ANN ARBOR, MICH. - Paul Finebaum apparently doesn't think too highly of the Michigan fan base.
The ESPN Radio personality took a caller on "The Paul Finebaum Show" on Tuesday who asked why Finebaum isn't giving U-M the same love he has given Ohio State and Michigan State three weeks into the season.
Though Finebaum, who primarily covers the SEC and formerly hosted a sports radio program in Alabama, did say that the Big Ten has been the best-looking conference so far, he wants to see Michigan face better competition.
"I happen to think the Big Ten is having a great year," Finebaum said. "Michigan is probably the one Big Ten East team that I’m not as sure about yet because I haven’t seen a great sample like I have with Michigan State and Ohio State. I think the Big Ten East is as good as anyone right now."
While MSU and OSU have beaten ranked teams in the early going, U-M's best competition thus far has been Colorado, which raced to a 21-7 lead Saturday before the Wolverines took over and won, 45-28.
Finebaum asked the caller why he was "whining" this early in the season. The caller said Finebaum was comparing U-M coach Jim Harbaugh with Alabama coach Nick Saban, arguing that Saban walked into a winning program with the Crimson Tide.
Finebaum let it rip after that.
“If you’re going to walk into my bar, you better know what you’re talking about," Finebaum retorted. "Nick Saban did not walk into a winning program. He walked into a program where they just fired the coach who had gone 6-6. He had lost to his main rival (Auburn) four straight times. So why don’t you come back next week and actually know what you’re talking about and maybe you won’t be whining and crying, OK? Go Big Blue.”
The next caller asked Finebaum how he was doing. "Considering I just talked to a Michigan fan, not very well," Finebaum said.
Then Finebaum said he had one more thing to get off his chest.
“Is there a more pathetic fan base in America than the University of Michigan?" he asked. "What a whiny and sniveling bunch."
Finebaum has been critical of U-M before. In June, he called Harbaugh a "cartoon character" because of his off-season hijinks and satellite camps that drew attention across the country -- especially in the SEC.
Finebaum said at the time that Saban, who was among those who took issue with Harbaugh's camps, doesn't need to worry about Harbaugh.
"He's not going to engage Jim Harbaugh because I think he's much smarter than Jim Harbaugh," Finebaum said. "Jim Harbaugh, for a coach who had a successful first year, is really reeking of desperation right now."
Detroit Free Press