- Odds are out on where Clemson coach Dabo Swinney will coach for the 2021 football season
- The Clemson Tigers are favored at -600, followed by the Jacksonville Jaguars (+500) and Alabama Crimson Tide (+1200)
- Read below for look at Dabo’s coaching future and all options on the board
Clemson’s Dabo Swinney has become one of the premier coaches in college football, and with that status comes the inevitable speculation regarding his job.
Questions about whether or not he’ll stay at Clemson, jump to the NFL, or take another college job have all begun to swirl, especially as he enters his final season with a generational talent in Trevor Lawrence at quarterback.
The possibilities for Swinney’s next move are endless, but the odds favor stability winning out.
Odds on Where Dabo Swinney Coaches for 2021 Season
|Alabama Crimson Tide||+1200|
|New York Jets||+2500|
Odds taken Sep. 2
Will Swinney and Lawrence Go Pro Together?
The biggest thing that jumps out of these odds is the Jaguars at +500. After brief initial success, Jacksonville has been disappointing under current head coach Doug Marrone.
He’s clashed with players on several occasions, and he’s a big part of the reason that players like Jalen Ramsey have either forced their way out of town or are looking to do so.
In a season that has high potential for disaster, the Jaguars have a good shot at getting the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft. With that selection and a lackluster quarterback room that features Gardner Minshew as a starter, a fun story but ultimately below average player, where else could Jacksonville go but Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence?
Would Dabo Work in the NFL?
Common sense would suggest that hiring Swinney would the logical next move, but there’s a case to be made against Dabo’s NFL prospects. His coaching style is unquestionably amateur.
Like many successful college coaches, Swinney acts as a father figure in his program, going as far as to make religion a focal point of the Clemson program.
At Clemson, religion—specifically Christianity—is a way of life, and it's reflected in how Dabo Swinney has built and shaped his championship program https://t.co/r4A9zSy2wL
— SI College Football (@si_ncaafb) September 4, 2019
This works with college players. The presence of a strong role model can be a huge positive for a group of young men, many of whom are away from home for a significant portion of time for the first time.
That isn’t the case in the NFL.
Players aren’t there to find a father figure or hear about faith. Those things are great, but pro players are grown men that are there for work.
When Nick Saban came to the NFL, his more controlling and domineering style that had won him a title at LSU got him the boot. Steve Spurrier had a similar NFL run, going 12-20 in two seasons in Washington.
While Saban and Spurrier aren’t all that similar, each has a distinctly collegiate style of coaching. Swinney feels a lot like them.
Could Swinney Go Home to Alabama?
At this point, Swinney’s relationship with Alabama is well-documented. He was a wide receiver from 1990-92 and coached in various positions in Tuscaloosa from 1993-2000. He played and coached for the revered Gene Stallings, and before that was born and raised in the heart of the state.
For many, him returning to Alabama is a story that is too good to pass up.
It’s also a story that, for a few reasons, is too good to be true. The primary reason being the current head coach at Alabama, Nick Saban.
Saban is currently on the greatest run in the history of college football. He’s won five national titles since arriving in 2007, and compiled an astounding record of 152-23 during that time. This tenure has done the impossible in Tuscaloosa, eclipsing the legendary Bear Bryant.
There is absolutely nothing that Swinney can do to be considered a success if he’s takes the job immediately after Saban. He could even win a national title, but if it’s just one, it won’t be enough. The standards are so high that Dabo would be setting himself up for failure.
Additionally, Swinney has built his own version of Alabama. Clemson’s last five years have been equal with the Tide, and for Swinney, winning at the place he built has to be more rewarding than the idea of being maybe the third or fourth best Alabama coach ever.
At Clemson, Dabo has more control and less pressure, and with no signs of slowing down, the end is nowhere near for this pairing.