It seems that this week’s epic ACC and College Football matchup between the No. 5 Florida State Seminoles and the No. 3 Clemson Tigers is just another game according to Tiger’s Head Coach Dabo Swinney; maybe.
“It’s the biggest game of the year, just like last week was the biggest game of the year, just like next week will be the biggest game of the year. They’re all big. Some have special circumstances attached to them like this one, but come Monday, Maryland will be the biggest game of the year. When it’s not, y’all let me know. Let me know when it’s not the biggest game of the year, and I might feel better. That’s just our mentality. Got to have a great week of preparation, as always, to get ready for a very tough match-up, one that I think is going to be a lot of fun to watch.”
You can tell clearly that Swinney has a ton of respect for what the Seminoles and Jameis Winston can do. But you can also see that he feels Clemson has equal talent on both sides of the ball and that it is a toss up game.
“You know, I don’t think that really matters, I really don’t. Heck, 2003 we were a pretty big underdog, too, and I think they were No. 2 in the country at that time and we weren’t very good. You know, so I mean, yeah, I guess we were fired up and all that, but at the end of the day, it comes down to executing on the field. This is a toss-up if you ask me. This is a game that comes down to a few plays. This is just like the Clemson-Georgia game at the start of the season. You’ve got two great teams that both want to win, that both have great aspirations, and in this particular case, heck, we’re talking about trying to win a division. This is a key game to try to win that next goal for us, and that’s the Atlantic Division championship. But as far as being a factor, whether we’re an underdog or whatever, that has nothing to do with it. We know they’re a great team. We’ve got great respect for them. I know that they know that we’re a good football team, and we’ve got to just play well.”
What you see this week more than any other week from Swinney is the fact that he preached and showed the action of confidence and not arrogance. It has been a long process in building a culture in the belief of winning for the Tigers and it seems Swinney feels this Clemson team has finally arrived.
And who should argue with him at this point because he has his team relevant in the biggest game in the nation for the second time in the first eight weeks of the 2013 College Football season. Swinney is right when he says that this Clemson team is better at who they are and what they do. And this is exactly why it is going to be possibly the best College Football game this year and one that you hate to see a team lose.