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The Dabo Swinney Era Is Over

It's sometimes hard to not overreact to Week 1. Colorado probably isn't going to win the national title, contrary to the hype the Buffs are deservedly getting after a big win in the season opener, for example. But I don't think it's too much of an overreaction to say that Dabo Swinney's time at or near the top of college football is all but over.

Clemson looked like a thoroughly average football team in a 28-7 loss to Duke on Monday night — the Blue Devils' first over a Top 10 team since Steve Spurrier was their coach. Forget comparing the Tigers to Georgia or Alabama, if Florida State's dismantling of LSU was any indication of how it is going to play going forward, Clemson needs to worry about even being able to say it's in the top tier of the ACC anymore.

While it's still early in Cade Klubnik's career, it looks like Swinney may have whiffed on two big-time quarterback recruits in a row. He has refused to adapt in the transfer portal and NIL era, things that have allowed teams like FSU and Tennessee to flourish while Clemson has only regressed. I don't know if anyone has relayed the news to Swinney yet, but he's been lapped by more than a handful of programs recently and it's only getting worse.

Swinney won two national championships at Clemson and had that program neck-and-neck with Alabama for the best in the sport for several years. And that's wildly impressive, but this just isn't the program it was a few years ago. The Tigers will likely still be pretty good as long as Swinney is there, but they're not anything resembling a serious national title contender anymore.