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Old 07-03-2013, 08:37 PM   #1
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Default Who's responsible for clemsons success?

I was reading Stewart Mandel's Mailbog on CNNSI and came across an interesting question. Who should be getting the credit for clemson's success? Dabo or Morris? I found Mandel's answer well reasoned and balanced. And loved some of the lines from the article like "second fiddle in this own state", so I thought I would share this and see if it could help pass the offseason dulldrums. Cheers!

Hey Stewart, I'm a Clemson transplant here in Washington state. While it seems like offensive coordinator Chad Morris gets a lot of mention as an up-and-coming potential head coach, I almost never hear about Dabo Swinney's chances to move up to a higher-profile job. Swinney obviously knows how to bring in the right people, took over from a Bowden (granted, it was only Tommy) and has improved virtually every aspect of his team, bringing the Tigers into the preseason national championship picture. What do you think Swinney's prospects are? Or do you think he's content at Clemson?
-- Jim, Irmo, S.C.
Swinney, who took over for Bowden in 2008, probably doesn't get quite enough credit for his accomplishments to date, which include a pair of ACC championship game appearances and the 2011 league title; consecutive double-digit win seasons the past two years, the school's first such feat since 1990; and a bowl victory last year over a top-10 LSU team. Swinney's lack of recognition is probably due in part to the overall lack of respect for the ACC, but it's also because he's still playing second-fiddle in his own state; Clemson has lost four straight games to Steve Spurrier's South Carolina squad. Like Jim mentioned, Morris tends to get the acclaim because the Tigers didn't truly take off until 2011, when Morris arrived and Tajh Boyd took over at quarterback. However, Swinney is on the brink where, if this year's team can meet its lofty expectations -- beat Georgia and/or South Carolina, win the ACC and reach a BCS bowl game (and not lose 70-33) -- he'll start to get mentioned more frequently among the nation's top coaches.
Interestingly, while Clemson would never be mistaken as a "have not," Swinney is modestly compensated relative to coaches at most comparable programs. According to USA Today's database, he was just the seventh highest-paid coach in the ACC last year at $2.05 million, trailing Virginia's Mike London and Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson, among others. Part of that is Swinney's own doing. He turned down a raise a few years back so the school could afford top-tier coordinators like Morris ($1.3 million, believed to be the highest of any assistant in the country) and Brent Venables ($800,000). But if Swinney's stock rises, it only makes sense that he'd be tempted by a program that can afford to pay big bucks for all three coaching positions. Presumably that would be somewhere in the SEC. Swinney is an Alabama native and alum, but that doesn't mean he's looking to flee Clemson -- and I'm sure AD Dan Radakovich would fight hard to keep him.

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