cloudy.png
Sunday November 29th, 2020 10:58AM

Dabo Dynasty: Clemson can join elite company with win vs LSU

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has this drill down.

The Sunday before the College Football Playoff championship game a news conference is held with the head coaches. They compliment each other's team and talk about focus and preparation. After, they shake hands and pose for photographs with the trophy that goes to the winner.

This was Swinney's third time doing the dance, always as the team trying to derail a dynasty. Now his Tigers are on the cusp of joining exclusive in college football history.

No. 3 Clemson (14-0) will try to become the fourth team since The Associated Press began crowning college football national champions in 1936 to win three titles in four seasons when it faces No. 1 LSU (14-0) on Monday night at the Superdome.

“They know,” Swinney said of his players. “They're very well aware of what they've been able to achieve. And listen, regardless of what happens in the game tomorrow night, it's really been a historic run. To win two out of the last three national championships is amazing.”

To win the first two, Clemson upset Alabama twice in the championship game. The Tigers also lost twice to Nick Saban's Crimson Tide in the playoff, including in the 2015 final.

In those previous Sunday-before-the-final news conferences, it was often Swinney — who grew up in Alabama and played on the Tide's 1992 title team — being asked to put Saban's unprecedented tenure in Tuscaloosa into perspective.

Fast forward to Sunday and it's Clemson that has put itself in position to match one of Alabama's greatest accomplishments. The Crimson Tide was the last team to win three championships in four seasons, winning BCS titles in 2009, ‘11 and '12. The Tide has won five championships in 13 seasons under Saban.

Nebraska, under coach Tom Osborne, won national titles in 1994-95 and then shared the championship in 1997 with Michigan after being voted No. 1 in the final coaches poll.

Notre Dame won three in four seasons in 1946-47 and '49, being crowned the champs by the AP each time.

A case cab be made that what Clemson is trying to do would top them all.

The playoff makes teams go through two quality opponents to earn a championship. The Tigers were the first major college football team in the modern era to go 15-0 last year and will have to do it again to repeat, beating two undefeated opponents in Ohio State and LSU along the way.

A victory Monday night in front of what will unquestionably be a partisan crowd in LSU's backyard will make Clemson the seventh major college program since 1950 to win at least 30 straight games.

The last team to win back-to-back national titles with a perfect record was Nebraska in the mid-90s. Those Cornhuskers played a total of 25 games.

Swinney has often complained this season that his team hasn't received the respect it deserved while running roughshod through the Atlantic Coast Conference. Clemson was the first AP preseason No. 1 to end the season No. 3 despite not losing a game since it happened to Alabama in 1966.

Swinney turned perceived slights into fuel for his team. Clemson is a verified college football superpower, but the Tigers remain upstarts, still with something to prove in their minds.

“Ever since I've been at Clemson that's how it's been,” All-America linebacker Isaiah Simmons said. “We always get the, ‘We don’t play anybody,' this and that.

“We're like the red-headed stepchild in other groups.”

So Clemson is embracing that narrative entering this championship game as underdogs again. LSU is about a six-point favorite behind Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow and a record-breaking offense.

The senior who transferred from Ohio State in 2018 is on pace to break the FBS record for completion percentage at 77.6. He has thrown for 5,208 yards and 55 touchdowns. Burrow can become the first Heisman winner to win the national title since Alabama's Derrick Henry helped the Tide beat Clemson in the 2015 title game, and the first Heisman winning quarterback to win it all since Florida State's Jameis Winstion in 2013.

Burrow is the odds-on favorite to be the first player selected in the next NFL draft. The quarterback on the other side, Trevor Lawrence, is already the front-runner to be No. 1 overall in 2021.

The sophomore has yet to play in a losing game in college and Clemson is 25-0 when he starts.

“A winner, very quick release, very well-coached, outstanding feet, knows where to go with the ball, can run," Orgeron said, rattling off what makes Lawrence so good.

No matter what happens Monday night, Clemson will begin next season as one of the favorites to win the national title. The 50-year-old Swinney also just signed the highest-rated recruiting class he has ever had in 10 seasons at Clemson.

This impressive run is far from over. But first things first.

