Alabama fans have something new to chew on as it prepares to watch the Crimson Tide in the fall.
Kirby Smart is two-time defending College Football Playoff National Champion at the University of Georgia. He earned one of those national titles over Nick Saban and Alabama. Coach Saban has had a 10+ year run of dominance in the sport, but many outsiders feel the 71-year-old has slipped and is no longer the standard in college football. Mike Griffith, a Bulldogs reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, told ESPN’s Paul Finebaum that Smart has replaced Saban as the best coach in college football.
He said Georgia has become the ‘new standard’ and it is not even close.
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) April 11, 2023
The Bulldogs deserve respect for being two-time defending champions, and Smart is an incredible coach.
However, he has only defeated Saban once in four tries. Smart lost to Saban in the 2018 CFP National Championship Game (2017 season), the 2018 SEC Championship Game, the 2020 regular season matchup, and the 2021 SEC Championship Game.
If not for an unfortunate injury to Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams, the Tide may have won the matchup. Alabama held the lead twice in the title showdown against the Bulldogs, including an 18-13 advantage in the fourth quarter. Georgia got a late pick-six off Bryce Young to seal the game, 33-18, but it was not like the Bulldogs completely dominated the game. Georgia has built momentum as the new challenger on the block to give Alabama consistent competition, but is it the standard after one victory over Alabama? David Pollack, a Bulldog alum, sat next to Saban during Georgia’s national championship victory over Texas Christian University. He tells Saban he is no longer king of college football and Georgia now runs the show.
Saban has made changes to his coaching staff since then, including two new coordinators.
He knows that now is his opportunity to re-establish his dominance in the league
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