Clemson Football: 5 defining games that changed history for Dabo Swinney

Dabo Swinney Clemson Tigers (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Dabo Swinney Clemson Tigers (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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Clemson football - Dabo Swinney
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JANUARY 11: <> during media day for the College Football Playoff National Championshipon January 11, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Five defining games that changed history for the Clemson football program

Clemson football has grown into one of the top College Football programs in the country over the leadership of Dabo Swinney.

Over the course of the last decade, the Tigers have won six ACC Championships, made five-straight CFB Playoff appearances and won two National Titles. That’s quite the amount of accolades for a program that was once an afterthought in terms of the national perspective.

As we look back at the history of the Clemson football program under Swinney, here are five defining games that brought about major change.

5. 2012 Orange Bowl loss to West Virginia

It’s the only loss on our list. But, boy, was it a big one.

Most Clemson football fans have put the 70-33 loss to West Virginia in the 2012 Orange Bowl in a deep, dark place in their mind. The Tigers were absolutely drubbed by the Mountaineers and simply couldn’t find a way to stop their explosive offense.

While no one likes to remember this game, it brought about a major change: The firing of Kevin Steele and the hiring Brent Venables as Defensive Coordinator.

Without Venables, who knows what happens to Clemson football. Do the Tigers ever ascend to new heights? Venables is the best Defensive Coordinator in the nation, so at the very least, we could expect a drop-off defensively than what we’ve seen over the course of the last decade.