Dabo Swinney has a job to do.
Clemson just got whacked 51-14 by Florida State. At home. On national TV. When it was No. 3 in the nation.
Clemson still has five more games.
Clemson still has plenty to play for.
So Swinney has to keep the Tigers believing in themselves, believing they can still rescue the season.
Why else would he say this on Tuesday, according to the Charleston Post and Courier:
“I thought they were a great football team. I think they’re a team if we play them 10 times, we’d probably win five, they’d probably win five. That’s probably about where it is. That’s not taking anything away from them; they played a heck of a game, and we certainly didn’t give ourselves a chance. We didn’t give our fans a chance. You can’t make those mistakes and even really assess it as far as where you are competitively.”
Unless Swinney, as some of you suspect, is delusional.
I don’t think Clemson wins five of 10 games against FSU. That’s ridiculous, as do many folks on Twitter, who think the head Tiger needs to hold his tongue.
Just about everybody who watched the game knows that the Seminoles are much better than Clemson. It wasn’t a one-game thing.
The Tigers had everything in their favor — home field, experienced and talented QB in Tajh Boyd, knew what it took to win close games — and were crushed like ants under FSU’s boot.
Redshirt freshman QB Jameis Winston played better — dare I say, is better — than Boyd, the FSU defense was outstanding and the Tigers committed four turnovers.
So Swinney has to be more than a coach in this situation.
He is, and has been, Clemson’s biggest cheerleader. He has to keep his team from falling too far after this loss. Clemson’s remaining games are certainly winnable.
Especially if the Tigers are as good as Swinney says they are:
“(FSU has) got a couple of areas where they’re a little bit ahead of us that I think we’re going to catch up. But I think pretty evenly matched football teams. We didn’t play well, didn’t go our way. But they’re not that much better than us, and we certainly ain’t that bad of a football team. There’s no doubt about that. But they’re really, really good. They might be the best team in the country, they very well could be, we’ll find out. But they don’t have a lot of weaknesses. They’re good up front, both sides; so are we. They’re good at backer; so are we. They’re good at receiver; so are we. They’re good at quarterback; so are we. They’ve got a little more depth at running back than maybe we have right now, from an overall standpoint. A little more depth in the secondary than we have right now. I think we’re coming, we’re going to get there, we’re going to be really good in the secondary the next few years. We’re coming, there. Both good at kicker, both good at punter.”
Or Swinney could just be in denial.