There’s amateur trolling, and then there’s Finebaum, a pro’s pro.
“I don’t want to say anything blasphemous a week and a day after Easter Sunday, but Alabama-Auburn is no longer really the driving rivalry, I think, in the Southeastern Conference,” Finebaum said on the show. “Because everyone understands the reality of it. Nick Saban is going to win, maybe 92.3% of the games or whatever.”
If that’s your rivalry barometer, then Georgia-Florida stopped being a rivalry around 2000. But I digress.
Finebaum added that his show provides him a good barometer of how heated a rivalry can currently be based on his callers’ reactions.
“I don’t want to speak for you because you live there and I don’t anymore but, on my program, which you know, is a more of an SEC-centric show — if I want to just drop some blood into the water and see sharks circling, it’s about Georgia or Florida. And it’s vicious,” Finebaum added.
“They love nothing more than to remind Georgia fans they haven’t won a national championship in 40 years. It doesn’t matter what Kirby Smart has done, so yeah, I think this is a continuum of the SEC’s current-day great rivalry. And it is vicious.”
If reminding Georgia fans they haven’t won a national championship in 40 years is his definition of a heated rivalry, then we’ve got a heated rivalry with just about every fan base in the SEC, plus Georgia Tech, because that tired line is trotted out by plenty of folks other than Gators on a daily basis.
But that’s not whom Finebaum is really targeting with that, anyway.
The ESPN host went a step further and got in a dig at Auburn’s place in the Iron Bowl rivalry and its former coach.
“Even the most ardent Auburn fan has almost just waved the white flag when it comes to (Nick) Saban now,” he concluded. “Yeah, you know (Gus) Malzahn won three times, which is extraordinary, still got him fired, didn’t he?”
Glad we could be of service, Paul. By the way, if you’re looking for intense SEC rivalries, you might want to check out Ole Miss – Mississippi State. Talk about vicious…