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Paul Finebaum says Alabama has slipped without Kirby Smart

ESPN's Paul Finebaum on the broadcast set for 2022 CFP Semifinal matchup between Georgia and Ohio State.
Brett Davis - USA Today Sports

Georgia celebrates back-to-back national championships under Kirby Smart.

After dominating TCU on Monday, talks of “dynasty” are happening for the Bulldogs. ESPN’s Paul Finebaum joined Stephen A. Smith and Keyshawn Johnson on First Take and said Alabama ‘has slipped.’ Since Smart left for Georgia after the 2015 season, Finebaum states the Crimson Tide is not the same. He said, “we are seeing a changing of the guard from Alabama to Georgia.”

“How has he done without Kirby Smart as his defensive coordinator?” Finebaum asked Smith and Johnson about Saban.

“I am living in the real world. He beat Kirby Smart and won a national title during COVID, but the program has slipped. We are not talking about falling off the face of the earth. We are talking about a fraction; right now, a fraction means everything in college football. We just got through watching a 58-point win by Georgia. That is how crazy this game was. I am not writing Nick Saban off, I am just saying we are seeing a changing of the guard, and that matters. The fact that we are even talking about somebody possibly being better today than Nick Saban is a major paradigm shift. He does not own the sport anymore.”

RELATED: Alabama senior DL Justin Eboigbe possibly returning next season after neck injury

Alabama won two College Football Playoff National Championships (2017 and 2020) without Smart, but it earned four (2009, 2011, 2012, and 2015) with him. It will be an intriguing offseason for Coach Saban as he looks to get the Tide back on top.

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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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