Almost every top college coach in the country will hear his name connected to the LSU job at some point, and Dabo Swinney is no exception. The two-time national champion has already denied that he would have any interest in a fresh start, but that doesn’t mean LSU will take him at his word.
Paul Finebaum said on the “ESPN College Football Podcast” recently that LSU athletic director Scott Woodward has Swinney at the top of his list.
“It’s really hard to chisel that one down,” Finebaum said of the LSU coaching search, as transcribed by Wade Peery of On3.com. “There are some who believe the AD Scott Woodward wants — you ready for this — Dabo Swinney. Now, there’s talk that the president wants Mel Tucker. (University of Louisiana coach) Billy Napier is out there maybe as a second-tier selection if everyone else goes bust. It seems like Jimbo (Fisher) is out of that one.”
Fisher coached at LSU under Nick Saban nearly two decades ago when the Tigers won a national title. The connection there is natural, but Fisher insists he is very happy at Texas A&M. Swinney is the big name that Finebaum mentioned, and it’s noteworthy that Clemson is 4-3 and having a very rough season.
Does that mean Swinney would entertain leaving? Probably not. Swinney has built Clemson into a national powerhouse and won two championships since 2016. He signed a 10-year, $93 million extension with the school two years ago. Swinney would have to pay Clemson a significant amount of money if he took another job at this point. The 51-year-old responded to a question about the LSU job last week.
When Coach Dabo Swinney is asked about LSU looking to go big and have a big time list with his name on it. pic.twitter.com/fMMZjQK2uN
— Amanda Keane (@AmandaKeaneTV) October 19, 2021
There are other candidates for the LSU job that make more sense than Swinney. That doesn’t mean LSU officials will ignore Dabo altogether, as they are likely to explore every option.