Shoveling the dirt on Alabama Dynasty Nick Saban is the popular national catch this week, while questioning Clemson’s stay at the top after a resounding loss at Notre Dame. For the Crimson Tide and Tigers, bouncing back from the Week 10 setbacks that seem to have removed each of the titans from the college football playoff photo is the least of their worries moving forward, according to Paul Finebaum.
“Clemson always has a better path than Alabama because they’re in the ACC where they really haven’t had a lot of challenges,” Finebaum said Wednesday on ESPN. Rise. “Notre Dame is the Achilles’ heel, and they’re not even in the ACC although they’re playing a five-game ACC schedule. I think Alabama can come back. They’ve got the recruiting class. No. 1 in the country in a few months. But the problem, I think, is more global. Is the dynasty window shrinking like we’ve been talking about for a few days? It seems that it is, it seems that it moves from Alabama to Georgia.
Finebaum has a lot of questions for Saban following his team’s 32-31 loss at LSU.
“It’s hard not to feel a seat change in the SEC with Alabama, for all intents and purposes, knocked out of the race,” Finebaum said this week. “If you want to see what Alabama football was like at the height of the Saban era a few years ago, just go to Athens, Georgia. This is what Nick Saban football was like in his heyday. That’s not what he looks like now.”
In LSU’s game-winning game, Alabama had 12 men on the field even after timeout to lose on a questionable night of practice moves from Saban and Crimson Tide staff.
“I feel like the window of dynasty is closing. I feel like this season has taken a turn, and I can’t calculate what’s going through Nick Saban’s mind, but he looks miserable,” Finebaum said. “What I hear from my friends in Alabama is, ‘We have to fire the offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator.’ You talk about it when you have a coach who is in transition.
“This is Nick Saban. These are his guys. He was with Pete Golden for five years. He’s all about Bill O’Brien. Nick Saban is late enough in his career to lay off assistants to save face, but it’s a is what you’ll be hearing about in the next few weeks.”
Dabo Swinney said he “finds joy” after the Tigers’ loss to Notre Dame.
“You can’t let things steal your joy and I think there are too many people in this profession, coaches and players, who allow that,” Swinney said on Tuesday. “My joy is not defined by the scoreboard. My joy is doing what I do. It hurts, and they hurt, but you can’t let the hurt be greater than the hope. I think now you’re losing a game, and people are losing their minds.
“And they hate everybody and you have to fire everybody. And it’s such a negative thing created by social media. I don’t buy into it. And I don’t get tired. I get stronger.”
Alabama heads to Ole Miss this weekend, while Clemson hosts Louisville.