Lucky for Georgia, Nick Saban’s got good intentions.

I was going to do a little smack in response to this comment

Nick Saban thinks Kirby Smart finishing the season at Alabama will actually benefit him at his new gig in Athens.

Smart was officially announced as Georgia’s head coach last week but will split his time between Athens and Tuscaloosa until Alabama finishes its season. That decision has ruffled feathers but Saban thinks Smart will receive positive attention for his work leading the Crimson Tide’s defense.

“I also think that it will be a tremendous benefit to him,” Saban said. “He’ll get lots of recognition coaching in this game. There will be a lot of people out there watching this game and I’m sure it’ll get mentioned a few times that he’s going to be a head coach of an SEC school, and I know he wants to do a good job because of that.”

… until I looked down the page and saw this:

Saban has personal experience juggling two jobs — he accepted the Michigan State job while still with the Cleveland Browns — and vowed to help Smart in his transition. Saban and Smart are only in the second week of their new situation but Saban thinks everything is going as planned.

“We’re trying to help him manage his time, so that he can do a good job for us and he can still do what he needs to do for them,” Saban said. “So far I think that’s working out okay.”

You know what?  Saban most likely is sincere about that, which makes sense if you think about it, as Smart didn’t have to come back to Tuscaloosa.  So there’s that.  Of course, the proof is in the pudding, so we’ll have to see how things play out over the next couple of months before rendering final judgment.



Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules

47 responses to “Lucky for Georgia, Nick Saban’s got good intentions.

  1. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    My thoughts, too. I didn’t like that Kirby isn’t home now, I didn’t like that CMR left, and I wonder about how effective the current band-aid coaching staff will do in the bowl, but I can’t do anything about it, and I can see where Saban might be right and also sincere.

    I think I will check my temperature again in mid-February, and then after the spring game. Maybe Kirby won’t schedule it during Masters weekend.


  2. I think Kirby Smart should be in Athens full-time now. I understand his good intentions with his Tide defensive players, but business is business. This is a super important transition period and he doesn’t need to be splitting his time between us and them. I’ll say it again, he should be at UGA now.


    • Exactly. When it looked like VD was going to take the Auburn job in December 1980, it was pretty much decided that Erk Russell was going to be the interim coach for the MNC game.

      Nick Saban would NEVER say anything self serving. Once again, McGarity had to cave because he had no negotiating room.


    • JTP

      Kirby Smart being on TV during the Cotton Bowl and potentially the nat’l championship as the future head coach of UGA is pretty good publicity.

      It’s not like he could be on the road recruiting anyway. His phone will still work from Dallas.


  3. Jared S.

    Just my own personal gut feeling here. I think Kirby is working a whole lot harder on solidifying his staff and making sure his 2016 recruiting class stays together than any of us know. He may still be “at Alabama” but I think one reason they went ahead and pulled Pruitt into the fold over there was to ease the pressure on Smart so he could concentrate more on his UGA duties. Smart is a competitor, and he knows what it takes to build a world-class program and compete in this league. You can bet that he’s working 25 hours a day making sure that he doesn’t arrive in Athen’s mid-January feeling like he blew what could have been a great start at his first head-coaching job… his alma-mater.


    • Greg

      They got the best man available to replace Smart and that turned out to be Pruitt. Now that Saban has Pruitt, he can come out and say that it might not be best for Kirby to do two jobs…as if Saban gives a shit what’s best for anyone other than himself and his program. That’s the difference between him and a guy like Richt. He’s probably thinking now “If I had known that I’d get Pruitt in the fold this soon, I’d have just told Kirby to go…why let him be part of this national title and use that to his benefit as one of my competitors?” With Saban, it’s ALWAYS about what’s best for him. He knows that he has to maintain that attitude to stay on top. He uses certain situations like this one to pretend that he has a human side that actually cares about others, but that is all a façade.


      • Athens Townie

        There are a lot of differences between Saban and Richt…but looking out for their own careers is one thing they definitely have in common.

        Richt isn’t coaching for Georgia in the bowl game because ____________________.

        (a) he would rather do what’s best for himself and his (new) program
        (b) he’ll be napping on a bus to Columbia
        (c) he’ll be tanning that day in South Beach
        (d) Ford doesn’t yet manufacture orange and green F150s

        Correct answer: (a).

