Why Kirby just isn’t smart enough yet to beat Nick

Everyone loves to see the pupil beat the teacher, mainly because it doesn’t happen that often.

Georgia fans are hoping Kirby Smart learned enough to win the National Championship Game on Monday night, even though the Bulldogs are a 3½-4½-point underdog in Las Vegas.

The odds are, though, it will be another Alabama championship.

If Georgia was playing anybody else they would be the favorite, I think. They probably should be. I didn’t think they’d beat Oklahoma, but I over-estimated the Sooners’ defensive ability by about 10 points.

Kirby’s biggest problem is Nick Saban. He might not be smart enough to outfox the old man.

“They don’t make ’em like they used to,” was how Saban answered the question about being run over by his quarterback Jalen Hurts against Clemson on Monday night.

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That applies to much more than that.

Saban has never lost to a former assistant. He’s 11-0 against his former employees.

He taught every single one of them a lot of what THEY know about coaching football … maybe everything they know.

But it’s a guaranteed fact he hasn’t taught them everything HE knows.

That is why this game is intriguing. Both teams like to run the ball, so there will be the inevitable predictions about the team that runs the ball best will likely win.

No, this game is going to come down to which team can hit the biggest downfield plays.

Hurts is going to have to be better passing the ball for the Crimson Tide to win.

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And Jake Fromm is going to have to excel against a defense unlike anything he’s seen before. With defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt already accepting the job as Tennessee’s new head coach, it’s a safe bet Saban has been involved in the game planning.

Plus, you can bet he’s used some of his consultants to help on this game.

Oh, yes, Saban has long used consultants nobody knows about on his game plans and other things. That is where new things get introduced nobody saw coming.

Everyone is talking about the two defenses in this game, which is understandable when you have the first (Alabama) and fifth (Georgia) best defenses in all of college football in points allowed.

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By the numbers, this shouldn’t be a high-scoring game.

But I’m not going to be surprised if it doesn’t get lopsided … in favor of the Crimson Tide.

Oh, they won’t run away with it early. It likely will more closely resemble the Tide’s win over Clemson than the Bulldogs’ double-overtime win over Oklahoma. Remember, Clemson’s defense came into that game third in the nation giving up points.

Alabama knows how to win these games.

And while Kirby learned an awful lot about these games as an assistant for Nick, there’s probably a couple of gaps.

Because you can bet Nick didn’t tech Kirby everything NICK knows.

Which will be the difference.



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