Skip to content

Dabo confident Clemson 'has never been better' despite CFP drought

Lance King / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney contends his program is in a great place despite missing the College Football Playoff the last two seasons.

"People, they need stories and it's a story if Clemson went to six playoffs in a row and then didn't make it, what's wrong with them?" Swinney told ESPN's Andrea Adelson.

"There's nothing wrong with Clemson. There's nothing wrong with our program. In fact, I would argue, honestly, our program has never been better."

Swinney credits his confidence to the structure of his program, from the roster and coaching staff all the way to the administration.

The Tigers are preparing for their 16th campaign with Swinney at the helm and have captured the ACC title in seven of the past eight seasons, posting an 11-3 record in 2022. Alabama (13) is the only school to play more CFP games than Clemson (10).

Despite continuing to pile up wins, critics pointed out the flaws in the Tigers' offense last season. Averaging 33.2 points per game last season, Clemson was unable to find consistency at quarterback between DJ Uiagalelei and Cade Klubnik.

Swinney parted with offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter after one season and hired Garrett Riley away from TCU following the school's run to the national championship game. Swinney leaned on Riley's brother, USC head coach Lincoln Riley, before making a change on his staff.

"Honestly, I probably would have stayed the course if it wasn't for Garrett," Swinney said.

Swinney is pleased with what he's seen of the offense so far in spring practices. He is confident a core that features tailback Will Shipley, linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, and Klubnik can end the program's playoff draught next season.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox