When asked about the future of the ACC, Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney insinuated that he would be long gone before that happens.
Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney is a character who can be both funny and not afraid to mince words when asked tough questions. So, when he was asked about the future of the ACC given the conference realignment by several teams, Swinney offered a, shall we say, interesting response?
Hmmm. What exactly to make of this? It’s likely that by 2036 Swinney will have turned in his coaching headset for retirement and vacation. Still, 2036? It sounds like a time when there may be four conferences, and each conference winner makes the playoffs.
We have seen recently how the Big 12 Conference brought in four new members due to the departure of Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC. The Big Ten welcomed USC and UCLA to the party, leaving questions about the Pac-12.
Meanwhile, in the ACC, there is a possibility that teams like Miami or even Clemson could find their way to another conference if all this realignment keeps up. Again though, the focus is back on Swinney, and it sounds like he will have retired before the ACC changes completely.
Clemson football: Dabo Swinney on eventual retirement
For this argument, let’s say Swinney does retire. He certainly has a spectacular resume as the head coach in Death Valley — we’re talking two national championships following the 2016 and 2018 seasons — both against Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Additionally, Swinney has sent many players to the NFL, including Deshaun Watson, Trevor Lawrence, Christian Wilkins, and Sammy Watkins.
However, his most significant moment may have been the 2019 Championship game against Alabama. Before the game, much of the talk centered around the Crimson Tide, with ESPN’s Stephen A Smith boasting about how the Tide were heavily-favored.
Needless to say, Swinney (a notable Smith impersonator) and his players responded by scoring not one, not two, not three, not four, but five offensive touchdowns and a pick-six, all while holding the Tide to below 20 points en route to a 15-0 season.
One day, Swinney will eventually hang up his coaching career, and who knows? Maybe the ACC will join the party and realign, and its members will shift conferences. For now, we will take everything as it comes, including Swinney’s entertaining responses to questions.