Dabo Swinney and Steve Spurrier have been trading not-so-subtle barbs for the better part of three seasons now, and in the field of through-the-media sparring, Swinney has given about as good as he's got.
The problem for Clemson 's coach has been in the field -- or rather, on the field -- of actual football, where after last December's defeat, Swinney's team has lost five straight to Spurrier's. That no doubt makes the job of talking smack dramatically more difficult, and so maybe it's no surprise the, uh, excitable Swinney has resorted to a time-honored motivational tactic.
Via TigerIllustrated.com's Larry Williams:
Clemson QB Cole Stoudt told me there's a clock in each position's meeting room counting down time until Nov. 29 game against South Carolina.— Larry Williams (@LarryWilliamsTI) March 6, 2014
QB Cole Stoudt said coaches came up with clock idea after seeing a picture of Connor Shaw signing a Clem helmet with "THIS IS OUR STATE! 5"— Larry Williams (@LarryWilliamsTI) March 7, 2014
As for what the clocks look like, photos have bubbled up from the Internet -- and they show not only the usual digital countdown to game (despite the fact it doesn't have a kickoff time yet), but the "0-5" record the Tigers have amassed against South Carolina the last five seasons.
That seems like an unnecessarily harsh reminder even by Swinney's emotional standards, and the photos aren't clearly sourced, so take with a grain of salt. But what we do know is that whatever form the clocks take, Clemson is more focused on its in-state rival than it's ever been -- and that if it fails to snap its in-state losing streak in spite of that focus, the squawking from Columbia will be even louder than before.