The Clemson Tigers are the kings of college football, as Dabo Swinney’s bunch rode a nasty defense and the golden right arm of true freshman signal caller Trevor Lawrence to a College Football Playoff championship earlier this week. It was a stunning result, as the Tigers dominated Alabama in a way that we haven’t seen since Nick Saban took over, strolling to a 44-16 win in the national title game.
Beating the Tide came after Clemson took care of business against Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl, blowing out the Fighting Irish, 30-3. It wasn’t nearly as surprising as their beatdown of Alabama, but it was still a bit of a surprising result, because you’d like to think that a national semifinal would be a bit more competitive.
As it turns out, the Tigers didn’t think too terribly much of Brian Kelly’s squad during the lead up to their semifinal matchup. Cole Cubelic of the SEC Network spoke to a member of Clemson’s staff, who revealed that the team only spent one week during bowl prep focusing on Notre Dame. The rest of the time was dedicated to getting ready for a matchup in Santa Clara with the Tide.
College football is, inherently, a sport where coaches and teams thrive on being disrespected, but this takes things to a new level. Clemson barely being concerned about Notre Dame is something that had the potential to backfire spectacularly, but the Tigers were able to take care of business against the Fighting Irish and made their decision to spend all their time focusing on the Tide look like an awfully good move a week later.