If there is a name that has drawn the ire of Tiger Nation the most this season, it is without a doubt, Joel Klatt.
Klatt has been a college football analyst for FOX Sports since 2013. He has always been smug, especially for someone who never actually accomplished much in his playing career save some school records at Colorado. I did think he was at least objective when he was starting his career, though early seeds of his dislike for Coach Swinney and Clemson were laid following the Tigers’ national championship in 2016.
Swinney put Klatt’s co-worker, Colin Cowherd, on blast for calling Clemson a fraud, and Klatt seemed a bit perturbed that a coach would call out a prominent member of the sports press for being blatantly wrong. He questioned why Swinney should care about such comments and belittled him for speaking up.
Over the past few years, FOX Sports has become very focused on Big Ten football, and Klatt has been their primary game analyst. His bias for the Big Ten and against the SEC and Clemson has become more and more visible as the years have gone on.
This season, Klatt appears to have decided to go full troll on Clemson:
He has followed this with several other tweets attacking Clemson’s 2022 team, and usually, there is no obvious trigger for his comments: no one asked him, no one brought Clemson up first, he just decided to say something critical, sometimes ugly, to get attention.
I like Lee Corso, Desmond Howard, and Heather Dinich. I don’t always agree with them, but I think they are just doing their job, and aren’t necessarily targeting Clemson or anyone else. I included them on this list because I can see that many in Tiger Nation don’t like them even though I do like them.
I can’t say the same for Klatt. As I said, he has always been smug, but now he has pretty much thrown off all pretenses and outward appearances of being even a little bit objective. He is no longer a college football analyst and has decided to become an entertainer who isn’t worried about his reputation.
There are two possible reasons. He sees his colleagues at FOX like Cowherd, Skip Bayless, and Shannon Sharpe and has decided he wants to be part of their entertainer clique instead of a respected analyst. No one thinks any of those people are objective, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t popular. Klatt might just be trying to emulate them.
Or he sees the king of all trolls at ESPN and wants to be the equivalent for FOX. If that’s true, he has a long way to go.
Joel Klatt is no Paul Finebaum.