Big talk does not win football games. No one knows that better than Alabama Football, Head Coach, Nick Saban. That means Kirby Smart, as a Saban student knows the same. Players on both teams are well-schooled about what to say, and more importantly, what not to say.
Kirby Smart has to show patience fielding all the media questions about being 0-4 against Nick Saban. So far, he has handled them well. Kirby, more than anyone, does not want the game to be about him and his former boss.
Because he has less, big-stage practice, Kirby is the coach more likely to slip up and say something stupid. To a small degree, he did it after the Dawg’s Orange Bowl victory over Michigan, saying,
"I want to get focused on Alabama. They got a five-, six-hour head start. To be honest with you guys, I’m not interested in celebrating …"
It was a harmless statement, but surely Kirby knows a few hours of preparation will not determine the outcome of the National Championship game. Otherwise, he and his staff will have to work around the clock for more than a week, exhausting them for the Jan. 10 contest.
In comparing the demeanor of the two coaches heading during this week’s game preparation, Dawg Nation said,
"Saban seems much more relaxed, taking what will be his fifth head-to-head meeting with Smart and Georgia in stride."
Is Alabama Football’s Nick Saban relaxed?
Relaxed is not often a word used to describe Nick Saban during a football season. But even in a National Championship preparation week, the word surprisingly fits. Saban has shown a high degree of patience with his 2021 Crimson Tide team. As he saw it, the mostly young and less experienced roster needed something akin to nurturing, even though he did not want to call it exactly that. Whatever word matches what he has done with his players, it has worked.
A National Championship stage will never big too big for Nick Saban. Instead, the environment brings out the best in him. That quality appears to be shared by many Alabama Crimson Tide players.
Georgia, on the other hand, has not proven itself on a National Championship stage. That will have little effect on the Bulldogs’ players. It will weigh heavily on Kirby Smart. This was to be ‘the season’ for the Bulldogs to take down the Tide. Georgia will, at some point, win a game over the Crimson Tide. It might be on Monday night. In the head-to-head coaching battle that exists, the pressure on Kirby Smart is immense. Going 0-5 against Alabama and Nick Saban would be a body blow to Smart and the Georgia program.
The Bulldogs, according to the program’s Game Notes are looking for revenge. A game favorite seeking revenge is an oddity.