Clemson coach Dabo Swinney’s stance that teams playing only six games ought to be barred from the College Football Playoff as well as ranking Ohio State 11th in his final coaches’ poll gave his opponent all the fuel they needed to come out and smash his team.
After Clemson’s 49-28 loss to Ohio State, Swinney was blasted on social media as early as halftime of the blowout.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence was asked postgame how much he thought the ranking played into what happened on the field, and he proceeded to downplay it.
“I mean, I don’t know how I’d gauge that necessarily. But they played a great game,” Lawrence said. “I mean, who knows what all went into that. I think they’re a really good team, obviously. In games like this, you’ve got to play well to win, and they played really well. They earned it tonight.
“And I think we prepared well. I think we were ready. Just didn’t really translate. Just didn’t play our best game, for sure. And I think they played one of their best games, and it was — they played great. So got to give it to them.
“I don’t know what all goes into it. Obviously when you get beat, you want to go beat that team. That’s just anybody. But I think you’re playing for a Semifinal game. Doesn’t matter if you played the year before or not. I mean, everyone’s pretty motivated to win that game.”
Swinney told reporters after the game he had no regrets about ranking Ohio State where he did.
“I don’t regret any of that, and polls have nothing to do with motivation. Both teams were highly motivated to play,” he said, via ESPN.
“They’re a great team. [The ranking] had nothing to do with Ohio State. I said they were good enough to beat us, good enough to win the whole dang thing. But I didn’t think anybody that didn’t play at least nine games, in my poll, that I wasn’t going to put them in the top 10. So I wasn’t going to change that just because there was a chance we could play them. So I don’t have any regret about that. Only thing I regret is obviously not doing a good enough job getting my team ready.”