Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said this week that Ohio State was good enough to beat his Tigers, but he still didn’t rank the Buckeyes among the top-10 teams in his final Coaches Poll ballot. Instead, he put them at No. 11, despite the fact that the College Football Playoff committee had them among the top-4 teams invited to compete for a national championship.
His beef with Ohio State is that entering Friday’s Sugar Bowl semifinal game, the Buckeyes had only played (and won) six games, while Clemson and other top teams — including Alabama and Notre Dame, the other two playoff teams — played at least nine games this season.
While some people used Swinney’s logic to argue that Ohio State didn’t deserve a playoff spot, the Clemson coach employed it as a reason to keep his team’s next opponent out of the top-10.
“If people have a problem with that, I don’t really care,” Swinney said Monday, via USA TODAY Sports, adding:
“It’s not that they’re not good enough,” Swinney said on a conference call with reporters. “I just don’t think it’s right that three teams have to play 13 games to be the champion and one team has to play eight.”
Dabo Swinney stands by his call to rank Ohio State No. 11 on the coaches’ poll ballot. pic.twitter.com/JNSTjhtdBH
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) December 28, 2020
Well, Swinney’s Coaches Poll ballot and comments didn’t exactly age well with Ohio State dominating Clemson in Friday’s second semifinal game, winning 49-28 to advance to the national championship game against Alabama. And for the Buckeyes, it was revenge after losing to Clemson twice previously in the playoff.
Sure, the Tigers were without offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, who tested positive for COVID-19, and star linebacker James Skalski was ejected for targeting in the first half. But the Buckeyes were without several key people too, including running back Master Teague III, and quarterback Justin Fields appeared to be injured on Skalski’s targeting play.
But that didn’t matter much to college football Twitter because people used Clemson’s brutal loss to Ohio State to make fun of Swinney and his decision to rank the Buckeyes at No. 11.
Warning: There is some NSFW language in these jokes.
I’m looking forward to seeing what Dabo answer is when they ask him if he still think @OhioStateFB is the 11th best team in the country.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 2, 2021
Dabo: Ohio State should be ranked 11th
Ohio State: pic.twitter.com/abmF32ogV7
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) January 2, 2021
If Dabo had us at 11… they must be 12th 🤷🏾♂️
— Parris Campbell (@PCampbell21) January 2, 2021
DABO GETTING ROLLED BY THE NATION’S 11TH BEST TEAM.
— Eleven Warriors (@11W) January 2, 2021
“I ranked Ohio State 11 because they’re so good I gave them two number ones” –Dabo, in like 90 minutes
— BUM CHILLUPS AKA SPENCER HALL (@edsbs) January 2, 2021
Dabo Swinney got crushed by an 11 ranked team pic.twitter.com/WrPUIS0cqC
— 😤 (@Bel22_Aziz) January 2, 2021
Ohio State tonight after Dabo Swinney ranked them #11 pic.twitter.com/mJN2gUqgkk
— Lauren Russell (@itslaurenruss) January 2, 2021
— Kaiden W. Beggs (@Gotham0107) January 2, 2021
Dabo Swinney’s Clemson program just made history, becoming the first to lose to the #11 ranked team in a College Football Playoff.
— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) January 2, 2021
— Tim England (@tengland_150) January 2, 2021
Dabo: I have Ohio State ranked at 11.
Ohio State: pic.twitter.com/R1baMEDUpI
— We WON in November (@Krush59) January 2, 2021
Dabo, quick question.
Let’s say the Head Coach of the #2 team in the country gets BLOWN OUT by the team he ranked #11. Does it make HIS TEAM a fraud… or does it make HIM a fraud? pic.twitter.com/qV2kHVXLc2
— Sports Law Lust🎙 (@SportsLawLust) January 2, 2021
— Rico Beard (@RicoBeard) January 2, 2021
Reporters getting ready to ask Dabo where he ranks Ohio State now pic.twitter.com/GhhuPpmTPH
— Jose (@JZepeda_13) January 2, 2021
Omg Dabo pic.twitter.com/3A5UB8g8zb
— Joy Taylor (@JoyTaylorTalks) January 2, 2021
— Longfellow Deeds (@the_Sandman2) January 2, 2021
Dabo when they ask him why he put OSU at 11 after the game pic.twitter.com/UaLeuI55Un
— Keytar Hero (@NathanFleeger) January 2, 2021
Dabo after calling Ohio state 11 in the country pic.twitter.com/DH3WvpfLkA
— Coach Lambeau Fields (@LambeauCoach) January 2, 2021
Dabo’s updated Coaches Poll ballot:
1. Ohio State
3. Lil ‘Ol Clemson
5. Tony Elliott
6. Pizza Parties
8. Humble Pie
10. Larry Bird
11. Hype Speeches
12. Calling Them “Tor-TILLA chips”
13. Hymns Without Guitar Solos
— Rixon Lane (@RixonLane) January 2, 2021
How it started vs how it ended. pic.twitter.com/mdKSEElqLo
— DaboSwinneyProblems (@DaboSwinneyProb) January 2, 2021