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Monday, May 25, 2020

Articles tagged: Paul Finebaum

Paul Finebaum critical of Taulia Tagovailoa for going to Alabama

Pete Finebaum show

College football analyst Paul Finebaum seems unimpressed by Taulia Tagovailoa and the family as a whole in terms of their decision-making.

After it was reported that Taulia, the younger brother of Tua, would be transferring from Alabama, Finebaum said recently on Alabama’s WJOX 94.5 FM that he felt Taulia never should have gone to Alabama and listened too much to the rest of the family when making the decision.

“Well, there’s an old line in journalism that’s called follow the money, in this case, it’s follow the family,” Finebaum said, via Michael Wayne Bratton of Saturday Down South. “I don’t think it’s hard to figure out. I think it was doomed from the beginning. He should have never gone to Alabama, he did for reasons which I’ll let his parents explain – and it didn’t work out, and good for him. He’ll probably go to South Florida or somewhere down there and play football and I hope he does better than he did at Alabama.”

Finebaum thought Taulia should listen to himself over his family in deciding where to transfer.

“I don’t understand all the inner workings of that family,” Finebaum said. “I’ve read enough articles, as you guys have, and I don’t know them, I know Tua. I don’t know Taulia, I hope he goes wherever he wants. I mean, I think he had to have learned that following the family didn’t work at Alabama.”

Taulia Tagovailoa has entered the transfer portal. He looks destined to leave Alabama due to having little path to playing quarterback there, and ultimately won’t have made much of an impact there — certainly nowhere close to his older brother.

Report: Paul Finebaum could leave ESPN by end of 2020

Pete Finebaum show

Paul Finebaum’s tenure with ESPN could be coming to an end.

The radio host and college football analyst could leave ESPN to start his own sitcom. According to Michael Smith of Sports Business Journal, Finebaum is pitching a show about his life and his call-in show to all four major networks, and there is interest. If that show were to come to pass, Finebaum would leave ESPN and the SEC Network, with his contract expiring next summer. There is some belief that Finebaum could leave the network at the end of the 2020 college football season.

In addition to a sitcom, Finebaum is looking at other opportunities. Those include Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, and DAZN. DAZN is run by John Skipper, who originally hired Finebaum at ESPN. Finebaum has also been spoken to about a startup akin to Bill Simmons’ “The Ringer,” which would put Finebaum at the top of a podcasting and editorial endeavor.

Finebaum has become highly influential, and his call-in show is a huge deal in SEC country. His takes have been noted and used as bulletin board material by various teams. Clearly, that high profile has given him options, and it certainly sounds possible that he may move on from ESPN quite soon.

Utah thanks Paul Finebaum for bulletin board material ahead of big game

Pete Finebaum show

The College Football Playoff committee is going to have some difficult decisions to make after the conference championship games conclude this weekend, and Paul Finebaum may play an indirect role in how things play out.

After some comments he made about Dabo Swinney drew a strong reaction from the Clemson coach early in the week, Finebaum decided that the next program he wanted to insult was Utah. During an appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up” Wednesday morning, Finebaum bluntly stated that Oklahoma will get into the CFB playoff over Utah if all of the favorites win this weekend because “the country does not want to see Utah in the College Football Playoff.” Utah Football responded on Twitter by thanking Finebaum for the motivation.

Finebaum isn’t wrong. Most fans would much rather see a one-loss Oklahoma team get into the CFB Playoff over a one-loss Utah team, and a lot of that probably has to do with East Coast bias. That said, Utah is currently ranked No. 5 in the College Football Playoff, which might suggest they will be the next team in if they beat Oregon this weekend and Georgia loses to LSU. Or, perhaps the committee will argue that the winner of the Big 12 Championship Game between No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 7 Baylor had to defeat a much tougher opponent than Oregon, which would allow them to justify putting the Big 12 champion in the playoff over Utah.

No matter what happens, a very tough call will have to be made after Saturday. We’ve already laid out how a number of crazy scenarios could play out, and some of them would rightfully leave either Utah (assuming they beat Oregon) or the Big 12 champion feeling slighted.

Dabo Swinney fires back after Paul Finebaum calls him a crybaby

Dabo Swinney

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.

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’s Paul Finebaum: Notre Dame should not be allowed in CFP again

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.

Fired Ohio State assistant lashes out at Brett McMurphy, ESPN

Ohio State logo

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.

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.

Paul Finebaum predicts 2018 will be Urban Meyer’s last season at Ohio State

Urban Meyer

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.