Across the South: Why Kirby Smart is the New King of CFB

Every week right here you can read Across the South, where we’ll get into a different topic on the SEC, break down the biggest matchups of the previous week, preview the coming week’s slate, and talk about where things stand in the best conference in the land!

In this week’s edition, there’s a power vacuum to be filled in the sport of college football after Nick Saban’s shocking retirement announcement. And there’s only one man to fill it:

Nick Saban was the thorn in Kirby Smart’s side preventing him from a complete and utter takeover of the sport. Smart was 1-5 against Saban, and though he earned his first championship ring over Saban and the Tide, Smart’s Bulldogs have still had trouble getting over the Alabama hump as evidenced by this season.

Now that Saban is gone, there is not an active head coach in college football that has defeated Smart since the 2018 season.

Let me repeat that.

Of coaches who are currently coaching in college football, not a single one of them has beaten Smart in a full five years.

Smart lost to Will Muschamp’s South Carolina and Ed Orgeron’s LSU in 2019 as well as Dan Mullen’s Florida in 2020.

Orgeron and Mullen are currently out of coaching entirely, while Muschamp has found his way onto Smart’s staff in Athens.

But other than those three blemishes in five years, Alabama has been the team that Georgia could not consistently conquer.

It’s not to say the Tide will disappear under new head coach Kalen DeBoer, but you’d be foolish ti expect the same level of success.

Anyone can see that the SEC, and college football as a whole, belongs to Smart now.

Smart will likely put this on full display right away, having already hired away defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson from Alabama, who is likely to bring recently portaled freshman superstar safety Caleb Downs with him.

Once Saban announced his retirement, Smart sent a message, and he sent it loud and clear.

The crown is his now.