Paul Finebaum returns fire to Dabo Swinney following 'attack' on Alabama, SEC
Even though a new college football season is set to begin in a matter of weeks, some of the most well-known coaches and media personalities are still debating the fallout of the national championship some eight months ago.
Shortly after Dabo Swinney said the SEC wasn’t as deep last season as it’s been in recent years, and Alabama had no reason to be tired leading up to the national championship, SEC Network analyst Paul Finebaum fired back at the Clemson coach.
“I don’t know why he is talking,” Finebaum said on “The Opening Kickoff” on WNSP-FM 105.5. “He won the championship. He couched all of his words, saying (the SEC) was a great league, but we all know one thing: The SEC is the best league in college football. The ACC isn’t even close.”
Speaking to ESPN’s Chris Low, Swinney said, “Listen, the SEC is a great conference, but I don’t think they’ve been as deep the last few years. I think they’ve had two or three really good teams and then it’s kind of been hit or miss from there. It’s an awesome league, for sure, and I know people say that Alabama was tired because they went through the grind and had to play all these teams. Well, they won by an average of 33.1 points per game (going into the playoff), so they ought to be well-rested.”
Finebaum went on to call Swinney’s comments an “attack” on Alabama.
“That’s what it was — was ridiculous,” Finebaum said Thursday. “If you look at what he had to deal with last year in his own league he had road games at Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Florida State – which didn’t go to a bowl game — Boston College, and he had to beat a Pitt team, which was terrible, to make it in.
“That’s really where the argument is. Does the SEC take its toll on you from an attrition standpoint vs. the ACC?
As long as Clemson remains at or near the top of college football, and with two SEC nonconference games on its schedule, look for Swinney and Finebaum to continue this debate throughout the season.
“Any reasonable person — who isn’t talking outside of both sides of his mouth — knows the SEC is significantly more difficult,” Finebaum said. “Why Dabo is trying to defense the indefensible, I have no earthy idea.
“Dabo Swinney – in his own aw-shucks, golly-gee, sheriff-of-Mayberry approach – is trying to act like he is being persecuted. In the end, he’s not. He’s just trying to defend his league. I think Dabo has an inferiority complex about the ACC because he knows it isn’t a very good league.”