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Dabo Swinney’s funny take on Alabama OC situation is valid

By  January 3, 2017

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney doesn’t usually pull punches and Tuesday morning was no different. Commenting on now former Tide OC Lane Kiffin’s sudden departure from the school, Swinney apparently gave a tongue-in-cheek answer.

And, well, it was pretty valid.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban announced Tuesday that Kiffin’s duties had been relieved, and that he wouldn’t be around for the national championship.

Alabama’s OC situation is a curious one. Bringing in former USC coach Steve Sarkisian to suddenly call a national championship game is no guarantee that things will go flawlessly. While it’s fair to say both Kiffin and Alabama assumed it would make sense for Kiffin to call the final game, obviously some sort of disagreement must have happened.

Per USA Today: Saban declined to go into detail about Kiffin’s dismissal and what prompted it beyond stating repeatedly that Kiffin juggling two jobs took away from his preparation for Alabama’s national semifinal game against Washington. He called it a mutual decision to part ways, though Kiffin has been making the media rounds and claiming that he could have coached in the title game if he chose to.

But Tuesday morning’s funny quip wasn’t all from Swinney, the Alabama-native and former Tide receiver and assistant coach.

This from the Associated Press Tuesday afternoon:

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney believes he has a fresher, steadier group heading into this year’s national championship game with No. 1 Alabama.

Swinney said his Tigers were impacted in 2015 by 10 consecutive weeks of grueling football from late September until the Atlantic Coast Conference title game in early December. On top of that, Swinney’s defense was chock full of front-line stars, yet had little experienced depth behind them.

That’s not the case this time around, at least not in Swinney’s eyes when No. 3 Clemson (13-1) looks to take down the Crimson Tide (14-0) on Monday night in Tampa, Florida.

‘I feel like we have more juice’ than when the Tigers faced Alabama a season ago, Swinney said Tuesday.”

Clemson’s certainly playing with more confidence.

Swinney has a legitimate point, but penetrating that ‘Bama front seven has been nearly impossible for opposing teams this year. On the other hand, it’s not like it’ll be a walk in the park for Alabama’s offense. The Tigers sport a ridiculous defensive line with the likes of Clelin Ferrell, Austin BryantAlbert Huggins, five-star freshman Dexter Lawrence and elder Carlos Watkins. It’s a comically-good front line.

More from the AP:

“We couldn’t let the moment get too big for us,” said Ferrell, who had three tackles behind the line in the Ohio State rout.

Next up is a much bigger moment against Alabama, which outlasted the Tigers 45-40 in last year’s national championship game.

Clemson’s defense gave up just 138 yards rushing to Alabama last year, but Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry ran for three scores including a 50-yard TD for the Crimson Tide’s opening score.

“The biggest thing from last year is that they know they belong,” Swinney said. “They know they’re good enough.”

(Photo: CHRIS VANNINI/COACHINGSEARCH.COM)

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