Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers have been taking an absolute beating for every single angle following their nightmare Labor Day loss to the Duke Blue Devils.
Once perennial college football powerhouses, Clemson suffered a humiliating 28-7 loss in a game which was filled with undisciplined, self-inflicted wounds.
The performance was horrific enough that ESPN’s Paul Finebaum declared that Dabo’s dynasty at Clemson was officially over.
While Finebaum admits Clemson has been ‘teetering’ for a couple of years now, he said the loss to the Blue Devils was the nail in the coffin.
Appearing on ESPN’s “Get Up,” Finebaum stated: “Dabo’s dynasty is done.. What else can anyone say? It’s really been teetering for a couple of years. But what happened last night is simply unexplainable.”
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) September 5, 2023
Clemson, under the leadership of Swinney, had long been a dominant force in college football, with multiple national championships and a reputation for recruiting top talent.
However, the Duke loss has raised serious doubts about the program’s future. (Although, in fairness, Duke is a pretty damn good team that’s led by a first-round NFL draft pick at quarterback.)
Finebaum pointed out that none of the changes Clemson made during the offseason seemed to translate to the field on Monday night.
“They brought in Garrett Riley, that was supposed to be the savior,” Finebaum said. “They had the quarterback that was going to be Trevor Lawrence’s wunderkind. And frankly, nothing happened.”
Adding salt to the wound, Finebaum emphasized that this loss wasn’t to a powerhouse like Florida State, Alabama, Notre Dame, or Georgia, but to Duke, which, while respectable, is not considered a football powerhouse.
“They lost to Duke, which has a very good quarterback and a nice program. ‘Nice’ being the operative word. They have nowhere to go. And Dabo’s nonsense after the game isn’t going to impress anyone. This program is flatlining right now.”
Paul Finebaum breaks down the Clemson struggles:
1) Dabo Swinney lost Brent Venables, one of their key coaches, to Oklahoma last season.
2) It resulted in an increase in overall struggles for the team.
3) In order for #Clemson to start winning again, they'll need to find…
— MONEYLINE (@stateschoolgrad) September 5, 2023
Clemson’s recent struggles go beyond the Duke defeat. The Tigers have now lost three out of their last four games dating back to the 2022 season and suffered a blowout loss to Notre Dame last November.
Additionally, Clemson, which did not take any transfers beyond backup quarterbacks over the past two recruiting cycles, has not reached the College Football Playoff since 2020.
Swinney, who was once celebrated as one of the top coaches in the nation, is now facing intense criticism from fans and media following the shocking loss.
Is the heat deserved? Or are people overacting?
Can Dabo get Clemson back on track?
You have to admit, this was not a good look. (Although, Cade Klubnik seems like a phenomenal kid, so I have a hard time believing this was intentional…)
Even Dabo’s own players are leaving him hanging
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) September 5, 2023