How much pressure is mounted on Kirby Smart to beat Alabama in 2019?

With the exception of Dabo Swinney of Clemson, not a lot of head coaches have obtained consistent success against Nick Saban and Alabama.

As the six-time national champion makes his move to knock off Swinney next season, one of his former students looks to finally beat him. 

Kirby Smart sat under Saban for nine years in Tuscaloosa, Ala. 

From 2007 to 2015, he served as assistant head coach, defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator – helping the Crimson Tide to four Southeastern Conference championships, four national championships and numerous top-ranked signing classes.

Despite his familiarity with the greatest college football coach of all-time, Smart came up short twice against Saban – including the College Football Playoff title game for the 2017 season, where he suffered a 26-23 loss in overtime. 

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He enters his fourth season as head coach at the University of Georgia and he’s trying to deliver a fan base something it has not had in nearly four decades (38 years): a national championship. 

The Bulldogs have dropped its last five meetings against Alabama, dating back to its 41-30 defeat in 2008.

Georgia had the lead in three of its five losses to the Tide; however, it has failed to finish the job.

In the last two matchups, coaching mistakes from Smart and lack of preparation for the backup quarterback led to Alabama snatching hardware from the Dawgs. 

Per national media, Georgia is among the schools under the most pressure to win it all in the fall. For Smart to take the next step as a feared coach, he must bring Georgia a title.  

However, can he defeat Saban?

The national championship will go through the Alabama head football coach as usual and in this airing of In My Own Words, Stephen Smith of Touchdown Alabama Magazine breaks down the pressure that faces Smart next season.  

You can also listen to the audio version of the podcast via SoundCloud.  

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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