Stephen A. Smith and First Take were down in New Orleans this morning, as part of ESPN’s coverage of tonight’s National Championship Game.
He and co-host Max Kellerman made their picks this afternoon. For the segment, they were joined by a pair of Louisiana natives and LSU Tiger greats, Ryan Clark and Marcus Spears.
Kellerman went with the defending national champions for his pick. Naturally, Clark and Spears rolled with their alma mater, which is favored entering tonight’s game, and has received the lion’s share of bets and money wagered entering the game.
Stephen A. Smith went with Clemson, almost entirely out of spite for his two LSU colleagues. He gave LSU credit for the season they’ve had, pointing out the Alabama win, but admitted that he couldn’t bring himself to side with Clark and Spears, and then went on a lengthy, loud rant about it being his major reason for going with the ACC power.
“I have to give LSU props. Great, great year. Great year, no doubt. But it ends tonight! Let me tell you something. I’m rolling with Clemson!
“It ain’t just because of Trevor Lawrence, it ain’t just because of Etienne, it ain’t just because Ross is going to put it on you like he put it on Alabama last year. Let me tell you why y’all going to fall.
“You’ve got too many people bloviating too much, especially these two. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to pick the same team as you (gesturing towards Ryan Clark), and you (Marcus Spears). It is time to shut your mouth once and for all. Y’all got me with Alabama. I have to take it.”
The full clip. You may want to adjust volume to a reasonable level here, as Smith plays the heel to the many LSU fans in attendance for the show.
It's time to pick CLEMSON! I'm picking them to win tonight!!!! pic.twitter.com/aRSNJKPA1g
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) January 13, 2020
The two teams are set to kick off at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.