If anyone was still skeptical of Dabo Swinney and Clemson, their blowout win over Alabama in the national championship should have erased any doubt remaining. Besides, even Paul Finebaum won't deny the Tigers' success.
Trevor Lawrence was the catalyst behind Clemson's season, as the freshman quarterback really took the offense to new heights.
Although Kelly Bryant was tremendous for the Tigers during the 2017 season, the dual-threat athlete didn't have the arm strength nor accuracy to challenge other teams' secondaries.
The Tigers were always tough on the defensive side of the ball, but the trio of Lawrence, Travis Etienne and Justyn Ross have transformed them into arguably the most balanced team in the country.
Alabama is normally thought of as the gold standard for college football, yet it might be time to reconsider which team deserves that honor.
When talking about the idea of Clemson being the best program in college football, Finebaum surprisingly sided with the ACC powerhouse.
From Finebaum's radio show on Monday, via TigerNet:
"I’m going to say this just to you and me because I don’t want anyone else to hear," Finebaum said. "Ok? I think of at this moment; today, I think Clemson is ahead of Alabama. I just don’t think you can get around it. I think the trajectory is marginally better and it is for the obvious reasons. First of all, Trevor Lawrence I think is the best quarterback in the country coming back next year."
Finebaum also believes Clemson's coaching staff is better from top to bottom.
It's hard to argue against that point because Brett Venables has proven he can shutdown opposing offenses. Notre Dame and Alabama struggled mightily when facing Clemson's defense.
With Tua Tagovailoa back under center for next season, the Crimson Tide will have their chance at redemption against the Tigers.