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ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on Jim Harbaugh: “He hasn’t proven to be Nick Saban”

Alabama coach Nick Saban celebrates his 5th national title overall after defeating Clemson in CFP title game: Matthew Emmons- USA TODAY Sports

Curtis Jackson, III “50 Cent” started his career in hip-hop/rap by taking shots at all the marquee artists in the industry, including Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter—the king of this industry in the early 2000s.

In the name of satellite camps, Jim Harbaugh is doing the same thing. The Michigan head coach will be in 39 cities, 22 states and two countries in his attempts to recruit players and in doing so, he continues unload fire on one of college football’s biggest names, Alabama coach Nick Saban.

The hot button topic has been in everyone’s mouth from Colin Cowherd to Paul Finebaum and on Tuesday, ESPN’s First Take analysts Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless put their spin on it. 

For two men that appreciate each other almost as much as they enjoying arguing with one another, the situation turned interesting when a question was proposed on which coach they would play for.

Bayless sided with the Michigan man.

“I want to play for Coach Harbaugh and I want to do it right now,” Bayless said Tuesday.

“Jim Harbaugh is revolutionizing the job description of a college football coach. He is now leaping through a controversial new loophole that is allowing these controversial new satellite camps and he’s not just taking advantage, he’s taking an extreme, all summer long advantage with these camps.”

Bayless added with “I want to play for Jim because he is a player’s coach. He is making all those other top 20 coaches nervous and angry because he is leaping through that loophole that’s going to make them go back to work with a vengeance to try to keep up with him.”

As for Smith, he made sure to deliver the praise that’s due to Harbaugh but sided with Saban.

“If I want to laugh and enjoy myself as a college student, I would play for Jim Harbaugh,” Smith said.

“But if I want to win, Jim Harbaugh hasn’t proven to be Nick Saban. Jim Harbaugh, outside of last season’s miraculous 10-3 year (should have been 11-2), had one stellar season as a collegiate coach at Stanford in 2012; where it went 12-1 and won the Orange Bowl.”

Smith would dive into Saban’s overall numbers as a head coach and despite getting his number of national championships wrong (five overall), he remained with his prowess toward Saban.

“If you are in college football to win, Jim Harbaugh is not even in the same sentence as Nick Saban,” Smith said. “I am a fan of Harbaugh. I have no problems with what he’s doing, but he’s no Nick Saban on the collegiate level.”

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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