, right? That is just what is out there. And we get ready to play Ohio St., and I am watching film, and I watch every single game. And when I was done I go into my team and I say, 'Boys, these guys are in trouble. I've watched the whole league and I've watched both sides of the league, and these guys are in trouble.' And that's what happened. That's a credit to our league. That's why myself and Jimbo and some of these other coaches are quick to point it out."
Clemson defeated Ohio St. 31-0.
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