Editorial

Dabo Swinney Responds To The Narrative SEC Play Wore Down Alabama Ahead Of Title Game Beatdown

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David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief

Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney has no time for pro-SEC fanboys making excuses for Alabama.

The Tigers smashed the Crimson Tide in the national title game, and there’s been no shortage of SEC fans trying to come up with reasons for the beatdown. Naturally, Clemson simply being better isn’t an option. Well, Swinney has heard enough and has no tolerance for it.

Swinney told ESPN the following in a piece published Wednesday when talking about the “narrative” the SEC wore down Alabama by the time they played Clemson:

It’s an awesome league, for sure, and I know people say that Alabama was tired because they went through the grind and had to play all these teams. Well, they won by an average of 33.1 points per game [going into the playoff], so they ought to be well-rested. My thing on that is, ‘Are you serious? They’re tired?’ Then you look at Clemson, and we won 12 games by 20-plus. Who really challenged Alabama in the SEC? They didn’t get challenged by anybody until the Georgia game [for the SEC championship].

You know what I think about these comments from Swinney? He’s about a billion percent correct. Who did Alabama play last year?

Seriously, who did they play?

There were two good teams on Alabama’s slate in 2018 prior to the playoff. They played LSU and they played Georgia. Outside of that, the Crimson Tide had a cakewalk through the SEC.

Now, I’m not saying it was much different for Clemson. It wasn’t. The Tigers also didn’t play too many tough opponents, and Swinney pretty much acknowledges as much when talking about the average margin of victory for each team.

 

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The reality, which I wish more people recognized, is the SEC is a shell of its former self. The conference has Alabama, Georgia, LSU and not much else after that.

The gap between the Crimson Tide is also substantial. Add in the fact that they don’t play too many tough non-conference games, and you have a recipe for blowout after blowout.

 

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As much as the SEC fanboys might not want to hear it, the Clemson coach is 100% correct with his assessment of the situation.

Don’t make excuses. Just get better. You know the first person that’d agree with me? Nick Saban.