Urban Meyer shares just how much Dabo Swinney’s ranking motivated Ohio State
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney didn’t think his decision to rank Ohio State No. 11 in the Coaches Poll had any impact on the Buckeyes’ mentality. It sounds like it may have played a bigger role than he thought.
Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer revealed Friday after the Buckeyes’ 49-28 Sugar Bowl win that in speaking with current Buckeyes coach Ryan Day and his staff, it was clear that Swinney’s vote motivated the team in a big way.
“I was talking to Coach Day and some of the other coaches, and then something happened,” Meyer said on Big Ten Network. “Disrespect… when Coach Swinney came out and ranked them 11th behind Iowa State and Coastal Carolina, I don’t want to make too much of that, but you try to get your team to practice the best you can. I can tell you, I was told they had the three best practices they’d had in a long time after that.”
Ohio State probably didn’t need a ton of motivation given what happened when the two teams met in last year’s College Football Playoff. It still looks like this mattered, though. It reminded the Buckeyes what was at stake, and made the players feel that Clemson did not respect them. Swinney shrugged off the ranking as an issue after the loss, but perhaps he shouldn’t have. At the very least, it was an unnecessary choice that caused needless drama and gave Ohio State something else to prove.