Dabo Swinney, technically speaking, blacked out in this spectacular screed against South Carolina and Steve Spurrier. Word on the streets – OK, Twitter – was that Spurrier said "we aren't LSU, and we aren't Alabama. But we sure ain't Clemson." The problem, of course, is Gamecocks radio man Todd Ellis said it, not Spurrer.
Swinney's got nothing to apologize for. His response was so fantastic that it matters bupkis what brought it on. Plus, it was factual as it was petty, which is to say he was really, really factual. Via CBSSports.com, some of the transcript of what Dabo said:
1. "That is kind of a childish thing to put out there, to be honest with you ... I would have to say I agree with him. He is right. They aren’t Clemson and they aren’t ever going to be Clemson, to be honest with you."
2. "You are looking at the best era in South Carolina football right now. They just had their second 10-win season, they won a championship in 1969 and the 2010 SEC East. And this rivalry – this is a lot more about domination rather than a rivalry and that’s a fact. My kids and grandkids probably won’t live long enough to see this become a rivalry."
3. "I have respect for their program, but South Carolina is not Clemson. There are a lot of differences. This is a place that has won a national title, 17 conference championships and now two division titles. Heck, we have won more bowl games than they have even been to. ... That is reality."
4. "Coach Spurrier has been there for seven years, but after five years he only had 35 wins and got a new contract and all that kind of stuff. After five years at Clemson, if I have only 35 wins they will be looking for a new coach and they should be."
5. "That is why Carolina is in Chapel Hill, USC is in California and the university in this state, always has been and always will be: Clemson. You can print that. Tweet that."
No, the only person who needs to explain himself is Spurrier.
Why didn't he say that? That line was great. It's hard to be self-deprecating and condescending at once, but that quote brought it all together. We ain't much, but you're less. Truly brilliant.
Is Steve Spurrier really going to let some guy on the radio drop a better quote than that after a game like Clemson-South Carolina?
The OBC is a smack-talk savant, one who speaks volumes without raising his voice. There's never been a coach better at looking so thrilled to win and twist the knife, all while acting like he'd been there before. And after a typical Clemson collapse, and coaxing 10 wins out of that ragtag outfit without Marcus Lattimore, it was time for Spurrier magic.
When the offending tweet hit the Net, it seemed like we'd gotten our wish. 'Twas putting the U-T in "citrus." The picture, while at Duke, under the scoreboard at Kenan Stadium after beating North Carolina 41-0. Explaining scoring 50 Between the Hedges because it had never been done (see No. 1).
So, not to be an instigator or anything...but I know Spurrier's not just going to let that slide, is he? There's no right or wrong in this. He's the king. Shots have been fired.
The quote, as attributed, was a lie. And Dabo fought on that lie.
Now it's the Ball Coach's turn. The bar's set high. This could be good.