Paul Finebaum reveals new name in the LSU coaching search

On3 imageby:Wade Peery10/24/21

The SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum is usually in tune and well informed about all things college football. So when he talked about Dabo Swinney on Sunday in the LSU coaching search, naturally it perked a few people’s ears up.

ESPN’s Matthew Barrie asked Finebaum about what he’s heard about the LSU search on Sunday on the ESPN College Football podcast.

“It’s really hard to chisel that one down,” Finabaum said. “There are some who believe the AD Scott Woodward wants…you ready for this…Dabo Swinney. Now, there’s talk that the president wants Mel Tucker (head coach at Michigan State). Billy Napier (ULL head coach) is out there maybe as a second-tier selection if everyone else goes bust. It seems like Jimbo (Fisher) is out of that one.

“Can James Franklin pop back into these? I don’t know. But I think after yesterday James Franklin might be looking around saying, ‘What else can I do here.’

“It’s a good job (Penn State) but it certainly isn’t getting any easier. It’s not really a big deal anymore when Clemson loses, but that loss yesterday, Matt, I mean, that was a dagger…..That was a seismic loss.”

Dabo Swinney contract

The line of thinking here for Finebaum is that things have gotten so bad at Clemson that Swinney would actually entertain offers from other jobs. It’s hard to fathom, especially since he just signed a 10 year, $93 million deal on April, 2019.

If Swinney were to leave Clemson for LSU, he’d have to pay the school millions of dollars. It should also be noted that he has a special clause in his contract that if he were to leave Clemson for Alabama, the money Swinney would owe to Clemson would be less than if he left for another school, like LSU.

Swinney has enjoyed so much success at Clemson, it’s hard to envision him leaving for any other school. But he’s denied interest in the Alabama job for a number of years.

Swinney denied interest in LSU last week saying, “This is the only Death Valley that I’m concerned with right here.” He was referring to the Death Valley at LSU, but Clemson is also known as Death Valley.

One thing is for certain, the LSU coaching search is going to be one of the most closely watched head coaching searches of the 2021 college football season.