Look at Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney, He is the College Football Captain Now

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If you are a college football fan who hates/has grown extremely fatgued of Alabama, then the 2018 college football season ended in a manner that you no doubt approved of. Dabo Swinney, Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne and the rest of the Clemson crew demolished the Crimson Tide so badly that even the Tigers’ route of Notre Dame in Texas the previous weekend was actually less lopsided than the blowout in Santa Clara, California.

Dabo Swinney and Clemson steamrolled through the College Football Playoff in a manner that was so dominant it sent a message to the rest of the nation- look at us! We are the ones who are completely in charge now.

Thus, it’s no surprise that entering the college football talking season, Clemson is the consensus number one team in the nation.

We spoke with former Clemson and current Northwestern quarterback Hunter Johnson, and we asked him his thoughts on the result of the 2018 national title game.

“I wasn’t surprised,” Johnson responded to our query.

“Knowing the amount of experience they had on that team and knowing those guys personally, Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, I’ve never met anyone who prepares as much as Christian Wilkins and I knew that once they got back there (to the title game), they weren’t going to leave a doubt.”

Wilkins, who claimed the very prestigious Campbell trophy (the academic Heisman) last season, is now with the Miami Dolphins, having been selected 13th overall in April’s NFL Draft. Ferrell went fourth overall to the Oakland Raiders.

The rest of the Clemson DL is gone too, and the Tigers will also need to replace to two starting positions in the linebacking corps. Yet, even with that front seven makeover in progress, Clemson are still light years ahead of the rest of the ACC, will be heavily favored in every regular season game this fall, and are a solid bet to be the #1 seed in next December’s playoff.

Why?

They still have quarterback Trevor Lawrence (who in a just world could go to the NFL right now), the best running back in the nation in Travis Etienne and arguably the best wide receiving corps.

Yes, even without Hunter Renfrow, whose 17 years of eligibility are now up. They still have Tee Higgins, a blue chip NFL prospect and an offensive line that will dominate. Clemson returns seven starters on that side of the ball and if the Tigers don’t comprise more than half of the all-ACC first team offense, then something is seriously wrong.

It’s now up to Dabo Swinney and his staff to

1.) help make sure the offense carries the load until the defense gets its feet under it and

2.) mold the younger guys into the team’s new leaders.

The defensive front seven may be green, but it is talented. Just like at Ohio State, they don’t rebuild, they re-load at Clemson.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, also contributes to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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