        And I don’t blame either of them. That’s what they get paid to do. But let’s be real. They’re doing fundamentally the same thing. Saban is just better at it, more relentless, and certainly more ruthless in his methods.


    • I suspect there may be a coach or two on Alabama’s current staff who may be making a change once the season is over.


  4. Dog in Fla

    @Dylan Dreyer’s Booty December 17, 2015 at 1:06 PM

    Before you came along, I didn’t even know what a Dylan Dreyer was.
    I want to thank you letting me renew my interest in weather systems again


  5. I’m fine with Smart staying in T-Town. Just don’t understand why Pruitt is there too. Won’t it benefit Bama a lot if Pruitt is coaching in the Tax Slayer bowl and get gets mentioned on TV for going to a different SEC team?

    Snark aside, how many coaches does Bama have on payroll right now and how is it not a violation of the rules?


    • Napoleon BonerFart

      I think you can have a ton, but only 9 working at practice/sidelines with the team. Like Chaney/Pittman are just observing here, Pruitt’s likely just observing there.


    • hassan

      I would say that the publicity of a coordinator on national title team going to be the head coach at another school is way better that the coordinator at an under performing school making a lateral transition.


  6. W Cobb Dawg

    As it stands right now, Saban has Smart AND Pruitt working for him. And that’s probably gonna be the case for the next month. He got the gold mine, we got the shaft (not to be confused with John Shaft).


  7. Noonan

    Imagine the wailing if the Tide gives up a bunch of points and loses to Sparty: “Kirby should of been gone, Pawl !”


  8. Bright Idea

    If Bama was playing in the Taxslayer or some such bowl I bet Kirby would be in Athens. If we were in the playoff we would want Pruitt here even if he was going to South Carolina to be HC.


  9. Pruitt should be in Athens until Kirby leaves Bama.


  10. Looks like ol’ Nick’s talking out of both sides of his mouth:

    This thing became a clusterfuck when Pruitt went straight to Tuscaloosa. He’s recruiting our commits while sharing an office with Smart. Kirby even took Schumman back with him. That is absolutely ridiculous. Bama gets all the benefit, while we come off looking like a third rate FCS school begging for scraps. I understand the leverage Smart had with McGarity, but Greg letting Schumman go back to work as an analyst while he is supposed to be one of our new coaches is basically bending over the table for Saban. The fact that he needs to be here right now doing the grunt work for a new regime but is instead back at Bama, gives a bad impression of where Kirby’s loyalties lie right now. It’s way to early for a new head coach to have this big of a public perception gaffe.


    • …he needs to be here right now doing the grunt work for a new regime…

      Like what? What is all this work that has to be done in the next three weeks? Neither Kirby nor anyone he hires would be doing anything like coaching during the bowl preparation. They can only stand around and watch. They can call some recruits, but I betcha Kirby does that as often as he is allowed anyway. The first big item on the agenda for Kirby is National Signing Day. He already got Eason to reaffirm his commitment, and the 2016 class is largely already recruited. It won’t be until after the draft deadline that he’ll even know for sure how many spots he’ll have to fill. Once the season is over, he’ll be able to officially fill out his staff, and then comes the preparation for spring practice and the spring game.

      Will someone please explain this mountain of work that is being neglected while Kirby is finishing out the year in Tuscaloosa. Explain like I’m five, if you will, so it might even penetrate my thick skull. I want to be as enlightened as the guys that truly get it, because right now all I hear is a lot of inferiority complexes.


      • W Cobb Dawg

        If nothing needs to be done, why are Pittman & Chaney here already? Their respective former teams have bowl games too. Seems to me like saban has everybody genuflecting to his commands.

        Meanwhile, McG and UGA run around like chickens with our heads cut off – don’t know from one day to the next who’s coaching our bowl game! New assistants at work while former(?) assistants still working. And how the heck does 8-4 ut go to Tampa on New Years Day and 9-3 UGA ends up in Jax?

        I’ve said it before, take any situation and McG will find a way to make it worse.


        • If nothing needs to be done, why are Pittman & Chaney here already?

          Taking a vacation? Why bust your hump for a meaningless bowl game for a team you are leaving when you can begin the process of moving to the Classic City? Beats both Fayetteville and Pittsburgh this time of year, no?


