Clemson coach Dabo Swinney had some explaining to do in front of Nick Saban on Thursday afternoon.
Swinney voted for the Buckeyes ahead of Alabama in his final ballot for the coaches poll, but the Crimson Tide prevailed in the eyes of the College Football Playoff committee.
At the College Football Awards Show joint news conference with the four playoff coaches, Swinney was asked about that decision.
“You want the honest answer? It was a moment of insanity,” Swinney said. “It was 3 o’clock in the morning driving on a bus and I said, ‘Oh, I have to do this bowl thing.’ I looked at it and saw Ohio State had 11 wins, Alabama had 11 wins, but Ohio State had just won the Big 10 Championship … It was a moment of insanity.”
That’s a good save for Swinney, who is preparing to face the Crimson Tide in the playoff for the third straight season.
“As hard I try, we just can’t get away from these guys,” Swinney joked while looking at Saban.
Saban had another guess as to why Swinney ranked the Buckeyes ahead of Alabama after championship weekend.
“He was just disrespecting his alma mater,” Saban said.
Clemson and Alabama will face off in their grudge match on New Year’s Day.