Alabama Football: In bold claim Dabo Swinney is not wrong


Former Alabama Football wide receiver, Dabo Swinney has come a long way. The one-time, real estate salesperson is considered by many as one of college football’s best coaches. Gene Stallings once put a lockdown on Dabo running his mouth, about being a new coaching staff hire for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Now Dabo can say anything he wants, and, at the least, not worry about any pushback from Clemson fans.

Clemson has lost just seven games over the last six seasons. After two National Championships, Dabo no longer gets much mileage from posturing his program as ‘little ole Clemson’. When he uses the label now, it is in reference to the size of the town. The program has become big-time from having been in the National Championship conversation every season since 2015.

Dabo embraced his ability to speak boldly this week. Talking about CFB Playoff expansion, Dabo said,

"Our team isn’t for it. They don’t want to play more games, and to be honest with you, I don’t think there’s 12 teams good enough."

Alabama Football fans have mixed feelings on Dabo’s coaching

Some Alabama Football fans are not sold on Dabo as a possible successor to Nick Saban. Wherever a Crimson Tide fan comes down on that issue, Dabo deserves a big ‘atta-boy’ for speaking truth about Playoff expansion.

Late July and August are traditionally the ‘talking seasons’ for college football. Coaches frequently make bold claims about their team’s chances in the coming season. The comments, though obligatory, are never refreshing. This week Dabo was doing something different and it was a welcome bit of candor.

In August, it is possible to define 12 or more teams as National Championship contenders. In some seasons, a credible list could include twice that many. The outlook progressively changes as losses mount up during the season. In the 2019 season, 11 FBS teams had two losses at the end of conference post-seasons. Four more had one loss and LSU, Clemson and Ohio State were undefeated. How many among those 18 teams, had a real chance to win a National Championship? Not 12-1 teams Appalachian State, Boise State and Memphis. The same can be said for two-loss teams, Navy and Air Force.

Debate can ensue over the other two loss teams: Penn State; Minnesota; Notre Dame; Florida; Baylor; Utah; Oregon; Georgia and the Crimson Tide. Alabama Football was probably better than most, if not all of the group of two-loss teams. Even so, the 2019 Crimson Tide was not equal to being defined as a National Championship quality team.

Maybe a couple of the two-loss teams were legit contenders and would have warranted inclusion in a six-team Playoff format. The 2019 season is not the only example. Take the other Playoff years (except for 2020 due to the scheduling oddity) and Dabo’s claim would fit them as well.

The CFB Playoff will expand. But Dabo is not alone in disapproving of a 12-team format. Another ACC coach, Mack Brown, said a couple of weeks ago, his players were not in favor of Playoff expansion beyond “six to eight teams.” The comment from Brown was also refreshing considering the Tar Heels’ chances of a Playoff berth would be highest in a 12-team field.

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The Crimson Tide will embrace and thrive in whatever expanded format is chosen. Even it means having to play pointless games against outmatched teams.