A little Dab(o) will do ya, and in this case, bring Florida football back to national prominence.

Come again?

There appears to be legs to the rumor that the Gators are interested in hiring Clemson’s Dabo Swinney as their next head coach, the program’s fifth under current athletic director Jeremy Foley.

On Tuesday, longtime Gainesville Sun columnist and respected Gators insider Pat Dooley reported that Bob Stoops, Mike Gundy and Brian Kelly are no longer actively being recruited to replace Will Muschamp.

This hire won’t be Foley’s career-defining moment thanks to three combined national titles with Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer, but it could, however, be his last.

When news broke of Muschamp’s resignation, every media outlet this side of the Mason-Dixon developed lists of potential candidates, but very few highlighted Swinney, a 45-year-old former Alabama wideout and up-and-comer in the college football coaching circle.

He side-stepped questions attempting to gauge his interest in the position last week, claiming his passion for Clemson.

“I’m not going to stand up here and be one of those coaches that goes, ‘I will never leave Clemson,'” Swinney said. “That’s not genuine. I have no idea. But I will tell you this: I love Clemson. I love my job and love it here. It would very, very, very hard for me to leave Clemson.”

Unless an SEC gig came calling is what he meant to say.

If Foley’s indeed interested, Dabo shouldn’t be the first call, or even the second … perhaps not the third.

Focused on the win-now mentality, there’s better options on the table and it’s unclear whether Dabo’s top-notch assistants — Chad Morris and Brent Venables — would even follow him to Gainesville.

If the Gators want a man of integrity, which Foley suggested during Muschamp’s dismissal presser, Swinney’s a solid hire. He’s run a clean program at Clemson and through southern charm and a penchant for winning, has convinced several highly-touted out-of-state prospects to relocate to an area of South Carolina known for a bunch of nothing.

That certainly deserves merit, but what about the wins? After all, Florida already possessed those aforementioned qualities in the outgoing Muschamp, a man that was loved throughout the athletic department as an ambassador for the university.

Florida wants to compete for national championships, right?

Dabo’s not that guy.

Maybe an East title or two over the course of a multi-year career, but never a national championship. He’s often out-coached and out-schemed in big games, evidenced by his 9-16 record against ranked teams while at Clemson.

The Tigers have just one ACC Championship during his tenure despite a 39 wins in 53 games against league competition. The dreaded art of ‘Clemsoning’ has occurred several times over the last few seasons even when the Tigers were setting school records on offense with Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins, two of the best players ever to don the orange and purple.

Since winning the national championship in 1982, Clemson’s found varying ways to come up short despite having the look of a contender. That’s part of the reason Tommy Bowden was fired (ahem, resigned) in 2008 after a disappointing 3-3 start pushed the program further into irrelevancy.

Dabo’s done a commendable job with three double-digit win seasons since, but he hasn’t pushed the Tigers over the proverbial hump despite producing a solid team consistently ranked in the Top 25.

On the big stage, the Tigers have fallen flat.

He’s lost five straight games to South Carolina after the Tigers won 10 of their previous 12 against the Gamecocks before his arrival. Two wins in six tries against Florida State has kept Clemson out of the national championship picture and is a disappointing statistic for Gators fans who have watched their own team struggle against the Seminoles under Muschamp.

What does Dabo do well?

He’s good at making you realize he’s there, building momentum for his team after victories as the CEO of a respected, but not elite, program. One of his most memorable soundbites was his performance following Clemson’s win over LSU on New Year’s Eve in the 2012 Chik-fil-A Bowl.

Live on SportsCenter from Atlanta, an emotional Dabo bearhugged ESPN’s Jeannine Edwards with a grin as wide as Nick Saban’s trophy case before spewing his prediction for the following season.

“This is a national championship team,” Swinney said. “We grew up tonight. I’ve been telling these guys they’re at the doorway of greatness, but sooner or later you’ve got to step through it and take action.”

That ‘national championship team’ with several returning starters was a preseason darkhorse six months later and ran off six straight wins before an embarrassing 51-14 loss to Florida State with College GameDay in town punctuated Dabo’s lack of success against quality competition.

Swinney’s proven mediocrity against ranked teams as a head coach would continue at Florida, but in a more meaningful spotlight.

Florida can do better.