Dabo Swinney Re-Ups with Clemson, Calls Big 12 Move ‘Worst Thing We Could Do’


Much of the Clemson and Florida State to the Big 12 Conference talk came unsourced, and those willing to go on the record took a Sergeant Schulz approach.

And yes, that was a “Hogan’s Heroes” reference. Deal with it.

Matching the above defiance was Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, someone of authority and in the know, who came out emphatically against the rumors.

In an interview with The Post Courier, Swinney unleashed and may have finally answered the hottest question of this off-season.

"Swinney said it would be the “worst thing” Clemson could do as a program and makes “zero sense.”Swinney said the Internet rumors of Clemson’s interest in moving to the Big 12 have been “frustrating” to deal with as he has had to reassure recruits that Clemson is committed to the ACC.“I think there has been a lot of irresponsible blogging and reporting whatever you want to call it,” Swinney said. “We live in this world (where) somebody hears something from the guy in the third stall down and it’s like, ‘OK it’s fact.’ It’s so far from reality it’s not even funny. We’re 1,000 percent committed to the ACC.”"

We’ve heard past assurances from authorities that Team X is committed to Team Y (Texas A&M, anyone?) but always couched in an air of ambiguity. There is nothing vague in Swinney’s statement. Further, it’s highly unlikely, if not impossible, that the head football coach would not be in the know given such moves are football motivated.

Swinney and Clemson reaffirming commitment to one another further validates his assessment.

Winning Clemson’s first ACC championship since 1991 earned Swinney a contract extension of three years, extending into 2017. Swinney came into 2011 on a hot seat off the Tigers’ 6-7 2010 finish. And despite the 10-win, league title effort he led his squad to, the extension was not free from criticism. Don’t be surprised if Swinney sustains more for his stance on irresponsible blogging, although it is in line with my assessment when rumors began to circulate last month.

If this scratches Clemson from the list of Big 12 possibilities, expansion talk may finally die down for now. This comes just a few days after the Florida State Board of Trustees meeting when some suggested to grab your popcorn — not a bad idea, as a nice bowl of Orville Redenbacher would have been the most exciting thing to come from the uneventful weekend.

FSU says no talk is happening. The Big 12 has expressed a desire to stay at 10. Clemson has outright chided the notion. Perhaps, and for once, things are as they seem. Stay tuned.