Georgia coach Kirby Smart believes that the current Alabama team isn’t as “unbeatable” as its other recent teams under head coach Nick Saban.
During his College Football Playoff Media Days press conference, Smart denounced criticism of the rest of SEC’s strength outside of the Bulldogs and Tide, claiming the conference was “more equal than it’s ever been.”
“Maybe Alabama’s not as unbeatable as they’ve been,” Smart said. “They’ve had games that were closer. You look at their margin of victory against Texas A&M and Mississippi State, I think the league is closer to even. I don’t see it as ‘there’s just three great teams and everybody else.’ Every team we’ve played…I respect our league.”
Smart clarified that he wasn’t attempting to point out Alabama’s vulnerability, but instead believes that the league is making strides in catching up to the Tide.
“I don’t know that they are vulnerable. I think everyone else has gotten better. I don’t think it’s like Alabama has come down to anybody’s level. I think the league is trying to catch up with them.”
Smart spent nine seasons working at Alabama, including eight as the Tide’s defensive coordinator, before taking over at his alma matter in 2016. During that span, the Tide won four national championships and four SEC titles.
Alabama has also appeared in the College Football Playoff every year since its inception in 2014, while Georgia — who made its first appearance this season — is the only other SEC team to have appeared in the Final-4.