Paul Finebaum calls Dabo Swinney 'yesterday's news' in coaching debate
Longtime college football radio host Paul Finebaum took exception to Dabo Swinney’s placement in a recent ranking of college football head coaches.
On Wednesday, Finebaum brought on Sporting News’ Bill Bender to discuss his list of top college football head coaches going into the 2022 season. Bender’s list has Swinney at No. 2, behind only Nick Saban.
.@BillBender92 will join us at 4:30 ET to talk about how he ranks the top coaches in CFB heading into 2022.
Who are your Top 5 CFB Coaches heading into next season? pic.twitter.com/Qv09Z9RZxi
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) June 7, 2022
Finebaum specifically called out Swinney’s placement above Georgia coach Kirby Smart. The Bulldogs are coming off a National Championship, but Swinney has 2 rings to Smart’s 1.
Still, Finebaum noted the perceived “trajectory” of the programs in his complaint.
“Are you telling me that Kirby Smart is inferior by 1 number to Dabo Swinney, in spite of that championship?” Finebaum said. “I don’t need to remind you but look at the trajectory of the programs right now and where they are. I think Dabo Swinney is yesterday’s news, and Kirby Smart is where it’s at in college football today.”
It’s difficult to compare Swinney and Smart as head coaches due to the disparity in tenure. Swinney has been Clemson’s head coach since 2009 while Smart has only been in charge in Athens since 2016.
Amongst Swinney’s other accomplishments: 7-time ACC champion, 3-time Paul “Bear” Bryant Award winner and 4-time participant in the College Football Playoff.
Swinney has been criticized in recent months (and years) for not using the transfer portal like many of his peers.
But so far, Swinney hasn’t been burned by his reliance on internal development. The Tigers have won 10+ games for 11 straight seasons and project to have one of the best defensive units in the country again this season.
Clemson opens its 2022 campaign with Georgia Tech.