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Ohio State football is back and that’s bad news for Dabo Swinney

The Clemson head coach says he is happy the Big Ten is playing football this year, but you know he wants no parts of a rematch with Ohio State in the College Football Playoff.

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Louisiana State Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson head coach may say otherwise, but you know he is hating the Big Ten’s decision to reverse course and go ahead and play football this fall. It’s was quite obvious when said, “The last time I checked there’s been a lot of champions come from conferences that were already playing.”

Dabo might be right that there were still going to be plenty of teams playing that would been quality champions. No team gives him nightmares like Ohio State right now, though. Ryan Day’s team pushed Clemson to the limit in the College Football Playoff semifinals in December, and should they meet again in the semis or the championship game this year, there’s a good chance the result will be different.

Clemson started the season with an easy 37-13 win over Wake Forest on Saturday night and this week take on the mighty Citadel. Aside from a November contest in South Bend against Notre Dame, the Tigers should skate through their schedule and make the College Football Playoff. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t questions surrounding Clemson.

While Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne return for Clemson, Tee Higgins has moved on to the NFL, and Justyn Ross has already been lost for the season due to injury. Clemson is loaded with talent and should be feared by most of the teams around the country.

Ohio State is not one of those teams who should be afraid of the Tigers. The Buckeyes already stood toe-to-toe with Clemson, and might have beaten Dabo’s squad had it not been for some suspicious officiating. But close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, Ryan Day and his coaching staff were readying their team for possibly meeting up again in the College Football Playoff. There was going to be plenty of hurdles for both teams to clear to get to that point, but the smart money was on that rematch materializing.

Then it looked like we would be denying of the highly-anticipated rematch when the Big Ten initially announced they wouldn’t be playing football this fall. While it took a while for the conference to realized the decision was a mistake, in the end the right decision was made, and Big Ten teams found out yesterday that they would have a season after all.

Now Ohio State can go back to plotting their revenge on Dabo and Clemson. It’s not a given that the Buckeyes will make it out of the Big Ten and back to the College Football Playoff, but the smart money is on them. Ryan Day is going to have his team leave a path of destruction through the rest of the Big Ten, so there will be no doubt Ohio State belongs in the playoff.

If you’re rooting for Dabo and Clemson to topple the Buckeyes again, it would be like rooting for the villain in a movie. Swinney is a polarizing figure, you either love him or you hate him, and the only way you love him is if you are a Clemson fan. Everyone else sees him for what he is. Dabo is a snake oil salesman.

2020 has been one long, painful ride so far. We deserve at least some reason to celebrate the rest of the year after everything we have gone through with the pandemic, as well as with the countless other issues we have encountered here and throughout the world. Even though this year’s playoff won’t technically happen until 2021, at least the rematch with Clemson can be setup before the year ends.

Now that Ohio State is allowed to play college football this year, the clock has started ticking for Dabo. You can sense the fear all the way from Columbus and all around Buckeye Nation. Justin Fields and company have unfinished business and their motivation is going to be off the charts.

Tick tock, Dabo. Tick tock.