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Sport Dabo Dynasty: Clemson can join elite company with win vs LSU

22:56  12 january  2020
22:56  12 january  2020 Source:   ap.org

Clemson Facing LSU is Perfect for Dabo Swinney's Underdog Narrative

  Clemson Facing LSU is Perfect for Dabo Swinney's Underdog Narrative The fact that a 5-star quarterback who has yet to lose a game in 25 starts and is all but a lock to be picked No. 1 overall in 2021 can be an underdog in the National Championship speaks to the quality of Heisman winner Joe Burrow and LSU. After pulling off a win against Justin Fields and Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl last night, Trevor Lawrence, Dabo Swinney, and Clemson will gear up for a matchup against Ed Orgeron's unbeaten No. 1 LSU in NewAfter pulling off a win against Justin Fields and Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl last night, Trevor Lawrence, Dabo Swinney, and Clemson will gear up for a matchup against Ed Orgeron's unbeaten No. 1 LSU in New Orleans.

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has this drill down.

Dabo Swinney wearing a suit and tie: Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney speaks at a news conference for the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in New Orleans. Clemson is scheduled to play LSU on Monday. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)© APWF Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney speaks at a news conference for the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in New Orleans. Clemson is scheduled to play LSU on Monday. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The Sunday before the College Football Playoff championship game a news conference is held with the head coaches. They compliment each other's team and talk about focus and preparation. After, they shake hands and pose for photographs with the trophy that goes to the winner.

This was Swinney's third time doing the dance, always as the team trying to derail a dynasty. Now his Tigers are on the cusp of joining exclusive in college football history.

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No. 3 Clemson (14-0) will try to become the fourth team since The Associated Press began crowning college football national champions in 1936 to win three titles in four seasons when it faces No. 1 LSU (14-0) on Monday night at the Superdome.

Ed Orgeron, Dabo Swinney are posing for a picture: LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, left, and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney pose with the trophy after a news conference for the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in New Orleans. Clemson is scheduled to play LSU on Monday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)© APWF LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, left, and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney pose with the trophy after a news conference for the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in New Orleans. Clemson is scheduled to play LSU on Monday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

“They know,” Swinney said of his players. “They're very well aware of what they've been able to achieve. And listen, regardless of what happens in the game tomorrow night, it's really been a historic run. To win two out of the last three national championships is amazing.”

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To win the first two, Clemson upset Alabama twice in the championship game. The Tigers also lost twice to Nick Saban's Crimson Tide in the playoff, including in the 2015 final.

In those previous Sunday-before-the-final news conferences, it was often Swinney - who grew up in Alabama and played on the Tide's 1992 title team - being asked to put Saban's unprecedented tenure in Tuscaloosa into perspective.

Dabo Swinney wearing a helmet: Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney speaks at a news conference for the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in New Orleans. Clemson is scheduled to play LSU on Monday. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)© APWF Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney speaks at a news conference for the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in New Orleans. Clemson is scheduled to play LSU on Monday. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Fast forward to Sunday and it's Clemson that has put itself in position to match one of Alabama's greatest accomplishments. The Crimson Tide was the last team to win three championships in four seasons, winning BCS titles in 2009, ‘11 and '12. The Tide has won five championships in 13 seasons under Saban.

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Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons vs . LSU QB Joe Burrow. Linebacker vs . quarterback might make you Clemson : RB Travis Etienne. On an offense with an array of elite playmakers, Etienne is the best and most Clemson coach Dabo Swinney could become the 12th coach to win at least three national

Nebraska, under coach Tom Osborne, won national titles in 1994-95 and then shared the championship in 1997 with Michigan after being voted No. 1 in the final coaches poll.

Notre Dame won three in four seasons in 1946-47 and '49, being crowned the champs by the AP each time.

A case cab be made that what Clemson is trying to do would top them all.

The playoff makes teams go through two quality opponents to earn a championship. The Tigers were the first major college football team in the modern era to go 15-0 last year and will have to do it again to repeat, beating two undefeated opponents in Ohio State and LSU along the way.

A victory Monday night in front of what will unquestionably be a partisan crowd in LSU's backyard will make Clemson the seventh major college program since 1950 to win at least 30 straight games.

The last team to win back-to-back national titles with a perfect record was Nebraska in the mid-90s. Those Cornhuskers played a total of 25 games.

