Well, Dabo Swinney may still feel like Ohio State is the 11th best team in college football, but he at least admitted the Sugar Bowl loss at the hands of the Buckeyes was a thorough butt-kicking.

In all honesty, the numbers speak for themselves, even without Dabo’s admission. Justin Fields completed 22 of 28 passes for 385 yards and had as many touchdowns (6) as he had incompletions. Trey Sermon also bulldozed the Tigers with 193 rushing yards.

Discussing Clemson’s recruiting class on Wednesday, Swinney admitted that the Tigers absolutely had their butts kicked by Ryan Day and company. Though it is interesting that Swinney pointed to missing out on the “little things” in the blowout loss, even indicating that he felt Clemson did enough offensively to win the game if the Tiger defense had played better.

Nick Kosko with 247 Sports shared Swinney’s remarks:

“I learned that we got our butts kicked,” Swinney said on ACC Radio on Sirius XM. “We didn’t play well. They played great. We just didn’t do the little things to win football games. We probably played well enough to win on offense with a normal defensive game, but they had five straight touchdowns…I felt like a basketball coach. You get into the final four, if you don’t win it all, it’s a very disappointing thing. Especially if you feel like you didn’t play well enough in certain areas where you could have.”

While Ohio State got some revenge in this year’s College Football Playoff, the sort of budding rivalry between the Tigers and Buckeyes is something that is likely far from over. Following National Signing Day, Ohio State has the No. 2 recruiting class for 2021 with Clemson coming in at No. 5 nationally.

Despite the departures of star QBs Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence, it’s entirely possible – and likely – that these two teams square off once again in the near future with a lot on the line.