While you would think that preparing to slow down Joe Burrow and LSU would occupy most of Dabo Swinney’s time, the affable Clemson head coach had had to add another item to his agenda this weekend in New Orleans: dispeller of conspiracy theories.
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.
Naturally this led to many fans of the program (and a few media members too) to claim there was a bit of a conspiracy against the Fiesta Bowl champions given that LSU were able to get their full practice in at the New Orleans Saints’ indoor facility a few hours before. While it was fun for some to believe that, it could not have been further from the truth.
“We might have had the best practice we had all year,” Swinney said Sunday at the final College Football Playoff press conference. “We had the same opportunity to go to the palatial Saints facility. It’s just crazy how people put these narratives out there right away. We had the same exact opportunity to go there, but we were going to have to change our schedule and just didn’t want to do that. And obviously the weather was nasty, so it was great.
“It was a great practice. It was a great day. Thankful that we had a really good facility, and again, we could have done the exact same thing. I just chose not to change our schedule up and stay on course, and it’s great.”
Swinney also seemed to setoff some on social media a day prior when he was asked about the game being less than an hour from LSU’s campus as well.
“Yeah, it’s a road game. That’s just how we look at it. It’s a road game. There’s no doubt,” said Swinney at CFP Media Day. “Might as well have just played in Baton Rouge. No different. But maybe have better weather here in the Dome, so it’ll be good. But yeah, it’s no different. As I said earlier, it would be like us playing the National Championship in Greenville, South Carolina, 40 minutes up the road.”
Though some thought the quote was a bit of a shot at the other set of Tigers and organizers of the event, the reigning national champion coach was really just joking around in a manner he usually does over a question he had been asked several times prior.
Orange-clad fans may not choose to believe it but their head coach certainly agrees that there is no, as AP writer Ralph Russo termed it, Deep Louisiana State out to get lil’ old Clemson. At least not until Monday night rolls around and the two teams match wits in a championship game setting up to be one of the best matchups ever — sans conspiracy theories that is.