Ed Orgeron, Dabo Swinney are posing for a picture: LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, left, and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney pose with the trophy after a news conference for the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in New Orleans. Clemson is scheduled to play LSU on Monday. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)© APWF LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, left, and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney pose with the trophy after a news conference for the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in New Orleans. Clemson is scheduled to play LSU on Monday. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Swinney has often complained this season that his team hasn't received the respect it deserved while running roughshod through the Atlantic Coast Conference. Clemson was the first AP preseason No. 1 to end the season No. 3 despite not losing a game since it happened to Alabama in 1966.

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Dabo : WRs Higgins, Ross 'good to go' vs . LSU . They're going to have to be to help Clemson keep pace with LSU 's high-flying offense. He played the rest of the second half of Clemson 's 29-23 win , though. He enters Monday night's national championship game with 56 catches for 1,115 yards and

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Swinney turned perceived slights into fuel for his team. Clemson is a verified college football superpower, but the Tigers remain upstarts, still with something to prove in their minds.

“Ever since I've been at Clemson that's how it's been,” All-America linebacker Isaiah Simmons said. “We always get the, ‘We don’t play anybody,' this and that.

“We're like the red-headed stepchild in other groups.”

So Clemson is embracing that narrative entering this championship game as underdogs again. LSU is about a six-point favorite behind Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow and a record-breaking offense.

The senior who transferred from Ohio State in 2018 is on pace to break the FBS record for completion percentage at 77.6. He has thrown for 5,208 yards and 55 touchdowns. Burrow can become the first Heisman winner to win the national title since Alabama's Derrick Henry helped the Tide beat Clemson in the 2015 title game, and the first Heisman winning quarterback to win it all since Florida State's Jameis Winstion in 2013.

Dabo Swinney wearing a helmet: Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney speaks during a news conference for the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in New Orleans. Clemson is scheduled to play LSU on Monday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)© APWF Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney speaks during a news conference for the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in New Orleans. Clemson is scheduled to play LSU on Monday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Burrow is the odds-on favorite to be the first player selected in the next NFL draft. The quarterback on the other side, Trevor Lawrence, is already the front-runner to be No. 1 overall in 2021.

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  Dabo Swinney tries to downplay conspiracy theories about practicing, playing in New Orleans against LSU The Clemson head coach has had a second job trying to explain away things that fans have gotten up in arms about ahead of the National Championship Game.The latest popped up on Saturday as his Tigers went through their final practice of the year. While the team was set to have their session at Tulane’s facilities, weather that rolled through the Big Easy forced a change of plans and Clemson subsequently practiced at a ballroom in their hotel.

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The sophomore has yet to play in a losing game in college and Clemson is 25-0 when he starts.

“A winner, very quick release, very well-coached, outstanding feet, knows where to go with the ball, can run," Orgeron said, rattling off what makes Lawrence so good.

Ed Orgeron, Dabo Swinney are posing for a picture: LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, left, and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney shake hands after a news conference for the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in New Orleans. Clemson is scheduled to play LSU on Monday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)© APWF LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, left, and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney shake hands after a news conference for the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in New Orleans. Clemson is scheduled to play LSU on Monday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

No matter what happens Monday night, Clemson will begin next season as one of the favorites to win the national title. The 50-year-old Swinney also just signed the highest-rated recruiting class he has ever had in 10 seasons at Clemson.

This impressive run is far from over. But first things first.

“I think when you focus on that, you're focusing on the magnitude of the moment and you lose the joy of the moment,” Swinney said. “That's all we try to focus on is just being great where our feet are and just have some fun doing what we do to get ready.”

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LSU Fan Starts GoFundMe For Clemson Mascot After Twitter Pokes Fun At His Appearance .
Prior to the start of the College Football Playoff (CFP) national championship game between LSU and Clemson on Monday, one LSU fan decided to create a GoFundMe in an effort to purchase Clemson a new mascot costume. © Kevin C. Cox/Getty An LSU fan created a GoFundMe to replace the Clemson Tiger mascot after Twitter pokes fun at it "After turning on the national championship game on Monday the 13th I thought bad for the Clemson Tiger," the creator of the GoFundMe page wrote. "It seems that the University purchased their mascot costume form the clearance rack from TG&Y in 1981.

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