What's the chattiest coaching rivalry in the country these days? How 'bout Clemson's Dabo Swinney versus South Carolina's Steve Spurrier. The Ol' Ball Coach has long taken pleasure in gigging his biggest rivals and Swinney has yet to learn that the best way to deal with Carolina's cocky coach is to respond to his chatter with silence.
Running through ESPN's "car wash" last week, Spurrier managed to poke at Clemson's coach a couple of times, once again pointing out "we beat them every year."
Well, yesterday at a charity event in the Palmetto State, the two coaches shared the stage for a Q&A session. Both coaches chose to play nice. For the most part.
Spurrier jokingly paid Swinney a backhanded compliment. "I've been bragging on you guys, I really have. The better they do, when we beat them, it makes us look better. You don't want ot beat somebody with a bad record." Zing.
Swinney tried to respond but he's just not cut out for a verbal duel with Spurrier. He pointed out that while he played for Alabama, he "had a chance to sack his punter" in an SEC Championship Game. "He probably don't remember that." Uh, right. "But we're going to keep trying to win and hopefully we can get this thing turned the other way," he said. "He's whupped us on the field, now I come here and he's trying to get my wife to weight in on it, too. I'm going to draw the line in the sand right there."
Friendly. Good-natured. But once again Spurrier walks away -- or talks away -- the winner in this short tete-à-tete. Just smile and let the other guy do the talking, Dabo. Don't even try to respond.