Has Paul Finebaum jumped off the Nick Saban and Alabama bandwagon? It sure sounds like it.
Believe it or not, the SEC Network host and longtime Alabama resident recently joined Charlotte-based WFNZ-AM/FM program “The Mac Attack” to discuss the current rivalry between the Crimson Tide and Dabo Swinney’s Clemson program and offered up his opinion that the Tigers have surpassed Saban’s program heading into the 2019 college football season.
“I do think the debate regarding which program is the best right now, and you guys know my resume and where I’ve lived — I’ve lived 30 years in Alabama, but I don’t think really there’s a tremendous amount of debate that Clemson, right now, has the best program in America,” Finebaum said on the show.
Why does the SEC Network host believe that? He offered up the following commentary on the rivalry.
“(Clemson) has passed Alabama in terms of appeal, in terms of showroom value, in terms of upward mobility and ascendancy, and a lot of that is because of Saban’s age and a lot of it is because Clemson right now is a school that’s a lot more fun to go play at than Alabama,” Finebaum added.
You can’t argue Finebaum’s point on the ages of the two coaches but last time we checked, while Clemson is killing it on the recruiting trail in the 2020 cycle, Alabama isn’t that far off as the Tide currently have the nation’s No. 3 class. Plus, Alabama signed the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class in 2019, 2017 and 2016, so it’s not as if Saban doesn’t have much talent to work with on the field.
While Trevor Lawrence may be getting the lion’s share of the hype heading into the 2019 season, Tua Tagovailoa was the one invited to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist, not Lawrence, and it was Alabama’s QB that was knocked out of action during 2018 Championship Weekend. We will never know how much that injury affected Tagovailoa in the title game but if the two teams face off once again in 2019, the ending could be different if Tua is closer to 100 percent.
You can check out Finebaum’s comments from the show below, courtesy of WFNZ-AM/FM:
— WFNZ-AM/FM (@wfnz) May 7, 2019