Zach Lentz

Dabo Swinney is the best college football coach in America

"Nobody is suggesting Saban is a has-been or that Dabo has owned him since Day 1. Not even close. Saban might very well win another national title or two before he retires, and Dabo’s rise is recent.

"But Saban no longer rules the sport. Dabo, and, more specifically, Deshaun Watson, started chipping away at Alabama’s aura of invincibility in 2015. Trevor Lawrence then brought in the wrecking ball to finish the deed last year. What happened in January wasn’t an outlier. It was the culmination, and somehow, it felt like just the beginning, a 44-16 oxymoron.

"It isn’t just that Clemson has won 2 of the past 3, both times against an undefeated, largely unchallenged Alabama team in the National Championship Game. It isn’t just that Clemson has outscored Alabama 125-116 in their 4 Playoff meetings, topped 30 points 3 times or hung 44 on the Tide the last time out.

"It’s the fact that Swinney accomplished all of that despite not recruiting anywhere near Saban’s level. Getting more out of less? That’s the gold standard of coaching."