Skip to main content

Paul Finebaum Explains His 2020 National Championship Pick

Paul Finebaum explains why Clemson will lose on First Take. He believes Big Ten football teams will compete for the College Football Playoff in 2017.


Alabama hasn't won either of the last two national championships, and didn't even play in the College Football Playoff last year. In the Nick Saban Era, this constitutes a major slump.

Still, the Crimson Tide will once again be one of the title favorites this season. In fact, ESPN's Paul Finebaum thinks they will win it all for the sixth time under Saban.

Finebaum has stated this prediction multiple times during the offseason. It's not exactly going out on a limb, but he explained his reasoning for picking the Tide during an interview for 247Sports' Social Distance series.

“I happen to think Alabama’s going to win the National Championship,” Finebaum said. “To me, they just have it together. You can debate the quarterback situation, but you can’t debate too much else. I think this is the best Alabama team they’ve had in a couple of years. And I still feel like (head coach) Nick Saban, while everyone else was scattered from March 12 on, Saban was in the proverbial bunker, trying to figure it out. He was in his office when everyone else was at home. …If someone is going to find an edge, he’ll have it.”

You can watch the full interview with Finebaum below.

As Finebaum alludes to, the Alabama quarterback situation is one of the more fascinating storylines entering the summer. Mac Jones played well last season in place of Tua Tagovailoa, but five-star freshman Bryce Young might be too good to keep off the field.

Whichever one wins the starting job, as long as he plays well, the Crimson Tide will be in the thick of the national championship chase in 2020.