2. How is Clemson so consistently good?
Not to keep harping on this, but yeah, not having to deal with the landmines that other top programs need to sidestep is a factor.
That’s not saying Clemson couldn’t or wouldn’t be this good if it played in the SEC West or Big Ten East, but it hasn’t hurt that it doesn’t get challenged by a slew of top teams and hasn’t played anyone all that good in the ACC Championships. It’s been able to survive a mediocre performance or two because they didn’t come against a Penn State, or an LSU, or a Michigan, or an Auburn, or an Ohio State or Alabama.
But that only goes so far.
It’s one thing to catch a scheduling break, but you still have to put the biscuit in the basket. Oklahoma has been able to get to the College Football Playoff time and again with no success. Clemson has been able to get into the dance, and it has proven over and over again to be one of the prettiest belles at the ball.
There’s absolutely nothing fluky about winning a College Football Playoff national title – or even getting there – and playing in a fourth national championship in five years makes any whining about the schedule sound a bit silly.
Dabo Swinney and his staff have figured it out, an it helps to have that staff.
While Alabama has been a revolving door for assistant coaches, Clemson has been able to miraculously hang on to defensive coordinator Brent Venables.
Jeff Scott has been a part of the staff since 2008 as a big part of the offensive machine, and he’s still around for this before going to be the USF head man. Fellow offensive coordinator Tony Elliott has been around since 2015.
Talent, stability, success, coaching – top recruits tend to like that. They also like being in national championships on a consistent basis.