CLEMSON, S.C. - Paul Finebaum is the most popular and controversial analyst on the SEC Network, and he made headlines several times over the summer for comments he made criticizing Clemson.
Finebaum said in July that "Clemson just doesn't know how to win yet," and after Tigers offensive lineman John Simpson said Notre Dame was better than Alabama, Finebaum responded by calling Simpson's statement "easily one of the stupidest comments I have ever heard."
Tigers fans took to social media to fire back at Finebaum - and even players - including star quarterback Trevor Lawrence, reacted, with Lawrence calling Finebaum "unprofessional."
While Finebaum irked several people in the Upstate this summer, Dabo Swinney wasn't one of them. The Clemson coach said he wasn't bothered by what Finebaum said, or by any comments made about Clemson or the ACC on the SEC Network.
"They sit around and talk about the SEC all the time. Everybody gets mad because sometimes I guess certain people out there say bad things about the ACC," Swinney said Monday during his first weekly press conference of the season. "I'm like, 'Look, it's like they work for the Yankees. They're not going to talk great about the Red Sox. And vice versa. It doesn't work that way.' "
The ACC Network launched Aug. 22 and has since been providing nonstop coverage of Atlantic Coast Conference schools, including Clemson.
It will televise live sporting events, including Clemson's season opener against Georgia Tech on Thursday, plus other news and information shows and original programming.
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"It's got people sitting around talking about the ACC all day every day. It gives us a channel," Swinney said. "To be able to have a network that's constantly talking about the ACC, not only talking about the ACC but promoting our league and giving all of our teams a platform all day every day, we've not had that."
The ACC has won seven national championships in football, men's basketball, women's basketball and baseball since 2015, the most in the country.
Clemson has won two of the past three football national titles and is a favorite to reach the College Football Playoff for the fifth consecutive time this year.
Swinney expects the addition of the ACC Network to help the league continue its recent success.
"We've still been pretty good around here, but now we have that. And it's a game-changer. A game-changer," Swinney said. "The content, brand awareness, and then also the rhetoric. We live in this rhetoric world. Now the ACC has its own channel and own people that will sit around and talk about our league every day. I'm excited about it. It's a big deal."
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