I figured eventually someone in the national punditry would rank Kirby Smart ahead of Nick Saban.  I just didn’t think it would be this soon and that it would come from Matt Hayes.

1. Kirby Smart ($7 million per season; expected extension this month): His team is the defending national champion, and he has proven he can recruit and develop better than any other coach in the game.

Think about this: In the age of quarterback means everything, Smart won a national title — and is a favorite to win it again this season — with a game manager at the most important position in football.

He was a blown coverage in the secondary from winning the 2017 national championship, and Georgia is a recruiting machine — with or without NIL. He’s locked in at No. 1 until he’s knocked off the mountain.

Which brings us to …

2. Nick Saban, Alabama ($9.1 million): He is the mountain. The gold standard for college football coaches, and other than Bill Belichick, all football coaches.

But it’s hard to ignore what his No. 1 student has accomplished at Georgia — and how it has been to the detriment of Saban and Alabama. All of those elite Georgia defenders are the same players Smart was recruiting and developing at Alabama as the Tide’s defensive coordinator.

There’s a reason Alabama’s defense has declined (from its own elite standard) over the past 5 seasons. It’s not the DC or the scheme; it’s the players.

It’s close, but in the SEC, it’s not about what you’ve done. It’s about what you just did. Right now, Smart has the edge.

I guess that means Nick will be back on top of himself if ‘Bama wins the natty this season.  Or something like that.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Nick Saban Rules

29 responses to “First!

  1. Kirby didn’t just catch lightening in a bottle…he has meticulously built his weapon of mass destruction. I can see him and Georgia remaining at the top of the college football world…this will be more a problem for Bama and Saban going forward…that’s why their program and fan base loses their collective minds every time UGA pulls away from them be it in recruiting or wins on the field.

    Both Bama and Saban can go royally fuck themselves brokeback Mountain style…to stay with the analogy.

    Liked by 5 people

    • RangerRuss

      My Dawg! You’re a bit salty this morning and I like it and agree.
      I’ll be very interested to see how fully vested the striped boys in Birmingham are in Bama privilege when the Dawgs begin to dominate the Tide in the SECC game. I have a feeling they won’t give a shit how biased they look. It never seemed to bothers them before. Bama is on their last leg as a national power and desperate times call for desperate measures.
      Fuckn losers.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Exactly, RR…the Tide is out, and now you can see all the Gumps who have been swimming bare ass…pardon me Mr. Buffett.

        You won’t see Kirby participating in a media shit show, because he’s not running scared…he just wants to catch a team in a back alley and stomp the Dawg piss out of them…lay all his frustrations bare upon the field of victory…any red blooded Dawg fan should love that…and that’s why there’s no doubt that Kirby is the right hc for Georgia.

        Liked by 1 person

        • mongodawg

          “because he’s not running scared…he just wants to catch a team in a back alley and stomp the Dawg piss out of them…lay all his frustrations bare upon the field of victory…”
          What an awesome statement!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Derek

    I said it a few weeks ago. When someone else wins a natty with a former walk on qb, then they can be in the discussion. Anyone can win with Joe Burrow, Tua, Bryce, Mac, Deshaun and Trevor.

    Try winning it all with Stetson Bennett. Who would be the second least talented qb to win a national title?

    Liked by 1 person

      • Derek

        That’s the guy I would suggest as second. That guy was a 5th round pick so I think he will end up a distant second to Stet. I don’t think Stet earns a nfl tryout and I don’t care what stats he puts up in the fall. He could win the heisman and a second natty and the pros aren’t calling. Just too small and too slow. I do think stet can do both of those things, but he can’t do the nfl. If he wins the sec on an undefeated team and has over 3000 yards, 25 tds or more and 5 or less picks I can see him in Manhattan.

        Build him a statue. Retire the jersey. He ain’t talented. He’s extremely limited.

        But he has a natty. And thats enough…until September comes around.