“I think when you focus on that, you're focusing on the magnitude of the moment and you lose the joy of the moment,” Swinney said. “That's all we try to focus on is just being great where our feet are and just have some fun doing what we do to get ready.”

___

Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen http://www.westwoodonepodcasts.com/pods/ap-top-25-college-football-podcast/

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/APTop25CollegeFootballPoll and https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, College Sports, AP Sports - College Football
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Dabo Dynasty: Clemson can join elite company with win vs LSU
Clemson had to knock off a dynasty to win two of the last three national titles
2:41PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Aguero overtakes Henry as record EPL foreign scorer
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has set the record for most English Premier League goals by an overseas player
2:29PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Slain Gdansk mayor honored during yearly fundraising finale
The late Gdansk mayor has been remembered during the finale of a yearly Polish fundraiser
2:23PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Man City's Aguero sets record as EPL's top overseas scorer
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has set the record for most English Premier League goals by an overseas player
1:22PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP source: Browns hiring Vikings OC Stefanski as next coach
A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press that the Cleveland Browns are hiring Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski as their new coach
12:31PM ( 2 hours ago )
Patriots star Edelman arrested for vandalism in California
New England Patriots star Julian Edelman was arrested near LA on suspicion of misdemeanor vandalism after allegedly jumping on the hood of someone's car
12:31PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Former Steelers coach Cowher elected to Pro Football HOF
Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame
1:33AM ( 13 hours ago )
Titans stun Ravens, head to AFC title game with 28-12 win
Derrick Henry gained 195 yards rushing and threw a 3-yard touchdown pass in the Tennessee Titans' 28-12 victory over the Baltimore Ravens
12:50AM ( 13 hours ago )
LSU, Clemson put Golden Age of wide receivers on display
The increased emphasis on the passing game in college football has given rise to a Golden Age of wide receivers
12:38AM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Feagin, No. 7 SDSU beat Boise State 83-65 to stay undefeated
KJ Feagin scored 16 of his season-high 23 points in the first half and No. 7 San Diego State played its best home game all year, opening with a 23-9 outburst and beating Boise State 83-65 to remain unbeaten
1:05AM ( 13 hours ago )
McBride leads No. 17 West Virginia over No. 22 Texas Tech
Miles McBride scored a season-high 22 points, Oscar Tshiebwe added 17 rebounds and No. 17 West Virginia beat 22nd-ranked Texas Tech 66-54 on Saturday night
10:01PM ( 16 hours ago )
Boeheim lifts Syracuse past No. 18 Virginia, 63-55 in OT
Buddy Boeheim scored nine of his 14 points in overtime and Syracuse outlasted No. 18 Virginia 63-55
7:37PM ( 19 hours ago )
College Sports
North Dakota State and James Madison back in FCS title game
North Dakota State and James Madison are certainly familiar with the FCS championship game in Frisco, Texas
5:35PM ( 1 day ago )
Mays transfers to Tennessee after his father sues Georgia
Offensive lineman Cade Mays is leaving Georgia and returning to his hometown to continue his college football career at Tennessee
6:41PM ( 2 days ago )
Mississippi State hires Mike Leach away from Washington St
Mike Leach is leaving Washington State to take over the head football coaching job at Mississippi State
4:15PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - College Football
Aguero overtakes Henry as record EPL foreign scorer
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has set the record for most English Premier League goals by an overseas player
2:29PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Recovery begins after storms that kill 11 in Midwest, South
Thousands remain without electrical power from storms that ravaged parts of the South and Midwest, causing 11 deaths
2:19PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Purdue defense bottles up No. 8 Spartans in 71-42 upset
Purdue got 16 points from Trevion Williams and relied on a staunch defense to pull off a 71-42 upset over No. 8 Michigan State
2:16PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Aguero record EPL foreign scorer, City routs Villa to go 2nd
Sergio Aguero scored a hat trick and set two records as he lifted Manchester City back to second in the English Premier League on Sunday with a 6-1 rout at Aston Villa
2:16PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Trump wants Pelosi, Schiff as impeachment witnesses
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says senators will “pay a price” if they block new witnesses from testifying in President Donald Trump's upcoming impeachment trial
2:09PM ( 38 minutes ago )