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Paul Finebaum would choose Kirby Smart over Nick Saban due to “better operation”

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

This fall will be a defining college football season for Nick Saban and Alabama.

He has not allowed three straight seasons to go by without a national championship, but Kirby Smart and Georgia are the new challengers on the block. After winning back-to-back College Football Playoff National Championships, Georgia has been held as the new standard of college football. Saban is 4-1 all-time against Smart, but what matters to the masses is his loss to Smart in the 2022 CFP National Championship Game and not making the CFP in the 2022 season. Alabama’s failure to get in because of two losses allowed the Bulldogs to cash in on another championship. Smart has lost several players to the NFL Draft, especially on defense, but the  Bulldogs will be looked at as the favorite to win it all. Saban pulled in an elite recruiting class, including a few athletes from Georgia, but he has to undercut Smart’s momentum in the fall. If Georgia gains another national title, then the talk of a dynasty for the Bulldogs becomes legitimate. ESPN’s Paul Finebaum loves what Smart has going at the Georgia program.

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He told Greg McElroy and Cole Cubelic on the Mac and Cube Show that Smart has a ‘better handle on the sport.’

“I just think Kirby Smart right now has a better operation,” Finebaum said.

Finebaum said Saban’s age is not a factor, but Smart has a better pulse on the sport. The 71-year-old is after his seventh national championship at Alabama, which would put him over Paul W. Bryant for most in Crimson Tide history for a head football coach.

College football fans would love nothing more than an Alabama-Georgia SEC Championship Game or a national championship matchup between the schools. 

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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.

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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