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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Losing the national title is one thing, but has Alabama been dethroned as the kings of college football?

Following Alabama's embarrassing 44-16 defeat to Clemson in the national championship game, there have been murmurs concerning the Crimson Tide’s place in the college football landscape. The loss was the largest in the Nick Saban era and marked the second time in three years that Alabama had fallen in the title game — both at the hands of Clemson.

But does that mean the Tigers’ have usurped the Crimson Tide overall? SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum seems to think so and wasn’t shy about expressing his opinion during a Monday radio appearance with Charlotte's WFNZ.

“I think anyone realistic has to say that Nick Saban should be regarded as the No. 1 coach in the country, won six national championships. However, I do the think debate is pretty healthy about which program is the best right now,” Finebaum said. “You guys know my resume and where I’ve lived — I’ve lived 30 years in Alabama — but I don’t think there’s really a tremendous amount of debate that Clemson, right now, has the best program in America. It has passed Alabama in terms of appeal, showroom value and upward mobility. A lot of that is because of Saban’s age and a lot of that is because Clemson is a lot more fun to go play at than The University of Alabama.”


Those are strong words, especially coming from Finebaum, who is often accused by callers on his own radio show of being an Alabama apologist.

Wednesday the debate made its way to Saban as the Alabama head coach was asked if such comments provide motivation for his team.

"I think every year is a new year. I think we learned a lot from last year and how the season ended and I think the players have responded really well to it,” Saban said at the Regions Tradition Pro-Am. “Clemson has a great program, a good coach and a bunch of good players. I think we have a good program and lots of good players. I think the key to the drill is trying to develop those players so they can play at a high level and be able to sustain it throughout the season.

“We had a tough row to hoe to get to the national championship game, and we just didn’t finish like we wanted to. I think there’s a lot of good things that we can learn from that.”

Alabama and Clemson have won the past four national championships with the programs claiming two titles apiece in alternating years. Early betting odds have the two schools as favorites to meet in the national championship this season with Clemson receiving 7/4 title odds while Alabama is just behind at 9/4. Chances are the two will likely be the No. 1 and No. 2 teams when preseason rankings are released later this year.

This offseason, Saban has stressed the importance of reestablishing the “Alabama Factor,” the team’s ethos which seemed to go missing late last season.

“Just a team that plays with a lot of discipline,” Saban said when asked to define the motto. “The players go out and take responsibility and ownership for doing their job at a high level and a high standard, and everybody puts the team first. That’s the kind of program that we’ve always had. That’s the kind of teams that we’ve always had, and that’s what we try to get the players to buy into and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.

“Last year, at the end of the year, I felt like maybe we lost our humility a little bit and didn’t really prepare in practice like we needed to, developed some bad habits and eventually got exposed by a pretty good team.”

Alabama will look to regain its championship identity sooner rather than later. Otherwise, it risks falling behind for the first time in more than a decade.
 
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"here's a twenty, bury two"....Coach Bryant

after being asked to chip in 10 dollars to help with funeral expense of a sportswriter
 
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BamaFan334

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Well of course Clemson has more upward mobility, because when you're the best program for a decade, how can you go up any higher, duh! Clemson coming from "Clemsoning" was only an upward path, so it makes sense. They have more fun? Of course they are because they're doing something they haven't done since the 80's. Georgia would be doing the same thing. It's new for Clemson, so of course you see a revitalization effort.

Clemson plays in a broke down conference with zero challengers and absolutely zero National Championship caliber programs. They are doing well with what they have brought in and they are having one hell of a year recruiting so far. But how can you sit there and say they are the better program when both teams are 2-2 against each other the last four years in the postseason and the other program has won five National Championships to your two? Alabama is right there in recruiting, the best facilities in the country, more draft picks than any other program, the best coach ever, the list goes on. This is the down season and one game, the last game, is all anyone talks about. Have your fun clawing for ratings and views, but Clemson and Dabo still have two more mountains to climb to usurp the Tide.
 

sk33tr

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so we're back to 2015 all over again...? :rolleyes: lose one game and we're done?

 

UAgrad93

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But how can you sit there and say they are the better program when both teams are 2-2 against each other the last four years

You glean from the data in a way that supports their narrative. Just like Barners that like to point to the wins that Gus has against Saban. They totally disregard all of the losses.
 

94 Grad

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I seem to remember Clemson getting throttled by Bama the year prior... Such short memories.
 

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Media is having a field day with this shit.
 

252BAMA

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OldPlayer

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Clemson won. They get to claim "the best" until a new season starts. Now they need to back it up.
 

50+yeartidefan

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Seems to be same story from a few years back....bama/Saban through.....
The dynesty is over....etc
 

rick4bama

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How many time we going to hear this?
 

jdpas29

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The complete domination in last year's title game is enough for me to agree. That was not a fluke in any way. Clemson has, at this point, the best football program in the country.

That being said, it would be nice to not have to get through the schedule that Alabama has and stay healthy for such a game.
 

50+yeartidefan

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The complete domination in last year's title game is enough for me to agree. That was not a fluke in any way. Clemson has, at this point, the best football program in the country.
By score anyway.....played a shitty game once in 9-10 years....
What was Smith thinking/doing.......still havent figured it out.....???
Clemson is great....Bama is also....
 

Elderfalsedemigod

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As I said in response to this article on twitter, No CU fan was any happier than finebaum when Alabama lost that game. Not because he hates UA or loves CU but because it opened up a whole new world of shit stirring for him. He has been swinging from CNS gonads for several years now but now he can make the jump to Dabo's. This ensures he can infuriate UA fans and garners him all the love from CU plus the glee from all the SEC teams that want so badly for his narrative to be true.

And yes until Alabama either beats CU on the field or Cu craps the bed, missing the CFP and Alabama wins it CU is on top of the world.

I still say UA is built for the long haul though. I truly believe when CNS does decide to hang it up you will see a revolutionary transition to whatever coach he picks to replace him.
 

50+yeartidefan

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As I said in response to this article on twitter, No CU fan was any happier than finebaum when Alabama lost that game. Not because he hates UA or loves CU but because it opened up a whole new world of shit stirring for him. He has been swinging from CNS gonads for several years now but now he can make the jump to Dabo's. This ensures he can infuriate UA fans and garners him all the love from CU plus the glee from all the SEC teams that want so badly for his narrative to be true.

And yes until Alabama either beats CU on the field or Cu craps the bed, missing the CFP and Alabama wins it CU is on top of the world.

I still say UA is built for the long haul though. I truly believe when CNS does decide to hang it up you will see a revolutionary transition to whatever coach he picks to replace him.
Finebaum is an ass......everyone knows it...But people watch and listen ( not I)....
Whatever
 

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