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#pounditMonday, January 17, 2022

Dabo Swinney

Video: Dabo Swinney brought back the ‘dab’ dance after Clemson’s bowl win

Dabo Swinney dances

Clemson players were likely disappointed with their 2021 season given all the tremendous success the program has had in recent years. However, any talk about the Tigers not caring about their bowl game was clearly inaccurate.

After Clemson defeated Iowa State 20-13 in the Cheez-It bowl on Wednesday, Dabo Swinney and his players celebrated in the locker room like they just won a national championship. Swinney even brought back the Dab. Check it out:

This certainly isn’t the first time Swinney has hit the “Dab” after a big game. He’s been doing it for years, and a FOX affiliate once mistakenly concluded that the dance was named after Dabo.

You can see more of Swinney’s dance moves here.

Clemson finished the year 10-3 and capped it off with a bowl victory. They may have fallen short of the incredible expectations Swinney has established, but the coach had a great quote earlier in the year about how difficult it is to win. He clearly got his players to buy into that.

Dabo Swinney delivered great quote after Clemson’s regular-season finale

Dabo Swinney

Clemson finished their regular season on a strong note with a 30-0 win over South Carolina on Saturday, but most Tigers fans probably are not satisfied with the result. Dabo Swinney had an excellent way of summing up some of those emotions.

Swinney was asked by a reporter after the game if the 9-3 season has given him any perspective. He said he hopes it will help people appreciate just how difficult it is to win every year.

Clemson’s 2021 season would be considered a huge success for most programs. One of their three losses was a 10-3 defeat at the hands of No. 5 Georgia in the first week of the season. The second was a double-overtime loss to NC State, and the third was a 27-17 loss to 23rd-ranked Pitt. Clemson will be invited to a solid bowl and have a chance to win 10 games yet again.

Of course, the standards are astronomically high at Clemson. Swinney has led the Tigers to the College Football Playoff in six consecutive seasons. They’ve been to the National Championship Game four times since 2015 and won two titles. That level of success is incredible and shouldn’t be taken for granted.

We thought Clemson got favorable treatment in the rankings earlier this season, but they finished the year on a good run. Making the College Football Playoff is extremely difficult, no matter how easy Swinney’s teams have made it look.

LSU AD eyeing national champion coach to replace Ed Orgeron?

Ed Orgeron in a white LSU shirt

Almost every top college coach in the country will hear his name connected to the LSU job at some point, and Dabo Swinney is no exception. The two-time national champion has already denied that he would have any interest in a fresh start, but that doesn’t mean LSU will take him at his word.

Paul Finebaum said on the “ESPN College Football Podcast” recently that LSU athletic director Scott Woodward has Swinney at the top of his list.

“It’s really hard to chisel that one down,” Finebaum said of the LSU coaching search, as transcribed by Wade Peery of “There are some who believe the AD Scott Woodward wants — you ready for this — Dabo Swinney. Now, there’s talk that the president wants Mel Tucker. (University of Louisiana coach) Billy Napier is out there maybe as a second-tier selection if everyone else goes bust. It seems like Jimbo (Fisher) is out of that one.”

Fisher coached at LSU under Nick Saban nearly two decades ago when the Tigers won a national title. The connection there is natural, but Fisher insists he is very happy at Texas A&M. Swinney is the big name that Finebaum mentioned, and it’s noteworthy that Clemson is 4-3 and having a very rough season.

Does that mean Swinney would entertain leaving? Probably not. Swinney has built Clemson into a national powerhouse and won two championships since 2016. He signed a 10-year, $93 million extension with the school two years ago. Swinney would have to pay Clemson a significant amount of money if he took another job at this point. The 51-year-old responded to a question about the LSU job last week.

There are other candidates for the LSU job that make more sense than Swinney. That doesn’t mean LSU officials will ignore Dabo altogether, as they are likely to explore every option.

Photo: Sep 18, 2021; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron looks on against Central Michigan Chippewas during the first half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Dabo Swinney answers whether DJ Uiagalelei is still the Clemson QB

DJ Uiagalelei

DJ Uiagalelei’s starting quarterback job at Clemson is in question after yet another uninspiring performance.

Uiagalelei went 12/26 for 111 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in Clemson’s 27-21 loss to NC State in double overtime on Saturday. This was the third time in four games that Clemson has failed to score more than 14 points in regulation.

For a team that expects to compete for the national championship each year, that sort of offensive performance won’t cut it.

That’s why Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was asked after Saturday’s loss whether DJ is still their quarterback. Swinney said he would evaluate everything and indicated he would likely stick with Uiagalelei.

Swinney saying he thinks DJ is the quarterback means that it’s not a definitive situation. That’s telling, but what else could he say? Uiagalelei has not delivered so far. The sophomore has not passed for more than 178 yards in a game and the offense has been lackluster.

Swinney will be looking at what changes need to be made and will consider all options.

Dabo Swinney offers thoughts on COVID vaccine

Dabo Swinney

Dabo Swinney was irate when circumstances related to COVID-19 forced the cancellation of one of Clemson’s key games last year, but the coach seems optimistic that things will run more smoothly this season.

Swinney shared some of his thoughts on the COVID vaccine while speaking with the media on Tuesday. He said there are “very few” people with the Clemson program who have not been vaccinated, which “gives you a whole lot more comfort level.” With positive cases still popping up among vaccinated people, Swinney offered an anology.

