2019 presents yet another way Kirby Smart will try to emulate his mentor.
The heightened expectations surrounding the Georgia football program haven’t changed even after the departures of a pair of coordinators who helped the Bulldogs reach the national title game in 2017 and came close to a return to the College Football Playoff in 2018.
Kirby Smart’s team this season is widely pegged to reach the final four. If the Bulldogs do, they’ll be the rare team in the playoff era to accomplish that after losing both coordinators from the previous year.
Of the 20 teams to reach the playoff in the five years of the system, only Alabama last year did so after a turnover in both its offensive and defensive coordinators.
Georgia will try to join the Crimson Tide this season with James Coley replacing Jim Chaney as offensive coordinator and Dan Lanning stepping up as defensive coordinator to succeed Mel Tucker.
Ironically, Nick Saban finds himself doing the same thing again in 2019.