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Paul Finebaum Says 1 Team's 2019 Schedule Is As Hard As He's Seen

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.


ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum reacted this morning to Auburn's dominant bowl victory over Purdue.

Finebaum has been critical of Gus Malzahn and the Tigers, but he was impressed with their bowl game performance.

Still, Finebaum is unsure if it means anything for the program moving forward.

“Sometimes you get tired of hearing everything,” Finebaum said on WJOX this morning.

“Last year they were hung over a little bit after the SEC Championship loss, (Kerryon) Johnson was out. And this year, they just seem motivated. Now what it means, moving forward? I have no earthly idea. It makes the offseason a little better. It doesn’t really change the circumstances very much.”

Auburn heads into the 2019 season with some optimism, but the Tigers' schedule is just brutal. Malzahn and Co. open the year against Oregon, which is returning Justin Herbert. Their cross-division SEC opponents include Florida and Georgia.

“I’m not sure I see a more difficult schedule in many, many years,” Finebaum said this morning. “You guys tell me what the record will be.”

Auburn finished the 2018 season with an 8-5 record. The Tigers might need to improve on that if Malzahn is going to keep his job, but that could prove to be difficult with the schedule.

Regardless of what happens, Auburn will be one of the most-intriguing programs in the country to follow next year.