Paul Finebaum had some very unflattering things to say about Dabo Swinney when discussing the College Football Playoff picture on Tuesday, and the Clemson head coach didn’t exactly take the high road when reporters asked him about it.
During appearances on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and “Get Up,” Finebaum criticized Swinney for complaining about the rankings and accusing everyone of disrespecting the Tigers. Finebaum called Swinney the “most annoying winner in all of sports.”
Finebaum was referring to the comments Swinney made after Clemson’s 38-3 win over South Carolina on Saturday. Swinney said the victory was enormous for his team, which he believes can’t afford a loss since voters want them out of the College Football Playoff.
“The win is huge from a national standpoint, because obviously if we lose this game, they are going to kick us out (of the playoff),” Swinney said, per Tony Crumpton of TigerNet.com. “They don’t want us in there anyway. We’d drop to 20, you know? Georgia loses to this very same team, and the very next day, it’s, ‘How do we keep Georgia in it?’ We win to the team (North Carolina) that beat South Carolina, and it’s, ‘How do we get Clemson out?'”
Swinney fired back by saying Finebaum is great at what he does, which is working for the SEC.
Dabo Swinney: "From time to time, as a leader you’ve got to speak up. Simple as that. And not let other people diminish what’s been accomplished because that’s been the objective for some people."
Clemson was left out of the top four of the first playoff ranking of the season, and Swinney probably loved it. It’s not every day you get handed bulletin board material after winning a national championship, but that is exactly what has happened with the Tigers. Swinney is almost certainly going to use that to his advantage again heading into the ACC Championship Game against Virginia on Saturday.
If you remember, Finebaum actually paid Swinney a huge compliment last year. Ruffling feathers is simply what he does, and this was an easy opportunity for that.
ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum thinks Notre Dame’s College Football Playoff privileges should be revoked.
Finebaum, a longtime SEC personality, was on “First Take” Monday to talk about the Fighting Irish’s upcoming game against Louisville. He was part of a panel asked whether Notre Dame could return to the College Football Playoff for the second straight year and said no.
“I think they’re a really good team. I think they can be 10-2, but they are not going back to the playoffs. And frankly, they should never be allowed back to the playoff after their embarrassing loss to Clemson. They should be given a five-year probation,” Finebaum said while laughing.
Do you feel Finebaum was being serious or was he joking at all with his remarks? Maybe his penalty proposal was a laughing matter for him, but it seemed like he was being serious.
Recall last year many in college football thought Georgia deserved a spot in the CFP despite having two losses because of how well they played Alabama. The supposed evidence against Notre Dame is that despite going 12-0 in the regular season, they got spanked 30-3 by Clemson in the playoff.
Someone should tell Paul that might not be the best indicator of how undeserving Notre Dame supposedly was of the berth last year. Clemson went 15-0 and beat Alabama by 28 points — an even greater margin of victory than their win over Notre Dame. Maybe Notre Dame wasn’t undeserving of a berth last year; maybe Clemson was just that good.
Former Ohio State assistant Zach Smith is clearly still very angry about the reporting that led to his ousting.
Smith broke his Twitter silence on Wednesday to lash out at college football reporter Brett McMurphy, who originally broke the story that has rocked Ohio State, as well as ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum, who has been very critical of both Smith and coach Urban Meyer as the story has unfolded.
Silence = over. I tried. But I cant watch like @Brett_McMurphy@finebaum & others at @espn continue 2 run their mouths-not only w/o knowledge but w/ complete disregard 4 my children. Their mother had plenty of disregard 4 them in this. Time 4 u all 2 face the damage ur causing
Smith may be responding to Finebaum’s most recent comments on Meyer’s future at Ohio State. The coach is set to serve a three-game suspension stemming from his handling of abuse allegations made by Smith’s ex-wife Courtney. His reasons for disliking McMurphy are obvious — his reporting may have come after Smith had already lost his job, but it has blown the whole story open and irreparably damaged Meyer’s standing in the eyes of many.
