Nick Saban Comments On Kirby Smart and Georgia
The two leading teams in the Southeastern Conference, Georgia and Alabama, currently have the inside track for a showdown in Atlanta at the SEC Championship game.
Alabama (7-0), ranked No. 1 in the country and Georgia (7-0), ranked No. 3, appear to be on a collision course. It would be a rematch of the 2012 game, when No. 2 Alabama beat No. 3 Georgia, 32-28 in a thriller. Kirby Smart was the Crimson Tide’s defensive coordinator at that time. He worked under Nick Saban for 11 seasons, the last eight leading the Alabama defense. On Wednesday, during the SEC weekly teleconference, Saban was asked about the Georgia program and Coach Smart’s body of work.
“I think he has done a great job,” Saban said of Smart. “I think they have probably one of the best teams in our league right now. They’re playing great on both sides of the ball. They play together. They’re confident in what they’re doing. They look very well-coached on both sides of the ball. I think he has done fabulous job, no question about it. They have done a really good job of recruiting and continue to add to the players that they had, and I think that’s what you need to do.”
Saban was asked if Coach Smart was building the Georgia program in the mold of the Crimson Tide.
“The one thing I tell all the guys when they get jobs, you got to be yourself, you got to be your own man and you got to do what you believe in and trust in,” Saban said. “Probably no doubt about the fact we worked together — I don’t know ten years or what it was — and some of the good things we do may have rubbed off and he’s a very bright guy, so maybe the not-so-good things we do he probably eliminated and created a program of his own, which has done very, very well and he’s been very successful.”
Alabama hosts Tennessee this week in their annual “Third Saturday in October” border war. Georgia has a bye while the Dawgs get ready for the annual World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville the following weekend.