Ohio State didn’t win the national championship but the fact they knocked out Clemson is still a pretty nice consolation prize.

And while Clemson coach Dabo Swinney continues to insist he meant no disrespect with his polling, Ohio State certainly derived plenty of motivation from it. Swinney ranked Ohio State 11th prior to the teams meeting in the semifinals of the College Football Playoff. Ohio State then proceeded to handle Clemson 49-28.

Swinney already explained that he ranked Ohio State that low because of its lack of games played, not due to anything related to the team. Ohio State had three games cancelled because of COVID-19.

Swinney explained again the reasoning behind his controversial rating:

Ohio State had a smaller sample size than most contenders this season but they proved to be a legitimate power that could only be topped by Alabama.

Regardless of where Swinney ranked them, Ohio State can at least take solace in getting the last laugh against Clemson on the field.