When speculation first surfaced that Florida State might have an interest in moving the ACC to the Big 12, head coach Jimbo Fisher gave a very public thumbs up to such a jump.
Clemson was also part of the ACC-to-Big 12 rumor mill churning, although its head football coach has taken a very different tack than his conference counterpart.
Speaking ahead of his high school football camp Tuesday, and as Ben somewhat hit on yesterday, Dabo Swinney was unequivocal as to what conference path his school should take now and in the future. And, suffice to say, it doesn’t even remotely involve the Big 12, or any other conference for that matter.
“In my opinion, going to the Big 12 would be the worst thing we could do as a football program,” Swinney said. “It makes zero sense. We are the ACC. This is a program that just won the championship and has won it more times than anybody in this conference. We can fulfill every goal and dream that we have right here in this conference. …
“Certainly we’ve got to continue to build our brand from an ACC football standpoint, but, you know what, this is an outstanding conference. It’s a conference in the rise.”
The chairman of Clemson’s Board of Trustees had previously stated that, if they were to “receive a viable option, a viable proposal presented to us by any league, this board has the responsibility to consider it, and we will consider it.”
Despite that, the fifth-year coach labeled the speculation, the Greenville News wrote, as “inaccurate” and “irresponsible”, perhaps in large part because of the impact it’s had on the recruiting trail and the extra effort the staff has to take to quell worries among recruits and their families.
“We have a tremendous footprint to recruit in and play in,” the coach said. “I’ve had to spend all my time re-recruiting guys because of people saying things, putting things out there that aren’t even close to being reality.”
Eight months ahead of Signing Day 2013, Clemson’s currently stands No. 37 in Rivals.com‘s team rankings. The Tigers have finished 14th (2012), eighth (2011), 19th (2010) and 37th (2009) in those rankings the past four years.