Smith has used Twitter to lash out before. It’s clear that the evidence is against him, though, and the damage done to his reputation is permanent.
Many feel that Urban Meyer got off easy when Ohio State announced that he is being suspended three games for his handling of domestic violence allegations against a former assistant, but one prominent college football analyst still believes the coach is on borrowed time with the Buckeyes.
Paul Finebaum, who works for ESPN and the SEC Network, said during his weekly appearance on WJOX 94.5 FM Monday that he believes Meyer will not be with Ohio State after the 2018 season.
“I’ve thought a lot about this. And you can look and interpret and say whatever you want, but I’ve come to at least an opinion on Urban Meyer that this will be his last season at Ohio State,” Finebaum said, as transcribed by Brad Crawford of 247Sports.com. “I just don’t know how much longer this can go on, and I say that because I strongly believe his credibility has been shattered.”
In Finebaum’s opinion, Meyer’s relationship with Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith has been strained and university president Michael Drake “wants nothing to do with him.” The longtime analyst also believes Buckeyes fans will turn on Meyer and recruiting is bound to take a hit.
“We’ve seen Urban’s past when he’s under the gun, he bails,” Finebaum said, presumably referencing the way Meyer left Florida.
Before the facts about the Zach Smith case were even released, we saw plenty of Ohio State fans rallying in support of Meyer. Whether right or wrong, it seems highly unlikely that the majority of Buckeye nation will turn on Meyer if the team continues to win. There has already been some minor recruiting fallout in the wake of the scandal, however, so that is certainly something to monitor going forward.
There’s no indication that Alabama coach Nick Saban is going anywhere anytime soon, but ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum thinks there’s only one person who can replace him when that time comes.
Finebaum thinks Clemson’s Dabo Swinney ticks all the boxes Alabama would be looking for, and that as it stands, he’s the only option for the Crimson Tide when the 66-year-old Saban ultimately calls it a day.
“Who knows when Saban’s day will come, but I’m going to put a couple chips down on the long-shot now,” Finebaum told The RoundTable on JOXFM, via Brad Crawford of 247 Sports. “It’s no longer off the board. I saw it. His wife grew up in Alabama. His family is from Alabama. That will be a fascinating gravitational pull when Alabama calls and says, ‘OK, Dabo. It’s time to come home.’ I don’t know if it’s as absolute as it was a couple months ago.
“I’m probably going to upset somebody here, but you get right down to it, it’s Alabama versus Clemson. It’s no contest. If you’re thinking about, ‘OK, where do I really want to be long-term,’ and I think because he’s from Alabama, I’m going to keep pushing that ball up the hill. And the fact that he’s already won that championship … Nobody wants to replace Saban — it’s an impossible task, but I will say this, before anyone says it’s impossible to replace Nick Saban, I think the only person who can replace Nick Saban is Dabo Swinney.”
It may well be a while before Saban decides to retire, and if he even coaches five more years, a lot can change. After all, five years ago, Swinney probably wouldn’t have been near the top of anyone’s list of potential Saban replacements. He would be a logical choice now, but who knows what the state of college football will be when Saban leaves the scene.
Johnny Manziel and Paul Finebaum appear to have smoothed out their issues.
Finebaum, a radio host for ESPN and popular SEC figure, tweeted some praise at Manziel on Monday after watching the former Texas A&M quarterback’s interview on “Good Morning America.”
Watching @JManziel2 interview again and appreciate his candor. Handled incredibly difficult subject with aplomb. Many suffering have already reacted on show and say Johnny helped them immensely by speaking out. Like everyone, hoping for the best.
Manziel seems to be all about the fresh starts, as he told Finebaum he’s letting go of any “dislike” he had for the host.
As we all know you have been one of my biggest critics. I had a certain dislike in my heart about you that I’ve let go of. There’s more to life than just football and my health as a person comes before football everyday of the week. I appreciate you saying this.