One day after holding a 45-minute media session, Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney was back in front of the cameras for his final pre-game press conference before Monday night's Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
Swinney and Alabama head coach Nick Saban had another photo op in front of trophy but unlike the last two years, this game is "just" for the right to play for a national championship.
Among the topics Swinney touched on Sunday, the reason he chose to practice at Tulane University instead of inside the Mercedez-Benz Superdome.
“Just like yesterday, you’re down there and you kind of spend all of your time kind of looking around," Swinney said.
"I just wanted a little smaller environment. To be honest with you, that is where we practiced in 1992 as well, we practiced at Tulane. That is what I had in my mind so it was great.”
Swinney added that in spite of the cold weather, the Tigers embraced practicing outside instead of inside the facility where the Sugar Bowl will be held.
“It might have been the best day of practice we have had all year,” Swinney said. “Those guys just loved it and embraced it. It has been beautiful the rest of the time. It was just a smaller setting. I felt like it would help us stay maybe a little more focused.”
Swinney has said he likes the way his team has approached each assignment this year and he expects his team to play at a high level when the ball is kicked off Monday night in New Orleans. But regardless of the outcome, Swinney says the 2017 season has been very gratifying.
"Obviously there was a lot written all spring, all summer, about who wasn't here anymore and very little written about who was here," Swinney said.
"I love the mindset of our team that we have a program and a team that we think the right way. Guys don't really get caught up in the things people right about 'there's no way they can have a good year this year becase this guy's gone, this guy's gone, this guy's gone. Just no way'. And then vice-versa. 'Man, there's so great, They've got this, they've got that'. Our guys know at the end of the day it comes down to performance. It's not about what people write or say or potential or what you did last year or what you didn't do last year. It's really about a daily commitment and it comes down to performance. You've got to play the games."
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