Dabo Swinney has turned Clemson into a national power.
Six straight ACC Championships, six straight College Football Playoff appearances, and two national titles. Only Alabama can claim that kind of success over the same stretch.
However, those streaks have been snapped this season, as the Tigers struggled in their transition from Trevor Lawrence to DJ Uiagalelei. Clemson dropped two games in the first month of the season and dropped out of the Top-25 before bouncing back to finish 9-3.
There’s no doubt the Tigers are in the midst of a down season. Multiple factors played into that, and now the program must make another transition. Swinney just replaced both Brent Venables and Tony Elliott, both of who played key roles in Clemson’s success. Add all that up and it’s easy to see why some in the media are claiming the Tigers’ run of success is over.
However, don’t count Danny Kanell as one of those media members. On a recent episode of the Gramlich and MacLain podcast, Kanell admitted that there are questions surrounding the current state of the Clemson program, but that it’s far to early to write Swinney’s Tigers off.
“I get the question marks and I get the concern,” Kanell said. “But I’m not going to be one that’s saying, right now, ‘Oh, this is the end.’ And guess what else is still there… a lot of talent. So, I don’t think Clemson’s going anywhere, anytime yet.”
Kanell noted that while the Clemson offense took a step back, the defense was as good as ever, and that despite the three-loss regular season, Swinney has set the program up for success long-term.
“If I’m another school in the ACC, you’re thinking ‘vulnerable,’” Kanell said. “I think it’s a vulnerability that they haven’t been in, and I think you see it as an opportunity. Let’s freshen up the offense. The defense has still been strong, but let’s see what else we got out there. Then that might be a scary thought for everybody in the ACC.”
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