Legacies are on the line tonight in Santa Clara when Clemson and Dabo Swinney look to assert themselves into the historical conversation in college football alongside Nick Saban and Alabama.

During his regular weekly visit on Birmingham-based 94.5 FM WJOX program “The Roundtable,” ESPN and SEC Network analyst Paul Finebaum was asked about Swinney’s position among college football coaches, within the context that if Clemson loses the national championship, it would have the same record in the last four seasons against Alabama as Auburn and Ole Miss.

Finebaum recalled a conversation with a colleague, who openly said that “if Clemson wins, and he said then Dabo becomes the best coach in college football.”

Finebaum interjected, “Hold on guys, let’s not get carried (away). We went through this with Urban Meyer. But I think it shows you there will be snapshot judgements and the reason why he was probably thinking that is that Dabo would’ve beaten Saban twice in a national championship setting. It’s significant and I think Dabo understands that.”

Finebaum also noted that there’s a difference between coaches who have won a single championship, like Larry Coker, and that a second title would cross a threshold.

“Dabo is not in that group,” Finebaum said. “But Dabo would be in a much higher classification with two, because there frankly are not many with more than one and certainly there are very few, as you have seen the graphic all weekend long, who have won two or three. That’s why Urban Meyer was a big deal. He was a successful coach, but he won championships and we’ve covered coaches who’ve never won a single championship, and we’ve coached some who’ve won one. But two is a benchmark, especially at a young age like he’s at.”