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HUMOR: Swinney to leave for Alabama

David Perez, Photo Editor

Dabo Swinney coached Clemson to a 101-30 record in his tenure as the Tigers’ coach. He also led the Tigers to three College Football Playoff appearances. 

We knew it had to happen eventually. There was literally nothing left for Nick Saban to do at Alabama. Since becoming head coach for Alabama in 2007, he has won five national championships, won over 120 games, has had 15 assistant coaches become head coaches elsewhere and has seen a whopping 65 players get drafted to the NFL with dozens more signed as undrafted free agents. There was nothing left for him at the collegiate level. 

That of course sets the stage for what has been the most shocking announcement since Pete Carroll’s Trojans were caught with recruiting violations. Saban has left the Crimson Tide to become the New England Patriots’ head coach after the similarly shocking announcement of Bill Belichick’s retirement. Who could possibly fill Saban’s shoes in Alabama? Dabo Swinney of course.

The already well-esteemed head coach of the Clemson Tigers is a more than perfect candidate for the vacancy. It just so happens that his alma mater is Alabama. He also won a national championship with them in 1992. Since then, he has worked 

his way through the coaching ranks, with a small two-year hiatus, all the way up to head coach of the team he joined back in 2003, the Tigers.

There were a couple of other candidates for the highly coveted position. Les Miles, who was the former LSU head coach before current coach Ed Orgeron and Saban’s archrival. Constantly unable to get out of the Crimson Tide’s shadow, Miles was canned for not being able to beat the Big Al more than three times over eight seasons. 

Other candidates included former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich who turned Marcus Mariota into a Heisman Trophy winner, Jimbo Fisher who instead chose to leave Florida State for Texas A&M in a move that bewildered everyone and former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow. Tebow was in the process of trying to make it as a professional baseball player in the Mets organization, but as that was unlikely to happen, Alabama athletics director Greg Byrne reached out to him. 

None of the previous guys quite fit the organization as well as Swinney did, though. His personal history combined with his own coaching pedigree and recent history with the Crimson Tide all made perfect sense for Saban’s successor. 

As if losing their head coach wasn’t enough of a crushing blow to the Tigers, they will also lose both of their offensive coordinators to other coaching positions. Jeff Scott accepted a head coach opening at Michigan State and Tony Elliott will be moving to Pittsburgh to become the Steelers’ new offensive coordinator. Brent Venables is said to be the favorite to succeed Swinney as head coach because without him the defense becomes Swiss cheese. 

As if that wasn’t enough, number one recruit and Deshaun Watson facsimile, Trevor Lawrence is said to be following Swinney to Alabama. He will take the one-year penalty for transferring and ride the bench. 

“I just wanted to play football for Dabo Swinney. If that’s a crime then I deserve to be in jail, but I don’t regret my

decision to transfer. The Clemson faithful may not like it, but it doesn’t matter to me. I want to be the very best like no one ever was. To catch them is my real test. To train them is my cause.” 

Prior to the 2018 season, Clemson was seen as one of the favorites to go back to the College Football Playoff, but now they will have to be re-evaluated. 

Losing Lawrence may not impact their chances this year, but it is likely to keep them from true contention down the road. 


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