Last year, Florida State backed out of its game against Clemson due to a positive COVID-19 case with the Tigers. Swinney blasted the Seminoles for using COVID as an excuse to get out of the game. He was angry that his players had to travel without playing and felt the standard to cancel a game was not met.

Clemson is ranked No. 3 in the AP Poll and No. 2 in the Coaches Poll heading into the season. They open up against Georgia on Saturday.

Dabo Swinney has harsh comment about CFP expansion to 12 teams

Dabo Swinney

Dabo Swinney’s Clemson Tigers have joined Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide as the two most dominant teams in college football. Since 2015, Clemson has played in four national championship games, winning two of them. Alabama has played in five of the seven national championship games, winning three of them. Ohio State, which has made it twice, is the only other school to make it multiple times.

So it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that Swinney does not support an expansion of the College Football Playoff from four to 12 teams. Why? Because not enough teams deserve to compete with them in a playoff.

“Our team wasn’t for it,” Swinney said of a 12-team playoff during an ACC Media Day on Tuesday. “They don’t want to play more games. And to be honest with you, I don’t think there’s 12 teams good enough.”

Swinney is right. 12 teams aren’t needed; that just weakens the regular season and gives more chances for the best teams to be upset.

Swinney shared further thoughts. He feels like other achievements will be minimized if the sole focus is on the playoff.

“I love the college game and I loved it when it was a big deal to be top 25, top 15, top 10, go win the bowl game,” Swinney said.

Unfortunately for him, the product almost always trends to more playoff games, because that typically results in more money. A 12-team playoff is probably coming at some point in the next few years.

Trevor Lawrence compares playing under Dabo Swinney and Urban Meyer

Trevor Lawrence

Trevor Lawrence is a member of a very unique club: he’s been coached by both Dabo Swinney and Urban Meyer, two of the most successful college coaches of the last decade.

Lawrence was drafted by Meyer’s Jacksonville Jaguars after playing for Swinney at Clemson. In a Q&A with Chris Rosvoglou of The Spun, Lawrence was asked about the big differences between Meyer and Swinney.

“I think their personalities are different,” Lawrence said. “Coach Swinney is a bit more goofy and loose, I guess. The structure in the way they do things is very similar though. Like I said, communication and the culture they want to establish is the same thing. They make it super clear, so there’s no excuse for someone to not know what the goal is here. Coach Swinney did that at Clemson and Coach Meyer does that in Jacksonville. I think any great leader needs to do that.”

It’s not exactly a shock that the two coaches have some similar methods. Both made their names in college, and Swinney is still there. Meyer is testing his methods at the NFL level. However, both built standout programs in college that have been able to at least compete with Nick Saban’s juggernaut at Alabama.

Some of Meyer’s calls are already being scrutinized at the NFL level. It remains to be seen if the experiment will work, but right now, Lawrence is totally on board.

Video: Dabo Swinney hilariously coached Jon Gruden down the hill at Clemson

Dabo Swinney

One of the great pregame traditions of Clemson football is apparently a bit tougher than it looks.

Clemson players take the field at Clemson Memorial Stadium by first touching Howard’s Rock, named for former coach Frank Howard, who said that only players who give 110 percent could touch it. That’s followed by the run down the hill behind the east end zone onto the field.

Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden visited Clemson recently as a special guest at coach Dabo Swinney’s “All In” charity ball, and while there, Swinney helped coach Gruden down the hill in a hilarious video.

Gruden is totally into it. He has to be allowed to touch the rock for that.

Gruden is a very enthusiastic football guy who’s down for anything. Swinney is the same in many ways. They’re cut from the same cloth, so this video is kind of perfect.

Dabo Swinney offers bold Trevor Lawrence comparison

Dabo Swinney

Trevor Lawrence did nothing to hurt his status as the presumptive No. 1 pick in April’s NFL Draft at his Pro Day on Friday, and he earned a rave review from his college coach in the process.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was full of praise for his quarterback after Lawrence’s showing on Friday. In fact, he even compared watching Lawrence to watching one of the best pro athletes today.

“It’s a beautiful thing to watch,” Swinney said on ACC Network. “It’s like watching Steph Curry shoot a basketball, right? It’s just fun to watch.”

That’s quite the comparison given the incredible performances Curry has been turning in lately. Swinney isn’t saying Lawrence is going to be the football version of Curry, but putting their names together is certainly high praise.

Lawrence seemed to warrant the praise based on his performance on Friday. Anticipation is going to be very high for his debut next season, likely with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Here is why Dabo Swinney was at the US Soccer friendly

Dabo Swinney

Dabo Swinney was in attendance for US Soccer’s international friendly against Trinidad & Tobago on Sunday at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Fla. What was the Clemson football coach doing there? Did he suddenly become a huge soccer fan?

The explanation for his attendance at the game actually is pretty cool.

Swinney’s godson is Tanner Tessmann, who is one of the substitutes on the US Soccer team.

The US won the game 7-0 and Tessmann got to see some action as a sub.

Tessmann, 19, plays for FC Dallas and actually skipped college to go pro. He turned down the opportunity to play football and soccer at Clemson in order to pursue his pro career.

Tessmann shared on Twitter last week how excited he was for the opportunity to play his first game with the senior national team.

It was cool for Swinney to be there too. And no, we shouldn’t expect this to be the start of a Ted Lasso move for Dabo.