Does the coach make the program? Or does the program make the coach?

It’s a combination of both. Clemson is a program that has the ingredients necessary to be successful. But there are 15 or 20 schools that have Clemson-like potential. Maybe more.

To get it done, to go toe-to-toe with Alabama and split the last two national championship games, that’s pretty heady stuff that requires a special coach.

That makes Dabo Swinney pretty special. Clemson acknowledged that on Friday, when Swinney agreed to a new eight-year, $54 million contract.

Swinney is 60-9 the last five seasons, including a pair of 14-1 marks the last two years. The Tigers got to the mountaintop last January, beating Alabama for the national championship 35-31 after trailing 24-14 going into the fourth quarter.

And they lost to the Crimson Tide in the 2015 championship in a 45-40 shootout.

And so, I’ll put my faith in Swinney to keep Clemson in the hunt for a lot of the marbles, if not all of them.

A little Dabo’ll do ‘ya. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.