On Monday, the 2022 preseason college football coaches' poll was released. Clemson football checks in as the No. 4 team in the sport.
The Tigers are led only by Alabama, Ohio State and Georgia. Clemson is followed by Notre Dame, Michigan and Texas A&M.
Any team that receives a top-10 ranking to start the season is usually in good shape. But Dabo Swinney doesn't want his team paying attention to the hype.
Swinney made his opinion on preseason rankings very clear when speaking with the media this week.
“It’s kind of like I tell our players every year, ‘Bryan, did you get that text I sent you congratulating you on preseason All-American? Trenton, you got that text right?’” Swinney said, via Saturday Down South. “And they all look at me and I’m like, ‘Good. You’ll never get that text.’ I don’t really care about that stuff. Where were we ranked last year? We finished 15th. That’s the only thing that mattered at the end of the year.
“…It’s just something to talk about right now. It doesn’t have anything to do with December or November. All that will be determined by what happens on the field, kind of like those recruiting rankings. They do that re-rank every year — somebody does it — and very seldom have we not been ranked higher four years later than we were when we signed ’em. That’s all based on performance and not potential. I think we’ve got a chance to be a good team, but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Spoken like a true veteran. Well said, Dabo.
Ignoring preseason rankings is an absolute must this time of year. Teams that buy into the hype can see their season finished sooner than expected.
Clemson has championship aspirations; not preseason rankings aspirations. Swinny wants to make sure his team knows that.