Paul Finebaum reacts to Alabama’s loss at LSU, says it feels like window on Tide dynasty is closing

Paul Finebaum has been around the SEC long enough, and around Nick Saban’s Alabama tenure specifically, enough to know that seemingly every time the Crimson Tide lose, people wonder if the dynasty is over.

But, after a 32-31 overtime loss at LSU on Saturday night, those questions are once again swirling about Saban’s squad.

During his weekly appearance on SportsCenter on Sunday morning, Finebaum said it does feel like Alabama’s chokehold on college football is loosening a bit:

“It just seems like for starters the window on the (Nick) Saban dynasty is closing,” Finebaum said. “They are not going to get back in it this year. So, what does that mean? It means a lot for Brian Kelly who came in and wanted to take on Nick Saban. That’s the reason he said he left Notre Dame, and already, he’s scored a victory in a game where there were numerous questionable calls on the Saban side and brilliant — I mean, life changing — calls on the LSU side, including the game winner.

“It’s so interesting juxtapose that versus the first game of the season when Brian Kelly chose to go for an extra point instead of beating FSU by 2. He missed the extra point. This time, it came back.”

Alabama now has 2 losses. So does LSU, but LSU has the head-to-head win over Alabama and a better SEC record. The Tigers, not the Tide, control their path to the SEC Championship Game.

What a coaching job Brian Kelly is doing in Baton Rouge this season.

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  • If Saban is still hungry, he will take the necessary action to turn things around. Some complacency had set in at Bama, with assistant coaches not doing their jobs at a high level, particularly when it came to developing talent.

    Saban can see what everyone can see. Time for some of his coaches to hit the portal.

    • mrtruth...A great take. I believe the Talent-Pool of elite Athletes has gotten more shallow. Kirby Smart is signing five Stars galore, A & M just signed the #3 class & the elite, former Pitt receiver Addison went to So Cal for the huge NIL $$$ deal *He preferred Alabama but $$$ won. NIL will change college football more than anything that's ever happened. When college QB's are driving $120,000 BMW's and the Texas QB has a $160,000 Lamborghini as I recall, something's out of whack.

      • Excellent points. I feel the complacency set in because for a time there Bama could just out-talent a lot of people, so some falling off on the coaching side was ignored. As talent is equaling out, coaching becomes more important than ever. Saban seems like a guy who loves a challenge, and I suspect getting back to #1 will only stoke the flames of his competitive spirit.

      • You all are sold on players ratings out of 247.
        Player development and schemes are way more important

  • The recruiting hasn’t fallen off so it can only be coaching. Bama defense is just not the same since Kirby left. Saban will never be able to replace Kirby, but he must find the next great DC.

    • It really wasn’t until Jeremy Pruitt left for Tennessee that the defense took a nosedive. Tosh Lupoi and Golding have taken great talent and squandered it since.

    • Kirby was no better than Golding, he had more than his fair share of torchings too... remember Brian Johnson of the Mountain West Utah Utes? Made a fool of Kirby in the Sugar Bowl. Then, of course, there were the likes of Johnny Football, Bo Wallace, and Chad Kelly. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Ezekiel Elliott in the CFP. But the ultimate humiliation was delivered by Cam Newton. But here's the thing about Golding: The game has changed! He faces a Johnny football sort of QB almost every week in the SEC. Might want to cut him some slack. Coach Saban does, he understands.

      • This is the stupidest analysis that I have ever heard so you chose a couple of games out of a million to prove a stupid point
        I’m 100% Sure that Bama fans will be thrilled to have Kirby back
        I think Saban is sick of fans like you too, he will be replacing Corso at ESPN and probably practicing on how to put the mascot head on behind the scenes

      • 9mmDave. Yes, the Bama offense not being able to score enough or keep possession, didn't have anything to do with any of those loses.

        It was that Kirby was lacking.

        Yes, Golding is equal to Kirby. That's why Saban's going to extend his contract next season. Sounds like the reasonable thing to do. Saban understands...

  • Pawl, Pawl, Pawl! That's been said a few times in the past. It'll be over when Coach Saban says it's over and he'll know long before you do. RTR

  • Even as an Auburn supporter, its odd to me that we don't hear Will Anderson's name called many times. Must be a scheme thing. I mean whomever plays the Bills knows Von Miller is coming for you and he still makes it there. Puzzling why not for Will given they have other talented folks on that line.

  • Before Bama a dynasty was 5 years max. IF it’s over they had an unbelievable run but I’ll need more evidence before I believe it.

    • The Saban-Dynasty is not over, but we've got a few cracks currently that need filled & they will be. Roll Tide !

      • Sabin will perform his magic. There isn’t a program in college football that would love to go 10-2 in a rebuilding year!

        • Calling this a rebuilding year for bama is either ignorance or dishonesty (or feigned humility). They have veterans across the lineup, especially where it matters most. The difference for this team is a lack of elite WR's...and I'm sure at least some level of complacency. The truth is that NIL and the portal are great equalizers for programs that couldn't contend with bama/Saban in the recruiting game. Elite coaches manage to stay ahead of the competition...until they don't. Maybe, with the revolutionary changes taking place at a lightning pace, Saban isn't able to stay two and three steps ahead anymore. LSU, UGA, TN, wherever Lane Kiffin coaches aren't going away. They have coaches that can recruit and use the portal. The days of bama having the highest rated player at 20 out of 22 positions every single game are coming to an end. On the flip side of that, I think counting Saban out as if he's reached the twilight of his career and some precipitous drop is looming would be foolish (a la Pawl Finebum every time bama loses two games in a season).

      • I like fans like you! very optimistic. But Saban is 71 and this job is overwhelming his health is more important than anything else

    • Yes, indeed! The year after we went 11-2 in 2019, we won the natty and were undefeated the following year against an ALL-SEC SCHEDULE! Fxck the haters! Bobby Bowden got to be coach until he was 80, so Saban is only 71. He has nine more years!

  • Alabama will still be a 10 game winner this season. There are a lot of fans who’d love for their teams to win 10 games (or more) year after year…. Aggie fans for one!

  • Even if we drop another game this year I am not saddened by a 10-2 or 9-3 season. It just is what it is. This team wasn't up to the challenge, and that largely has to do with coaching. The roster is as talented as ever, but this team lacks good fundamentals and discipline. They're not dominant in the second a third levels on defense, the offensive line struggles to run block and lets Bryce get hit way too often, and the receivers are simply young and a bit raw in terms of their development. The pieces were there, but this team doesn't feel much better than it was in Week 1.

Published by
Adam Spencer