In his media availability on Thursday afternoon, after Clemson's third and final scrimmage, Dabo Swinney was asked about the scheduling of LSU in a home-and-home series in 2025 and 2026.
He started his answer saying, "I hope I'm here....if the good Lord will allow me to see that, that'd be awesome."
The Clemson athletic department released the initial report on Wednesday afternoon that the Tigers would be playing the Tigers of Baton Rouge down the road. [Clemson Announces Additions to 2025-26 Football Schedules]
Dabo said that when he got the job as Clemson Head Football Coach, he made a concerted effort with the AD at the time, Terry Don Phillips, saying "I know we're not very good right now but we need to play people. That's gonna help me teach. That's gonna help me develop the culture and the mindset that you have to have to win at the highest level. Cause I didn't think we had that."
That's exactly what Swinney and the athletic administration have committed to for nine years now. Since he was named head coach at Clemson, the Tigers have played Auburn five times (4-1), Georgia twice (1-1), Notre Dame once (1-0; and they are scheduled to play in South Bend in 2020 and 2022), and they have Texas A&M in 2018 and 2019 in a home-and-home series.
The Tigers also have the South Carolina Gamecocks scheduled every year during rivalry week in late November. Dabo is 4-5 against the Gamecocks since he was officially named the head man in 2009. He started the rivalry 0-5 and has since won four in a row.
In the last three years, Swinney and the Tigers have accumulated 34 wins against Power Five teams, which he says is the most of anybody in the country. According to Dabo, "That has allowed us to develop our program."
The "Battle of the Death Valleys" is a ways down the road and Swinney is hopeful he'll make it to then. He also hopes to renew the Georgia/Clemson rivalry series sooner than later and according to sources, it is in the works. [Swinney Wants to Renew Georgia Rivalry]
Swinney was later asked about playing neutral site games during the regular season and he was adamant about playing all seven allotted home games in Memorial Stadium.
"We're in a unique situation here at Clemson. I don't mind a neutral site game as long as it's a road game for us. But I'm NOT giving up a home game to do a neutral site game."
Swinney also added that a lot of times tv people say that they will make sure that you make more than what you would make at a home game. "That's great for us but it's terrible for our community. It's bad for Clemson."
He alluded to the fact that a lot of people "make their year" on those seven Saturday's when the Valley is hosting a game. "I've always been against that. If it means I'm losing a home game here, I wanna be here [Death Valley]. The community number one and number two, recruiting."
"A game day in Death Valley is special. You can't simulate that in one of these other places."
Dabo doesn't mind if someone else wants to give up a home game and it count as a Clemson road game; they'll go to that. He is fully committed to having the maximum number of games they are allowed at home in Clemson.
Don't look for Clemson to play a neutral site game as the home team during the regular season as long as Dabo Swinney is the head man for the Tigers. You can expect to always have seven Saturdays in the Valley under his watch.