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Clemson football is trying to be Clemson football

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
The Truth Network Radio
November 22, 2023 3:35 pm

Clemson football is trying to be Clemson football

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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November 22, 2023 3:35 pm

Grace Raynor, The Athletic, on Clemson’s football season and the ins and outs of where they’re at and where they’re trying to go.

How does Dabo Swinney look at the competitive part of college football going forward? In her opinion, does Grace think we’re headed to more conference reshuffling or are they just going to blow up the program as we know it? Does Grace agree with where Adam believes it's going? Will Dabo be driven out or does she see him staying? 


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That's On Monday, when we could be talking about an eight and four Clemson Tigers team, which man, there were times this season. We weren't sure they were going to finish 500, but they have been really impressive the last three weeks. They go into the annual game with South Carolina on a three game run. Grace Rainer doesn't necessarily cover Clemson as much anymore for the athletic, but she is. She absolutely knows what's going on in that program.

And she joins us on the Adam Gold Show. Thank you on this pre Thanksgiving Day extravaganza for giving us some time. Does Dabo feel from afar?

It seems like he has been more relaxed the last couple of weeks. Of course, winning certainly helps. For sure.

Thank you guys for having me, by the way, and happy almost Thanksgiving. Yeah, I mean, winning definitely helps you look at this this Clemson year and it's been a little wonky and they've definitely had their warts at times. And they were coming off that double overtime loss at Miami and then they lost at NC State. And I think we all kind of wondered where is this team headed?

What is kind of the feeling for this group? And then all of a sudden they rip off a three game win streak. They beat a really good North Carolina team. They take down Notre Dame at home and get a top 15 win there. So, yeah, they turned it around and I feel pretty good about them heading into South Carolina this year. So a weird year, definitely a down year for Clemson. There's no denying that it's been a tough year for them, but they are having some success on the stretch.

Grace Rainer is joining us from the athletic. I guess for some people, they will look at this and go, well, yes, they played well. But the double edged sword to this is that they have played well enough now where maybe Dabo doesn't think about the portal differently than he has in the past. He is loathe to use it. And he has claimed, well, we have we haven't used it because we haven't needed it. We can I think we can probably have a healthy debate about whether or not Clemson could have used the portal to their advantage.

Where do you think they will head with that element? Yeah, I think the thing about Dabo is he is someone who is so competitive that even when he is slow to adjust, he is going to do it in some way in his own former fashion. And he might not do it on the timeline that we all think that he should. But I would be surprised if they didn't use it a little bit this offseason.

And that's not to say, you know, go in and fill out your whole roster from the portal. But we've seen just how one or two really key pieces can change the entire dynamic of a team. I think you look at Keon Coleman, Florida State, probably the best example. So I think they need a wide receiver. I think they might need an offensive lineman. I'm not saying that I'm 100 percent certain they'll go out and get it and do it. But I do think that I will be surprised if they're not a little bit more open to taking that route this offseason.

Grace Rainer is with us from The Athletic. And because Florida State used the portal so well to their advantage and they are the glaring example of how it can work, not that they weren't building to this anyway, although the portal has certainly helped. If he's so competitive, does that maybe push him more in that direction? Yeah, I mean, I was talking with one about this the other day who made such a good point about the portal.

It's you know, it's kind of it's at the point now where you need the portal, because if you are asking your 17 and 18 year old high school students to go compete with 23 and 24 year old portal guys, it's just it's just not feasible. And so we've seen how you can use it and get a key piece here and there. And I think that that's how Dabo will use it if they decide to go down that route. I don't think he's going to do a complete overhaul. But yeah, I mean, you I think if you were to put Keon Coleman on Clemson's roster this year, probably a completely different team in a lot of ways.

So I think that as headstrong as he can be and he likes to do things his way and he's the first to admit that he does things his way and not necessarily the popular way. I do think he will come around if it means a competitive advantage. How does Dabo look at really the immediate future of college football with the expanded playoff? When we talked about this last year, he was not in favor of it because it just means that many more games.

He insists that his players aren't necessarily in favor of it because, again, they play enough games already. How does Dabo look at the competitive part of college football going forward? Yeah, I mean, he's been a guy when we even went to the college football playoffs in the first place with the four teams. You know, he was a guy who liked the BCS model and the two teams.

And so he hasn't been, you know, they're super anti expansion, but he had he does like the 14 model and he's been vocal about that. And he thinks that it puts a really strong emphasis on the regular season games. And certainly Clemson knows that as well as anyone. I mean, basically down the stretch when they were going through their run every week was a playoff game for them because they just have no room for error.

