The Sugar Bowl matchup between No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Ohio State wanted lower than 24 hours to evoke bitter emotions on each sides.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney — who questioned Ohio State due to the variety of video games it performed through the season — put the Buckeyes at No. 11 in his final USA Today/Amway Coaches Poll ballot. For what it is value, Indiana completed in that spot within the last Faculty Soccer Playoff rankings.
Then, video leaked of Ohio State coach Ryan Day’s postgame speech after the Massive Ten championship, and it got here with some NSFW language. It might function bulletin board materials for Clemson, Notre Dame and Alabama.
Neither Swinney’s ballot poll nor Day’s locker-room discuss matter that a lot, however each are on the market. The coaches probably will spill out platitudes about how a lot respect they’ve for the opposite program within the press conferences main as much as the sport.
However we all know how they actually really feel now. They’ve added spice to the rematch of final yr’s Fiesta Bowl semifinal, a recreation that also carries these narratives: Did the Buckeyes blow a 16-0 lead of their eventual 29-23 loss? Or did the Tigers profit from questionable officiating calls?
The reply is each, and that units up a simmering sequel.
You might make a robust argument that Swinney has bypassed Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh as Public Enemy No. 1 in Columbus. Contemplate: Since City Meyer arrived in 2012, the Buckeyes have misplaced 10 video games. Three of these losses are to Clemson — greater than some other college and two fewer than the complete Massive Ten mixed.
Ohio State losses since 2012
|Michigan State: 2|
|Virginia Tech: 1|
|Penn State: 1|
The Tigers beat the Buckeyes 40-35 within the 2014 Fiesta Bowl and 31-0 within the 2016 Fiesta Bowl.
Clemson is 4-0 all time in opposition to the Buckeyes — and that first assembly was the 1978 Gator Bowl the place legendary coach Woody Hayes took a swing at Clemson linebacker Charlie Bauman.
The unhealthy emotions on each side have not stopped since.
In Columbus, Swinney is a motor-mouthed Southern televangelist who has taken benefit of a weak ACC to prop up his SEC-wannabe program. In Clemson, the Buckeyes are Yankee conceitedness personified — a Massive Ten program that performs within the slowest, stodgiest, most overhyped convention in faculty soccer.
Sound about proper on Twitter?
The reality is the packages have extra similarities than variations. The Buckeyes are 81-8 (.910) and the Tigers are 89-9 (.908) within the CFP period, which started in 2014. The one program with a greater document in that point, in fact, is Alabama at 89-8 (.918). Ohio State is 58-4 within the Massive Ten and Clemson is 58-5 within the ACC.
Each have constructed NFL pipelines, and Day and Swinney are competing for the perfect quarterback recruits within the nation. The rematch will characteristic one other installment of Trevor Lawrence vs. Justin Fields, two quarterbacks who will not win the Heisman Trophy this season however who’re greater than able to successful the nationwide championship.
Lawrence and Fields have been instrumental in ensuring a university soccer season occurred within the first place. Each might have stated no to enjoying and began making ready to be the primary two quarterbacks chosen within the 2021 NFL Draft. As an alternative, Lawrence returned in midseason after testing constructive for COVID-19 and Fields has persevered by a season through which the Buckeyes have had three video games canceled.
Clemson averages 44.5 factors per recreation, Ohio State 42.5 factors per recreation. Likelihood is we’ll get a shootout — and a 3rd playoff installment that must be higher than the primary two matchups.
That is why it is the second Playoff matchup on Jan. 1. Final yr’s matchup drew 21.2 million viewers, and this recreation ought to surpass that.
There isn’t a lot left to speak about.
We all know this Sugar Bowl goes to be candy.