If you think spending three years in Tuscaloosa gives Lane Kiffin any special insight about Alabama and Georgia facing off through the next few seasons, then you might be interested in this:
That team that he played in the national championship, though, might have something to say about how successful Saban is if he does, in fact, stick around for another decade. At least, according to Kiffin.
Georgia, in its second year under Kirby Smart, won the SEC title in 2017 over Auburn, and put Alabama in a 13-0 hole in the College Football Playoff National Championship before letting it slip away in a 26-23 overtime thriller. Smart was an assistant under Saban for Saban’s first nine years with Alabama, as well as one year each with LSU (2004) and the Miami Dolphins (2006).
That familiarity, coupled with the success he displayed in 2017 and recruiting base Smart has in Georgia, might present Saban’s toughest long-term challenge to date.
“That’s hard to do when you’ve got someone who’s been with you for 10 years, knows every single thing you do and every single reason why your program is successful,” Kiffin said. “For me, I went to Alabama for three years and it was already rolling. Kirby was there from Day 1 to see how coach [Saban] built it. That’s hard. The guy’s been there for 10 years and now he goes inside the conference and you’ve got to compete against him. But it isn’t the first time. [Saban] has been doing that a lot.”