“Dat Boy” Swinney: Welcome To The Hot Seat
We’re not going to “milk” the whole “Dat Boy” thing again this year … Clemson University’s head football coach is named Dabo Swinney (for whatever reason), and that’s that. Also, there’s no “P” in the name of the University where he gets paid $250,000 a year from the taxpayers of South Carolina to coach football (the paychecks say “William C. Swinney,” in case you were interested). Oh, and as much as we might occasionally try to convince people otherwise, the football team he coaches does not go by the nickname “Farmers,” or “Taters.”
However he got his name … it’s fine by us. Whatever they pay him, that’ fine too. And the State of South Carolina does have an agricultural history (as well as a history of inbreded inflection that often results in the introduction of syllables where none technically exist).
So there … it all makes sense.
Of course, this week Clemson fans aren’t all that fixated on their own inability to pronounce things, they’re focused on their football team’s inability to win games. Specifically, they’re focused on the fact that a 2-2 Tiger team with “legitimate” losses to No. 10 TCU and No. 23 Georgia Tech somehow managed to choke on the road against friggin’ Maryland – a 1-3 team that lost to Middle Tennessee State earlier this year.
In fact we were going to write an article called “The Honeymoon Is Over For Dabo Swinney” until our buds at Bleacher Report beat us to the punch with an article entitled … yeah, “The Honeymoon Is Over For Dabo Swinney.”
From Bleacher Report:
Mr. Swinney say hello to your first week answering tough questions, dealing with unabated criticism, and getting to face for the first time some really angry Clemson fans.
They are going show you no mercy now. You have just lost to a team the LA Times called the worst in Division 1 football. Offensive coordinator Billy Napier you might as well get prepared for it too. It’s your offense that is unable to score points with playmakers like Jacoby Ford and C.J. Spiller on your team.
With a BYE week coming up, before playing Wake Forest, the scrutiny you two are about feel is going unlike anything you’ve ever known. Those open practices, beating South Carolina, forget it, because the honeymoon is over.
Is Clemson out of the ACC race? Mathematically no. Guess what though you are staring up at the Maryland Terrapins now. You have to beat both NC State and Florida State and hope for some luck. A season that started with the promise of tougher football, a chance at contending in the ACC is now on the brink of spiraling out of control.
There’s no doubt Swinney earned this job last year – taking a Tiger team on the precipice of implosion and landing them in a New Year’s Day bowl. That forced even our cynical founding editor to acknowledge that he deserved a chance to lead the team in 2009.
Of course if something doesn’t give, 2009 might be the extent of Clemson’s patience with Swinney.