Clemson's John Simpson doesn't think Alabama was the best team the Tigers faced last season

Even when separated by several states and hundreds of miles, the rivalry between Clemson and Alabama continues to brew.

With just over a month until the college football season kicks off and a seemingly inevitable Clemson-Alabama national championship game unfolds for the fourth time in five years, players from both teams are already busy trash talking each other at their respective conference media days.

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Crimson Tide linebacker Dylan Moses started the beef while speaking at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala., on Wednesday. Despite losing to the Tigers 44-16 in the 2019 National Championship, Moses felt that Clemson wasn’t even the best team Alabama faced that season.

“It was more preparation,” Moses said . “I wouldn’t say Clemson was a better team… Georgia is definitely the hardest team I have played in college.”

Alabama beat Georgia 35-28 in that season’s SEC Championship. The 28-point loss Clemson was the worst loss of the Nick Saban era at Alabama and the biggest deficit for the program since 2003.

When word reached Clemson players a few hours later in Charlotte, N.C., they didn’t take too kindly to the excuses and disrespect.

“Alabama was a really good team,” Clemson offensive guard John Simpson said . “They played really hard. They got their opinions, that’s just how it’s going to be. We got our opinions, they got theirs. I personally feel like Notre Dame was the best team that we played. Notre Dame was really good. I think Notre Dame was better than Alabama was.”

Clemson beat Notre Dame 30-3 in the College Football Playoff semifinal . The 27-point margin of victory was less than the Tigers’ blowout win over Alabama the following week, so technically Simpson has a point.

“We beat [Alabama] twice, and we beat them pretty good the second time,” Simpson continued. “So why is there an excuse? The first time, if there were excuses, OK.”

His teammate Tanner Muse shared his thoughts on Moses’ comments as well.

“He’s entitled to his own opinion so he can say what he wants to, “Muse said. “But at the end of the day it’s about the wins and losses. You either win or you lose and then you say what you want afterwards. But the final result is the final result. There is no changing it, only what you do next.”

MORE: Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa: I’m grateful for the championship game loss to Clemson

ESPN and SEC Network personality Paul Finebaum did not share the same sentiment with the Clemson players, calling the comments petty.

“I’m not in the business of criticizing college players,” Finebaum said , “but that is easily one of the stupidest comments I have ever heard. Alabama was a phenomenal football team last year. Notre Dame was good, but they were not as good as Alabama. Alabama would’ve destroyed Notre Dame, and what you get there in John Simpson’s comments is just the pettiness of a program that is unaccustomed to being at the epicenter of this sport.”

“Clemson just doesn’t know how to win yet,” Finebaum continued. “Maybe they will at some point, but not yet. And I hope that they can learn to deal with being No. 1 and being in the spotlight. Because so far, a lot of their comments and their behavior, both the last time two years ago and today, have been really embarrassing.”

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence then took to Twitter on Thursday to respond to Finebaum’s comments:

Alabama and Clemson are ranked No. 1 and 2 respectively in Sporting News’ preseason Top 25 . The Crimson Tide begin their season on Aug. 31 vs. Duke in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta with a chance to beat an ACC opponent. Meanwhile, the Tigers meanwhile host Georgia Tech two days earlier to kick off their season.

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