Clemson Football: Is Dabo Swinney a candidate for the Texas A&M job?

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney speaks at a breakout session during the ACC Kickoff Media Days event in downtown Charlotte, N.C. Thursday, July 27, 2023.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney speaks at a breakout session during the ACC Kickoff Media Days event in downtown Charlotte, N.C. Thursday, July 27, 2023. /

Clemson Football is 6-4 and bowl eligible, with an opportunity to finish 8-4 and finish their home schedule with a 6-1 record.

That is a good result for many programs, but considering Clemson’s success over the past decade, not every fan is impressed with the results for the 2023 season.

This has led to some friction between fans and head coach Dabo Swinney. At one point, Swinney made a sarcastic remark that the team needed to lose a few more games to shake off the bandwagon fans who were angry about Clemson’s missteps.

That comment wasn’t well received by several fans, and it then led to the most notorious caller in the history of Clemson’s call-in show, the now-infamous Tyler from Spartanburg.

Tyler criticized Swinney on a personal level, and Swinney gave Tyler a verbal lashing that made headlines.

While the drama has been entertaining, it has led to multiple different opinions about Swinney’s future. FanSided’s Michael Collins shared that he thought the Tyler encounter could be the beginning of the end of Swinney’s tenure at Clemson.

A new perspective has emerged in the wake of Texas A&M’s firing of head coach Jimbo Fisher. Rumors have started that Swinney might become a candidate for the Aggie opening.

This rumor is fueled by a handful of points, most notably that the A&M budget is one of the largest in college football, and few schools could match their financial power.

The other point is the belief that Swinney might not be that happy in his position at Clemson right now.

There is a parallel between Swinney’s situation now and Fisher’s when he was hired by A&M.

Fisher had won a national championship at Florida State and followed it with a few solid seasons but fell on hard times with several injuries to key players. Around this time, the Aggies started looking for a big name to woo to College Station.

The perception was that Fisher was dissatisfied with his situation in Tallahassee and wanted to leave. Many are making a comparison to Swinney’s situation now at Clemson and surmising he might be a candidate if a mega-rich program wanted to lure him away.

Dabo Swinney’s situation with Clemson Football isn’t the same as Jimbo Fisher’s with Florida State

There are a few key differences between the situations. First, Fisher’s dissatisfaction with Florida State was only partially because of his frustration with a frustrated fanbase. There had been a disconnect between Fisher and the athletics department & administration, and he perceived a lack of support from the university itself.

There doesn’t seem to be any similar friction between Swinney and Clemson University. They appear to be on the same page.

Secondly, Swinney has publicly acknowledged that most Clemson fans are fantastic and expressed his opinion that the negative vocal fans are a minority. He seems to understand and agree the majority of Clemson Nation still wants him here as the head coach.

Swinney might be upset about the way some fans have reacted to the 2023 season, but I don’t think he would consider taking another job just to spite a fraction of the fanbase that he acknowledges as a minority.

Fisher’s dismissal is still fresh, and to the best of my knowledge, the names being circulated as candidates are from the press and not sources close to A&M. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Aggies or another big-time university reach out to Dabo to gauge his interest in a new challenge, but I would be surprised if he has any serious intention to look for a new opportunity.

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