        Liked by 1 person

      • unionjackgin

        Saban did win one with this guy.

        Physically bigger than Stetson … career wise? Take Stetson all week and twice on Sunday.

        Liked by 2 people

      • silvercreekdawg

        Buck Belue says hi…


      • miltondawg

        My first thought was third stringer Cardale Jones for Ohio State who won the natty after the 2014 season, started the first half of the games in the 2015 season, and got benched in favor of JT Barrett. But maybe he doesn’t really count since he wasn’t the starter until the B1G championship game in 2014.


    • Who would you take…Stetson or Buck Belue?

      Liked by 1 person

      • RangerRuss

        That’s a good question, SView. Never really got to see Buck air it out the way SBIV has. Just wasn’t the scheme, though it might’ve been a good thing.


        • Georgia could have the two least talented National Champion QB’s of all time. It gets tougher to judge this once you get pre-1980 because the offenses utilize the passing game less and less as you go back in time.

          Liked by 3 people

      • Derek

        Buck Belue.


        • Russ

          Hard to say. I’m tempted to go with Buck because of his moxie and leadership, but Stet seems to have the same stuff. I guess that’s why both have rings.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Derek

            Buck was quite a bit more gifted physically and with the passing reps he’d have now and time spent with Lindsey and Co., I think Buck would do quite well.

            He did bat .356 and had 30 dingers over 4 years on the baseball team and after that he spent two year in minor league baseball and then two more years in the USFL.

            Buck was no walk on candidate. Hell, Bear recruited Buck. Bear wasn’t recruiting him to let him play baseball too tho. Not happening.

            Liked by 1 person

      • Passing wise…I’d go Mailman…plus, Buck Belle is like 62 years old

        Couldn’t resist the old Ty Cobb joke “because I’m 72 fucking years old you ignorant son of a bitch” as to why he thinks he’d only average 290 against modern pitchers

        Liked by 1 person

        • Derek

          That is a great movie.

          Anyone else think Tommy Lee Jones must have spent months in east Georgia researching that role? I know a handful of people that act like Jones played Cobb and everyone of them are from within about 50 miles radius of Royston.

          Liked by 2 people

          • RangerRuss

            I knew a fellow who was inconvenienced by the filming of Cobb on his street in Athens. He said Jones showed up after filming one evening with plenty of Jack Daniels, sat and talked like regular folks until his handlers came for him later that night.
            I grew up much closer than a 50 mile radius from that shithole 😉 in Franklin county. That Cobb attitude still prevails.

            Liked by 1 person

          • The movie is one of my favorite sports movies…for me it was the beginning of showing “realism” in sports movies…not just idolizing the legend.
            Plus, Tommy Lee Jones, especially in his prime, was one of the best actors to walk the earth.

            Get off the highways and you still find hardtack type folks…


  3. uga97

    Damn straight Mr Hayes!


  4. Opelikadawg

    Hayes is wrong about one thing, though. We all know that Kirby can’t develop players.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Can Recruit AND develop? Hang it in the original Sonny’s

    Liked by 3 people

  6. whb209

    Slow down Mr. Hayes, we all love Coach Smart, but lets give a few more years and a few more Nat. Champs. before placing him as #1. Also, I think it is interesting that Saban, Smart, and a bunch more elite coaches all worked for Belichick at some time in their career. I would put Smart at #2 with a Bullet

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Gaskilldawg

    Why should we slow down? I have been following college football since before Saban graduated from Kent State, so I know about his head coaching track record. It is damn impressive. But, given a chance to trade Smart to Alabama for Saban would you make that deal? Sure, Saban at age 70 has a much better resume than Smart, but is it a sure thing that 70 year old Saban would do better with 2022 Georgia than Smart will? How about in 2025? Will 73 year old Saban be a better coach than 49 year old Smart? At this point trading Smart for Saban is trading Smart’s past for Saban’s future.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s