December 02, 2011
During a post-practice interview session Thursday night, Swinney was asked about a comment widely attributed to Carolina coach Steve Spurrier following the Gamecocks' win: "We ain't Alabama, we ain't LSU, but we ain't Clemson."
Swinney measured how he wanted to answer the question before he more or less lashed out at Spurrier and South Carolina. The twist? Spurrier never said it. In fact, it was South Carolina play-by-play man Todd Ellis who made the comment at the end of last week's game: "As coach Spurrier says, we may not be LSU or Alabama, but we ain't Clemson folks."
Oops. Well, somebody said it, anyway.
South Carolina even tweeted that the quote wasn't Spurrier's, but why let the truth get in the way of a good old-fashioned rant? And that's exactly what Swinney provided. Here are some snippets from Swinney's answer:
"I heard that, that's the kind of thing that gets back to you," Swinney said. "And I don't know if he really said that or not. I guess he did, there's been no rebuttal. And if he said that, that's disappointing to be honest with you. I was taught to win or loss with class and that's kind of a childish thing to put out there to be honest with you.
"If I had to respond to him, I'd say he's right. They're not Clemson," Swinney said. "They're never going to be Clemson to be honest with you, and no three-game winning streak is going to change that. It's not the first time they've won three in a row and it won't be the last time. It might be 50 more years, but it will probably happen again. I've gone out of my way to be complimentary to them and be complimentary to coach Spurrier — I've got a lot of respect for coach Spurrier — but I'm going to defend my program. I'm going to defend my players, my coaches and I'm going to defend Clemson University because I believe in it.
"There are a lot of rivalries out there and this is more of a domination," Swinney said. "And that's the fact. My kids, grandkids won't live long enough to ever see this really become a rivalry. It is what it is."
Hmmm, seems like this is more of a rivalry than Swinney would like to admit.