Paul Finebaum on Florida's disappointing LSU loss: 'This will be one of McElwain's signature losses'
Coming off a home loss to Troy, not many predicted LSU to leave Gainesville Saturday afternoon with a win over a ranked Florida team. Based on his comments Sunday morning, it’s safe to say Paul Finebaum didn’t see it coming.
The SEC Network host broke down the loss during the most recent episode of the ESPN Campus Conversation podcast with co-host Matt Barrie. The two speculated on what the loss could mean not only for Florida’s season but the status of Jim McElwain’s program as Year 3 looks to be the most disappointing to date under the Gator coach.
Finebaum, as part of the SEC Nation pregame show, was on location leading up to the game and recalled the negativity he sensed leading up to the game (It’s worth noting that despite these comments, Finebaum did pick Florida to win leading up to the game during the SEC Nation broadcast).
“Being down there Friday and Saturday, I felt a shift. There was no confidence on the Florida side,” Finebaum said on his podcast. “They knew they had done it with mirrors against Tennessee, against Kentucky. I think all that helped this LSU team. I don’t think they are very good, I don’t think Ed Orgeron is a very good coach, but they were able to get the most out of it.”
Barrie then asked Finebaum about Malik Zaire. Is he that bad that he isn’t worth giving a look depsite Feleipe Franks’ struggles?
“He must be,” Finebaum answered. “Talking to people down there, he’s not even like on the radar screen anymore.”
The SEC Network host then added these comments on the state of the Florida program.
“That program Florida just comes in and out of trouble. That was such a big moment for McElwain to move on, go for there to the Cocktail Party,” Finebaum commented. “Maybe you beat Florida State at the end of the season, now you have to hold it all together.”
As for the overall state of the program, here’s what Finebaum said: “I don’t think it’s a bad situation but I don’t think it’s an overly healthy situation.”
Finebaum’s parting shot on the loss wasn’t very positive for McElwain, either.
“This is one of the most bitter rivalries in the SEC,” Finebaum said. “Last year, Mac won (at LSU), and it was his signature win. This is going to be one of his signature losses. He not only lost to LSU, he lost to Ed Orgeron, and that’s not something you are really proud of.”