Clemson Football: Dabo Swinney's "little more expensive" stock comment should be taken very literally

Clemson's victory over the Kentucky Wildcats in the Gator Bowl was fun, but many of the team's problems during the 2023 season were still on display for most of the game.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney signals to go for a two-point conversion against Kentucky
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney signals to go for a two-point conversion against Kentucky / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK
facebooktwitterreddit

No one has more fun following a Clemson Football victory than head coach Dabo Swinney.

Swinney has been well-known for the phrase “we win, we dance”, which has become a tradition for the team in the locker room following a win, regardless of whether the opponent was Notre Dame or an in-state FCS school.

In early November, Clemson was 4-4 and seemed like they might struggle to become bowl eligible. Their upcoming stretch of games was arguably the toughest they had faced in the 2023 season.

The Tigers responded by upsetting Notre Dame in Death Valley. Swinney made this quote at the time.

Following Clemson’s win against the Kentucky Wildcats in the Gator Bowl, Swinney said this when ESPN sideline reporter Taylor Tannenbaum asked about his earlier stock comment.

"“It’s probably a little more expensive if you didn’t buy it then”"

Dabo Swinney

Swinney is 100% right. It is a little more expensive, but notice that not even Swinney says 'a lot more expensive.'

There is no reason whatsoever that Swinney and his team shouldn’t celebrate this accomplishment. The Tigers finished the season with a five-game winning streak following his original stock comments in the post above.

Anyone who is being objective would agree that the Tigers stock is a higher value now than it was following their fourth loss of the season to NC State.

Objectivity also requires us to acknowledge that Clemson still only finished with a 9-4 record, which is the program’s lowest win total since 2010. It’s also their worst ACC record (4-4) since 2010.

Their bowl opponent, Kentucky, finishes with a 7-6 overall record and 3-5 in the SEC, which tied them for fourth in the SEC East with Florida. The Tigers only beat the Wildcats by three points and a very young secondary (which won’t be dramatically different when the Tiger take the field next fall) yielded 306 yards passing from Devin Leary, who only averaged 211 per game all season.

The offense was inconsistent until the fourth quarter, which was a theme for the entire season. Things improved as the game went on, but the challenges were very similar to what Tiger fans have seen all season.

Cade Klubnik improved a little throughout the year but he didn’t take a massive jump. The offensive line improved for a few games against Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and UNC, but regressed again against South Carolina and Kentucky.

This is why you aren't going to see national analysts heap too much praise on the Tigers, and those who have been negative towards Swinney and the program will continue to be negative.

In the end, Swinney’s words should be taken very literally: the stock is only a little more expensive. The Tigers might be one of the favorites in the ACC in 2024, but they still have a lot of work to do this offseason.