But I think he'll embrace it. I think certainly you look at this Clemson team now in twenty twenty three and you're you're probably pretty excited that the playoffs is expanding to give yourself another another chance. And then you look at the bigger picture of college football and he's been pretty vocal about how he thinks the structure at some point is probably going to blow itself up. Just kind of the way that we're headed. I don't know what that looks like or how it will change, but just college football right now.

Is it such a such a fascinating crossroads? Do you think that this could be your opinion or anything you've gleaned from being around the Tigers program? But do you think we're headed to more conference reshuffling or is it just a blowing up of the entire system as we know it? I think that is the million dollar question, right?

I have no idea. I mean, I remember a couple of years ago it was when we were all watching Ted Lasso during the pandemic and Dabo made a joke about, well, maybe college football will just look like the Premier League and you at the time we all laughed. And now now I wonder maybe he might have been onto something. I mean, we've got obviously so much conference realignment and you're sort of on the outside looking in if you're not in the big two at this point. So I don't know where we're headed. I think more changes are are probably coming, just given the way that our sport has rapidly changed so much in the last couple of years. But what exactly that looks like, I could make a lot of money in Vegas if I if I had any predictions on that. It's interesting that you bring that up the because I actually mentioned this earlier.

I talked with Chip Patterson, you know, Chip, earlier today. I think that that's where we're headed. We're headed for a Premier League in college football. And that could be 40 teams.

It could be 60 teams with levels of promotion and relegation. And when I have described to people the the fandom of college football, it most mirrors the fandom of of like of the English football system, because those are all community based teams and they you're you're a fan of that club regardless of who's on it. Just like, you know, people are fans of Clemson or NC State or North Carolina.

They don't care who's in their in their uniforms. That's my that's my team. It's it's so there are so many similarities that maybe we're headed that way. Yeah, I mean, I have I have no idea where we're where it's going or what it's going to be.

I kind of think I'm at the point now where I'm not sure that anything would surprise me, just given how much change we've seen. But you're right. And that's that's the thing I love so much about college football.

Right. Is that no matter how crazy it is and no matter how hectic it is or if it's blowing itself up, every Saturday still delivers. Every Saturday still has, you know, packed stadiums and the fanfare and the pageantry. And so whatever it looks like, it's still it's still going to be some form of the college football tradition that we love. And we don't have to worry about points, deductions or financial fair play for those people who are fans of the Premier League. Well, you'll understand that.

Grace Rainer, before we let you go. Because this year there's been so much speculation. We even saw it coming out of Clemson about, well, an announcement is coming, an announcement is coming. Do you think an announcement is coming anytime soon from whether it's Clemson or Tallahassee or anywhere else about teams leaving the league? I have no idea, to be honest.

I mean, I don't I don't know. I think that we obviously saw a lot of chatter this this summer when we thought something was happening right with Florida State, when they sort of got close to that August 15th date and we all wondered, are they about to get notice? It seems like things have quieted down a little bit, but I also didn't see a lot of things coming that we did see. You know, I didn't see some of these coaching changes. I didn't see the realignment. They kicked all this off with Texas and Oklahoma back in the day. So I think college football is just so fluid.

You always have to be on your toes. But I don't I don't have any for any information or any reporting to know if anything's coming down the down the pipeline. Who knows what Dabo, you know, what he will do if it really blows up, because he has in the past threatened. You know what? I'll just stop because he is definitely one of those old school guys who loves the like, he's sort of married to the what I guess the old ways of college football. Could something like this drive him out?

I don't know. You know, he said I think he said a couple weeks ago that, you know, he he hopes he's coaching for 10, 15 more years. And I do think he still loves it.

I think he loves the development part and the player relationship part. And obviously he's young. He took over Clemson. You know, it's been his 30s.

So I don't know. And I think he's I think he's so competitive. That's the part that's a piece of Dabo that sometimes I think the general public misses out on is that he's obviously very vocal and has become someone that can be a little bit of a lightning rod in college football. But he's super competitive. And I think as long as he still has that drive and is still getting something out of it, I don't think we've seen the last of Clemson.

No, we absolutely have not. Grace Rainer, I appreciate your time. Happy Thanksgiving to you. And we will talk sometime down the road. Appreciate it. Yeah. Thank you so much.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. OK, round two. Name something that's not boring.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-22 17:37:10 / 2023-11-22 17:42:33 / 5

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