A JERSEY GUY: Dabo Needs To Ditch the "No Respect''' Theme

Mark Blaudschun

OK. Dabo, you made your point.

Enough about Clemson not getting respect.

Enough about "little old Clemson is finally at the adult table in the game of "big boy football'' as he did a year ago on his way to his second national championship in three years.​

The town of Clemson (17,000) is little, but nothing about else the football program comes close to that.

It's not that the Clemson coach was totally wrong.

After all, the first CFB Playoff rankings in November listed the Tigers at No. 5, behind Ohio State, LSU, Alabama and Penn State.

And the pre-season AP rankings had Clemson No. 2 behind Alabama, who the Tigers beat 44-16 in the CFP national championship game 9 months earlier.

Even though Clemson had as many of its key players returning as the Tide, including quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who was regarded as talented a QB as Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa, the Tigers weren't getting the love they thought they deserved from the pundits.

But now that we are in the playoff phase of the college football season, NO ONE is dis-respecting Clemson.

In fact, it might go the other way.

Ohio State, unbeaten and ranked No. 1 until the final CFP rankings on Sunday, is a 2 point UNDERDOG to Clemson in the Peach Bowl semifinals on Dec. 28, despite being seeded No. 2 to Clemson's No. 3.

The Buckeyes are already playing the "No respect'' card.

And isn't that a bit strange, considering that the primary argument used to show lack of respect for Clemson was the "who have they beaten'' theme.

Truth be told, Clemson's only win this season over a Top 25 CFP ranked team was in Saturday's Atlantic Coast Conference title game against Virginia, a game Clemson won, 62-17.

The other 3 semifinalists, No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Ohio State and No. 4 Oklahoma all have more wins over ranked opponents.

It's also interesting that the chatter you heard during the selection announcements on Sunday was "No one wants to play Clemson''

With good reason.

The Tigers are scary good, maybe generational good in terms of a college football dynasty.

Let's look at some numbers.

Clemson has not lost a GAME since the 2017 Sugar Bowl when Alabama beat the Tigers in a CFP semifinal.

Clemson's 28 game winning streak is the fourth longest in the modern era (post 1960).

Clemson has won two national championships in the past three years, beating Alabama both times.

In the past 8 years, Clemson has posted a 110-15 record. The Tigers are 68-8 in the ACC, with five league titles, numbers which has earned Swinney a 10-year $92 million contract--with $50 million guaranteed.

A year ago, almost everyone wondered about Clemson's credentials after nearly losing a 27-23 home game to Syracuse.

That served as the Tigers wake up call and allowed Swinney to privately question his team's motivation.

It worked against the riff-raff which was the rest of the ACC as Clemson won its next four games by a combined score of 239-36.

They ended their season against better quality teams, including unbeaten Notre Dame and unbeaten Alabama in the post season, as well as Pitt in the ACC title game, with a 3-0 sweep in which Clemson outscored its opponents by a margin of 116-29.

Alabama's 44-16 loss to the Tigers was the worst of Nick Saban's career at Alabama.

This season, the Tigers again were on the verge of falling into a post season crevice when they squeaked past North Carolina 21-20 which was decided on a failed two-point conversion attempt by the Tar Heels.

Again, Swinney had some ammunition to use on his team. The Tigers rolled over their next four opponents by a combined score of 208-45.

They started their post season march by outscoring a decent, but not great Virginia team by 45 points.

For the season, Clemson has outscored its opponents by an astounding 407 points, which is an average of 31 points a game.

If the Tigers finish this season unbeaten, NO ONE will be talking about their schedule, or questioning their credentials , which would include beating Ohio State and most likely LSU--in New Orleans.

​They will have won three national championships in four seasons, taking on and beating all comers.

""No respect'' Dabo?

Play another song please.


Mark Blaudschun