  11. 69Dawg

    This just seems like as much of a potential loser for the Tide as it does for us. Remember our former coach tried to be the OC for FSU in a National Title game after he was named the new coach at UGA. It didn’t work out well for FSU and burned some bridges for him. He said more than once if he had to do it again he would not do it. I think that made a difference in his backing out of the UGA bowl game, if in fact it was his decision.


  12. Curtis Jones

    The National Çhampionship run, should be over for Kirby.


  13. rchris

    Look, Kirby inherited the number three recruiting class on the day he was hired. He’s the one who gets to decide what’s the best way to establish himself in Athens. If he felt returning to Tuscaloosa was the best way to do that, then that’s his judgement. As long as he gets the number three class on national signing day (or better), we should all support him and not second guess him.


  14. JoshG

    The Tide currently has two defensive coordinators. Meanwhile, those Georgia seniors who are trying to get their 40th win get a handful of G.A.’s. Everyone abandoned those guys, including their new “coach.” (Quotations added because Kirby’s elbows are bumping into Pruitt’s as he shares an office coaching someone else’s team.)


    • Go Dawgs!

      There was NEVER any chance that the new coaching staff was going to coach the ‘Dawgs in this bowl season. Kirby could be in his office today, and he would not be coaching this team. There’s no upside for the new staff to do it. All they can do is lose the game and set themselves back on the recruiting trail and with the fan base. It never happens.


      • Cosmic Dawg

        Then the trade needed to be we kept Pruitt until after the bowl game. Otherwise I think it is a PR disaster and bs for the seniors and the fans. Here’s another way to look at it – what did we GET out of the transaction in exchange for being so sweet to poor ol’ Bama?

        We just hired KS. If he wants to coach some more at Bama he should have stayed there.

        If Alabama wins, it is NOT a recruiting tool for Georgia. Those guys just waxed us – who cares what they need?!


        • Go Dawgs!

          It wasn’t a “trade.” If Pruitt wanted to remain at Georgia for the bowl, he could have. The TaxSlayer Bowl championship might not mean as much to him as the national championship means to Kirby Smart. Seeing his players win the TaxSlayer Bowl probably doesn’t mean as much to Pruitt as seeing his players win a national title doe to Kirby. Nor should it. Georgia is playing a meaningless bowl game. I’m excited for the seniors and hoping they get that 40th win… but that’s literally the only thing that matters about this game. And if they don’t get it, nothing really changes for them.

          Besides, this is like the people who complained about President Bush or President Obama going on vacation. The president can do anything that he needs to from Air Force One or wherever he might be. Kirby Smart will be able to do what he needs to do for us from Tuscaloosa. The Georgia fan base needs to take the biggest of chill pills. Sheesh.


  15. Go Dawgs!

    This isn’t ideal, but it’s also not a big deal. Kirby will be able to do all the work that he needs to do from Tuscaloosa. He already accomplished the biggest thing that he had to which was getting Jacob Eason to re-commit. That will pay dividends greater than anything else he does this offseason because it stabilizes the recruiting class more than I think we realize. Assistant coaches are going to want to come to Georgia. The fact that they may have to talk to the new head coach at 4:00 pm as opposed to 8:00 am shouldn’t make a big difference to them. When Jim McElwain was in the same position, Alabama gave him a 2nd office, but the Colorado State logo on the door and assigned him secretaries who did nothing but work on Colorado State affairs all day long. I don’t know if they’re going to put a “G” on any doors over there in T-Town, but I rest assured knowing that Kirby’s got everything he needs to do the best job for UGA.

    Plus, things worked out OK when the last guy was coaching another school all month long after taking our head coaching job.


  16. I’ll say two things in defense of Saban’s sincerity.

    1) He did the same thing for McElwin when he took the CSU job. They had a dedicated admin that helped him mange the flood of calls and responsibilities from CSU. Essentially helped him effectively mange his time between old and new roles. No reason to believe he wouldn’t do the same for Smart.

    2) I really think Saban is closer to Smart than he has been to any other assistant. Smart has been around for 9+ years and I think has grown close to Saban. I really do believe that he wants him to succeed and will help him manage this awkward transition.