- Heather Dinich, ESPN Staff Writer
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Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said his program is "a thousand percent committed to the ACC," a comment that should help quiet widespread rumors about the possibility of a move to the Big 12 or any other conference.
“We are a thousand percent committed to the ACC and committed to making this the best program and best conference we possibly can," Swinney told reporters Tuesday before the start of the Dabo Swinney Football Camp. “It has really been very frustrating (from a recruiting standpoint). I think there has been a lot of irresponsible blogging, reporting or whatever you want to call it (about changing conferences). It has been a real distraction.”
It's been a hot topic this offseason, but it's also been nothing more than speculation. Swinney did his part on Tuesday to reiterate the stability within the conference.
“This is a program that just won an ACC Championship,” he said. “We have won it more times than anybody in history. We can fulfill every goal and dream we have as a program right here in this conference. We have a tremendous footprint to recruit in and play in.
“Having said that, every school out there, no matter what conference they are in, has to have its eyes open and pay attention. But what we need to do is take care of our business at Clemson ... period.”
What the ACC needs is a representative on the national level, and Swinney seemed confident he can get his program there.
“Certainly we have to continue to build our brand from an ACC football standpoint, but this is an outstanding conference and it is a conference that is on the rise," he said. "Last year was the first time we had two (ACC) schools in the BCS in the same year.
“It has been very competitive and very balanced," he said. "We had 10 bowl teams a couple of years ago. Everybody has beaten each other up. We haven’t had a dominant 13-0 or 12-1 team like the SEC has. We are trying to be that type of team in the ACC. If we take care of our business at Clemson, we will have a seat at that table.”