Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney has had enough of University of South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier talking trash about his program.
After the No. 12 Gamecocks (10-2, 6-2 SEC) picked up their third consecutive win over their arch-rivals last weekend, Spurrier threw a few mild jabs in Clemson’s direction.
“Historically, Clemson has owned this series,” Spurrier said after the game. “They don’t own us now.”
“We ain’t LSU or Alabama but we ain’t Clemson either,” USC radio host Todd Ellis added, attributing the quote to Spurrier.
Asked about Spurrier’s comments after the Tigers’ practice on Thursday, Swinney cut loose.
“If he said that, it’s disappointing to be honest with you because I was taught to win or lose with class,” Swinney said. “That is kind of a childish thing to put out there, to be honest with you.”
“I think our program here speaks for itself,” Swinney continued. “He is right. They’re not Clemson and they’re never going to be Clemson, to be honest with you. No three-game winning streak is going to change that. It’s not the first time they’ve won three in a row and it won’t be the last time. It might be fifty more years, but you know … it’ll probably happen again.”
Swinney added that “you’re looking at the best era in the history of South Carolina football right now. They just had their second ten win season. They won a championship in 1969 and the 2010 SEC East.”
The coach placed a particular mocking emphasis on “East.”
Swinney was just getting warmed up, too.
“This rivarly? You know, there are a lot of rivalries out there but this is more of a domination, and that’s a fact,” he said. “My kids grand kids won’t live long enough to ever see this really become a rivalry.”
Clemson owns a 65-40-4 all-time mark against the Gamecocks, including a particularly dominating stretch leading up to the 2009 game that prompted our founding editor to declare the series a “rivalry in name only.” Since then, however, it’s been all Garnet and Black – with the Gamecocks outscoring Clemson 97-37 over the last three contests.
Here’s the video of Swinney’s comments (start at the 1:49 mark …)
Swinney’s Tigers (9-3, 6-2 ACC) started the season 8-0 but have lost three of their last four games. They’ll play the Virginia Tech Hokies in the ACC championship game on Saturday at Bank of America stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
Kickoff is at 8:00 p.m. EST, with ESPN televising the game nationally.
UPDATE: The first version of this story incorrectly attributed a quote to Spurrier that was made by USC radio host Todd Ellis. Spurrier did make the initial comment regarding Clemson no longer “owning” South Carolina, but the quote that set Swinney off was actually made by Ellis.
UPDATE II: Here’s a new post on this subject …