From that Hall/Godfrey take on Alabama’s dominance under Saban:
Even Georgia — the school who has gone furthest in trying to mirror Alabama’s blueprint — has come up short so far. The Bulldogs hired longtime Alabama assistant Kirby Smart, who recruited Georgia’s best classes ever, built a Saban-style defense in Athens, and brought some of Saban’s control-freak tendencies over with him. For instance: Smart took part in discussions with lawmakers in Atlanta to delay responses to open records requests about the football program at one point, a move so extreme Nick Saban has never even tried it.
Georgia made the playoff championship game in Smart’s second year in Athens. The Bulldogs lost in OT after leading for almost all of the game. The two teams met again in the SEC Championship, and Georgia lost again at the end of the game, this time only surrendering a lead or a tie when Jalen Hurts scored a touchdown with one minute and four seconds on the clock. Even at full throttle, they’re still one minute and four seconds behind the University of Alabama in the race to be college football’s best.
There’s no way to erase that minute and four seconds, of course. As far as the future goes, though, Bill Connelly hints in his four-year recruiting study that Georgia may be getting very close to leveling the playing field.
Still, something interesting stands out right up top: while Alabama’s 2019 class was absurd and historic, head coach Nick Saban has basically only tied Georgia’s Kirby Smart in terms of recruiting since Smart, Saban’s former defensive coordinator, moved to Athens. Don’t let the Dawgs’ poor 2018 finish distract you from how loaded this team is going to be moving forward.
‘Bama and Georgia are essentially tied in Bill’s weighted four-year average at 99.3%. To give you some context, at 96.9%, third place LSU is closer to number twelve Michigan than it is to either the Tide or the Dawgs. That’s recruiting dominance and Alabama is no longer alone.
Now, all Kirby’s got to do is…