Paul Finebaum makes declarative national championship prediction
ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum knows how to play to a crowd. That was never more evident than on ESPN’s “First Take” on Monday morning ahead of the national championship when Finebaum wore a king’s crown and cape on the set.
Previously called the “Mouth of the South,” Finebaum’s nickname was briefly changed to the “King of the South,” on the show. Finebaum said LSU QB Joe Burrow needs to have a better game than Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, and not duplicate the kind of performance that Lamar Jackson showed for the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday night.
Max Kellerman then raised the issue of LSU’s run defense against Clemson star RB Travis Etienne, and the notion that coach Ed Orgeron may force Lawrence to beat LSU by passing.
In terms of the coaching matchup, Finebaum said a Clemson win would mean that coach Dabo Swinney would be the king of college football.
“I would give him my crown,” Finebaum said, and then Kellerman added that this season was a debate about being in the Nick Saban Era, or if Swinney had taken over. A Clemson win would end that debate in his mind.
Finally, King Finebaum offered his prediction for the game.
“Who am I taking tonight?,” he said. “I’m taking LSU!”