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Dabo Swinney Praises Clemson's 'Unreal' Year After Championship Loss to LSU

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIIJanuary 14, 2020

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 13: Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers takes to the field after halftime against the LSU Tigers in the College Football Playoff National Championship game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 13, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The No. 3 Clemson Tigers, reigning College Football Playoff national champions, saw their 29-game winning streak end when the No. 1 LSU Tigers defeated them 42-25 in Monday night's 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship Game.   

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was grateful after the loss even though he hadn't experienced defeat since falling 24-6 to Alabama in the 2017 CFP semifinal:

CBS Sports HQ @CBSSportsHQ

“It’s been a long time since I’ve stood in front of team with a loss.” Dabo Swinney reflects on his team’s snapped 29-game win streak. https://t.co/rGnjWxHdIq

Clemson Football @ClemsonFB

Coach Swinney: “We all hurt, we’re all disappointed. But we’re not defined by that. I’m incredibly thankful for our team. Such a special group of people.” #ALLIN, always. #ClemsonFamily https://t.co/GufHCCXS59

Swinney delivered the same sentiment directly to his players on the field before the game, consoled quarterback Trevor Lawrence during the contest and gave credit where credit was due to LSU afterward:

Clemson Football @ClemsonFB

Coach Swinney pregame: “Hey, listen to me! All of you, hear me on this: I love you guys. I love all of you. Ain’t no scoreboard going to change that. I love all you guys and I got your back.” #ALLIN, always. https://t.co/VqZCwLL5rL

ESPN @espn

Dabo Swinney consoles Trevor Lawrence on the sideline as Clemson feels this one slip away in the 4th. #NationalChampionship https://t.co/xJ8WhvKRsE

Clemson Football @ClemsonFB

Coach Swinney: "Tonight was about LSU. I thought they played a beautiful game. Joe Burrow was tremendous and their receivers made incredible plays. Give them credit, they played a great game and deserved to win. I’m very happy for Coach O. This was their night."

Swinney came one win short of joining some elite company:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Dabo Swinney can now become the 4th head coach in the AP Poll Era (since 1936) to win 3 titles in a 4-season span. With a win in the 2020 CFP National Title Game, Swinney can join Nick Saban (2009, 2011-12), Tom Osborne (1994-95, 1997), and Frank Leahy (1946-47, 1949). https://t.co/qYV01Wii7D

However, given the way Swinney's Tigers rebounded after losing in 2017, Clemson should still be in the conversation for next season's title.

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