Finebaum backs off Clemson after making inflammatory remarks about Tigers' schedule

Finebaum backs off Clemson after making inflammatory remarks about Tigers' schedule

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Finebaum backs off Clemson after making inflammatory remarks about Tigers' schedule

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Despite what the popular belief is in Clemson, Paul Finebaum says he is not trying to keep the Tigers out of the College Football Playoff.

Finebaum was on ESPN’s First Take Wednesday morning and the often-outspoken radio and television host from the SEC Network said he has never made the statement that Clemson should not be in the CFP.

“I have them ranked No. 3 on my poll,” he said. “Early on in the season, we were having that conversation, but to me Clemson has looked very good. They probably have the best receiving corps this side of Alabama. Their defense is surprisingly good. I say surprisingly good because they lost so much last year.”

Finebaum was on First Take Wednesday discussing Tuesday’s release of the CFP rankings. LSU is No. 1, followed by Ohio State at No. 2, Clemson No. 3 and Georgia No. 4. The Crimson Tide fell from No. 3 to No. 5 in the rankings following last Saturday’s loss to LSU

However, earlier in the show, as Finebaum tried to defend Alabama and its schedule, he turned on Clemson when the Tigers weren’t in the conversation.

“Let’s stop for a second. I think we are getting on a ridiculous attack here on Alabama,” he said. “If Alabama played Clemson’s schedule, well, they already have in a way. They have beaten Texas A&M and South Carolina, so mark those two games off.

“So, are you telling me Alabama could not negotiate Wake Forest? They have already beaten Duke … NC State!? It is absurd! Alabama would be unbeaten against Clemson’s schedule. But we are not even bothering because Stephen A. (Smith) loves Clemson so much. We are not even bothering to make anything … Oh, Clemson is in! Let them go in. They will beat some nobody in the ACC Championship Game.”

But Finebaum’s tone changed when he later came back on the show and was specifically asked what he thought about the Tigers.

“Everyone in Clemson thinks I am trying to go to the Supreme Court to find a way to keep them out of the playoff,” he said. “I really don’t care. I think they are going, and I think they have a shot at the (national) championship this year. They’ve won two out of the last four and good for them. They are not really my concern.

“I was simply just making a point. Their schedule is pretty vanilla. Their big win is against A&M. Well, that is Alabama’s big win right now.”

Clemson will host Wake Forest Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Clemson.

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