Dabo Swinney holds court at ACC spring meetings

Football - Dabo Swinney

Photo by Mark Crammer

Football - Dabo Swinney

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was ACC football’s spokesman at the conference’s spring meetings Wednesday, giving insight into some of what’s ahead for 2013 and the 14-team league to come 2014.

Before the media assembled, Swinney said the ACC coaches voted as a united front for staying at eight regular season games in football, with the upcoming partnership with Notre Dame a primary reason.

With a nine-game conference slate, teams with Notre Dame also on the schedule would only have two more out of conference games in their control. In Clemson’s case, they would have just one – South Carolina already a non-conference mainstay.

"When you’re a school like us, when you’re playing Notre Dame, South Carolina plus nine conference games, it limits you in what you can do in our out of conference scheduling," Swinney said to ESPN. "We like the flexibility that comes with being able to do a Clemson-Georgia. We’re all comfortable with eight."

The nine-game talk has picked up, after the ACC recently moved back to eight games, with Alabama's Nick Saban pushing for more SEC play instead of FCS action. Per Swinney, the ACC, however, isn't looking at eliminating FCS games, as the Big Ten recently voted to do.

With scheduling issues out of the way, Swinney said the conference now has to earn its reputation – a better one rather – to move up prestige-wise in the new college football order.

“If we're going to change the (ACC) perception, we have to do it from the inside out,” Swinney told CBSSports.com. “If we do that, maybe we'll be the No. 1-perceived conference.

“I think the SEC has earned everything they've got. They earned it on the field. Period. They produced a champion. I agree there's been three, four dominant teams in that league. It's like, a 4 x 100. We haven't had anybody carry the baton yet. Hopefully we can get that going.”

Quick Hits

• The ACC coaches want a voice in the College Football Playoff, via the Coaches’ Poll. With the selection committee makeup up for debate, they don’t mind the idea of ex-coaches, current ADs and conference representatives on the panel, but want their own say as well. “Will you have some bias from each coach? Absolutely you will,” Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said, “but through the country if it got balanced out, you'd probably still have a pretty legitimate idea of at least who the coaches though the top-four teams were.” What’s also interesting is a push to do away with the preseason polls, which would likely help non-media hyped teams to stand out earlier in the season.

• Nothing new on the ACC Network, as it looks like it’s still years away from fruition. That said, the conference is flaunting its numbers. Per Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, the ACC has “more TV sets and people in the (geographic) footprint than any other league.”

• A new bowl order is in order for 2014 when Louisville joins, and the picture has changed just in the last couple weeks per ESPN. The Chick-fil-A Bowl, No. 2 in the ACC order, is ceded to the College Football Playoff in 2014, making way for the Russell Athletic Bowl (Orlando, Fla.) to jump to next-best after the BCS status. Per the bowl, a set of sweeping renovations to the Citrus Bowl will be in line by the time the move would happen. As far as additions, the ACC might be sharing the Gator Bowl with the Big Ten, while New York City’s Pinstripe Bowl is likely to become an ACC-Big Ten matchup. Not mentioned by the ESPN is the status of the Sun Bowl, which is currently the ACC’s No. 4 bowl, but the Belk and Music City are still in the mix.

• Clemson in MSG in March (and not in the NIT)? The ACC is “thoroughly investigating” the possibility of playing the conference’s basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden. The Big East has owned the arena in championship week since 1983, but the ACC is looking to capitalize on the shell that is the soon-to-be American Athletic Conference. The next two years of the ACC Tourney are set for Greensboro, but nothing is scheduled after that.

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Comments » 6

kimpots1 writes:

will swinney never learn that there are times when "silence is golden"

KIMOSAMI (Inactive) writes:

in response to kimpots1:

will swinney never learn that there are times when "silence is golden"

What'd he say that was wrong?

I thought his whole assessment was right on.

What would you prefer he do? Guzzle a twelve pack and start slobbering out embarrassing slights and slanders at opposing coaches like the drunk down in Cola? Yeah....nothing like hearing the Old Ballsack slur his words when he twangs out another gaffe.

KIMOSAMI (Inactive) writes:

in response to kimpots1:

will swinney never learn that there are times when "silence is golden"

In my humble opinion:

Perhaps you'd enjoy yourself more if you went on Youtube or GoGamecock archive and listen/read Steve Spurrier's attacks on fine, decent MEN like Bobby Bowden, Dabo Swinney, Phil Fulmer. And then needless/senseless attacks on fine men/great players such as Peyton Manning. And stupid, senseless attacks on great coaches like the above and Nick Saban and others.

And his embarrassing, 'slurfull' attack on Dabo Swinney at Marcus Lattimore's retirement announcement....after Swinney had sincerely praised Lattimore.
(Dabo and Marcus had developed a personal, lasting friendship during recruiting, btw).

Go on Youtube and watch Spurrier bully Ron Morris in front of a room full of sportswriters and TV guys. He knew that Morris couldn't respond. Morris was only doing his job. He reported what he'd been told by what Morris reported were reliable sources, re. Bruce Ellington. It was a minor thing. Spurrier bullied him. He knew he had someone that couldn't/wouldn't respond.

Spurrier may be a great coach. He has turned S.C. into a winner for the present time. But I wouldn't let my son be influenced by a man of his character.

SoCalTiger writes:

I think Dabo is biding time until he gets a shot to coach in the SEC. That's where he really wants to be. And there's nothing wrong with that. I think Dabo's dream job would be to coach 'Bama some day.

Clemorange writes:

Na I think he's seems more like the type of person to build up greatness rather than just jump on a band wagon. I feel dabo will be in town for awhile. He wants to build clemson to number one, not adopt a number one team

radtiger writes:

in response to SoCalTiger:

I think Dabo is biding time until he gets a shot to coach in the SEC. That's where he really wants to be. And there's nothing wrong with that. I think Dabo's dream job would be to coach 'Bama some day.

I agree, Dabo cant be happy settling for the ACC , he has a history with the SEC and he knows the greatness that comes with those teams....Clemson is just a stepping stone and in a couple of years when he has his reputation built up for being a "winning coach" and gets an opportunity.....ACC will be history for him.

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