These are strange times for Clemson Football.
The Tigers will open the season tomorrow in Durham with a new offensive coordinator (Garrett Riley) and a relatively new starting quarterback (Cade Klubnik).
In an unexpected twist, Coach Dabo Swinney is embracing expectations of playing for a national title instead of downplaying them.
The Atlantic Coast Conference has extended an invitation to Stanford, California, and SMU to join the league, a measure Clemson voted against.
Now Paul Finebaum is defending Clemson.
Seriously. You read that right. Finebaum had this to say on Sunday:
"“I just want to congratulate The ACC for essentially voting out Clemson, North Carolina, and Florida State because after what happened Friday with the admission of SMU, Cal, and Stanford they have essentially given those three a ticket out. That League which was already teetering towards irrelevancy has just taken on three schools that devalue an already discounted product even more and that league is just heading towards the iceberg.”"
Finebaum taking Clemson’s side. Who had that on their bingo card?
Before anyone gets too excited about Finebaum saying Clemson has a ticket out of the ACC, it isn’t that simple. Adding teams doesn’t trigger any clauses to allow programs to leave the conference. It doesn’t work that way. Finebaum is talking figuratively.
It isn’t every day that Paul Finebaum takes the side of Clemson Football
I think we all know Finebaum has no real love for Clemson, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t dislike the ACC more. Many Clemson fans have been echoing his sentiments, including myself. Despite a long history in the conference, Clemson’s priorities are no longer in line with the ACC, and I think it’s fair to say the same for Florida State, and very possibly UNC.
I wouldn’t expect to happen all that often, but it definitely is another peculiar aspect of the 2023 season so far.