Coaches Les Miles of LSU and Dabo Swinney of Clemson met with the media Sunday for the last time before the Chick-fil-A Bowl and those looking for good old fashioned intensity and animosity were sadly disappointed.
"I like Coach Miles. Once I found out he wasn't going to kiss me, I really liked him even more," Swinney said. "I think my kids, my own sons, would do well being coached by him," Miles added.
If the Black Eyed Peas are still wondering, "Where is the Love," they should have been in Atlanta Sunday morning. To say Valentine's Day came early would be too strong, but Miles and Swinney had no problem lobbing bouquets at each other for 45 minutes or so.
"I appreciate how he handles his business. I appreciate the example that he sets for all of us coaches because he does it right. It's almost like playing an NFL-type team. You don't have a lot of room for error," Swinney explained.
"This is an established head coach who has consistently improved and recruited well. Clemson's talented and well prepared - offense, defense and special teams challenge to us," said Miles.
The two joked about recruiting. Swinney told the crowd Clemson is somewhere along the line of one for 20 trying to recruit around the Baton Rouge area. However, before he could finish Miles jumped in to explain it depends on where the recruiting is taking place. He said LSU doesn't do well in the Clemson area, but does pretty well close to home.
The two also made cracks about secretive practices in the Georgia Dome.
"When you practice in the dome, you get a little paranoid because there are lots of cameras and I told Les, 'We were only videoing the scout sessions of your practices," Swinney said. "There are so many silhouettes. If you look back in there, I can't tell you how many managers I have run up to an area," Miles added.
There was no doubt these two are more interested in being chummy than wanting to kill each other.
"I met his wife and his family. Dagone, I think they could hang out with us. Now, I'm not ready to go vacationing, yet," Miles joked. "We just signed a bunch of ball they're going to auction for our trip to Cabo in the offseason," replied Swinney.
In addition to cutting up like two kids in the back of the classroom, there were some serious statements on Monday night's game and what it means to each school.
"We're a top 15 team. If we're going to be a top 10 team, you have to step up and win games like this at some point," said Swinney.
"Ask the player that knows it's his last, even though it's like a test question, 'Are you playing any more games after this game? No, I'm not,' I don't think they know what that means," Miles said.
Both teams are going for their 11th win of the season. A victory would be a history-making game for Swinney. Only three teams in the program's history have had an 11-game winning season.
Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The game will be shown on ESPN.
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