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November 15, 2017

Dabo Swinney

Greensboro, North Carolina

DABO SWINNEY: Well, we're really excited to represent the Atlantic as the division champs, and we're looking forward to Charlotte here down the road, playing a great Miami team.

For us, just getting focused on this week, our last home game. It's been a great year here at home, and really proud of our team. We're getting ready to honor our seniors. This has been an awesome group. They're 26-1 at home, and going for the -- really the Clemson record, if we can find a way to win this weekend.

Really proud of our seniors, proud of our team and how they've competed all year, and know it'll be a special day in the Valley. It's also military appreciation day, and that's always just a great, great all-around day here at Clemson. Looking forward to that, and we're playing the Citadel, which obviously is a military school and has a great history, as well. But looking forward to playing and really just trying to continue to improve our team. I think that's what it takes at this point if you're going to have a chance to continue to advance. You've got to stay focused on improving, because there's so much to still get better at.

Q. Apologize for rehashing something that happened weeks ago, and I apologize to you and my colleagues also on the line, but I haven't had a chance to ask. After the Syracuse game you not only were very gracious to Coach Babers after the game, you went over to the Syracuse locker room and congratulated their players. I just wondered what your motivation was for that, what the process was to do something that's fairly unusual in this day and age.
DABO SWINNEY: Well, you know, I just -- I was really happy for Dino. I know how hard his team played. They outplayed us and out-coached us, quite frankly, and the biggest thing is there was -- first of all, it's not like I went across campus or across the stadium. Their locker room is literally right next door up there at Syracuse, and so it was very easy and very convenient. You know, and I even -- I don't even know how that got out, but I just talked to him briefly on the field, but I just literally walked next door to the coaches' locker room there really just to tell them, hey, congratulations again. I didn't get to see many of the coaches, really just a quick handshake with Dino, and I just have great respect for how they run the program and the job that Dino has done.

I've been on both sides of it, and I just wanted to just tell them again as a group, hey, you guys did a heck of a job, man, and this isn't about Clemson, this is about -- everybody is going to write about Clemson losing; Syracuse won. I just felt like telling them that. There was no motivation other than that, and like I said, the biggest thing is it was just literally right next door. It's not like I, like I said, went across campus or something. But that's it.

Q. It's never easy to lose, it's still gracious.
DABO SWINNEY: I think at the end of the day, we just try to win and lose with class and just try to learn from everything. It's just football. It's not life and death. Again, I've only known Dino, been around him here for a couple years now, but being in meetings with him and stuff, I'm a pretty good judge of people, I think, and I just think he's one of the bright lights in this business. I think he loves his players. I think his staff really likes working for him, and I think he's about the right things. Just great respect.

Q. With almost all the Power Five conferences having the possibility of a two-class champion, and if that happens the media is going to start clamoring to expand the playoffs. Do you want to see the playoffs expanded to eight or stay at four?
DABO SWINNEY: Yeah, I like it where it is. I think it gives -- I think it's the best of both worlds. I think that it -- the people who wanted the playoff, it gives them a little something to be excited about, and the people who don't want a playoff, it gives a good balance and still maintains the fact that it makes the regular season so important. Every game is so critical. The more you expand it, the less the regular season means, and you know, I think it gets watered down pretty quickly in my opinion. I think that's what makes college different. I think you either basically become the NFL, or the NBA you kind of get kind of the same thing, and all of a sudden you've got teams that take weeks off or whatever it may be when they know they're already in the playoffs.

And then the bigger thing is you're going to have to change the structure because nobody wants to start in July. The season is long enough. These are student-athletes, and people who don't think they are, they don't walk in the shoes of these kids and what they have to do on a daily basis, classes and so forth. Maybe there's some places out there where they don't go to school, but that's not the case here. So we just get them for a short amount of time, and they've got a lot to balance. You know, you're getting into finals and a lot of things, and it's a long season.

But you'd have to probably -- to me we have playoffs right now. We have multi-layers. We have 100 something teams in the playoffs because the regular season to me every week is a playoff because it means so much. I mean, it matters all throughout the year.

But you know, I mean, I'm just -- we're going to lace them up and compete in whatever system we've got, but I mean, I like what we have. Even if we weren't -- I know we've been in the top four. We've earned that. But even if we weren't, I like the situation the way we have it. I think it still creates some great interesting postseason match-ups, and it gives everybody, a lot of teams an opportunity to end their season with a win as opposed to just going pretty much all playoffs. You've only got one team that's going to finish that way. And to me, college has always been different, so that's what I like about it.

Q. In your opinion is there one issue, either on the field with rules or off the field like the new early signing dates that needs to be changed for the 2018 season?
DABO SWINNEY: Oh, man. There's probably several things that I could answer if I was really sitting down thinking about it. But nothing right now just pops in my head that's just sticking out right now that I just think has to be changed. There's a lot of things that I would love to see changed but nothing that I think has to be done right this second.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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