Paul Finebaum’s comments that Georgia is “running a better operation” than Alabama on the May 1 edition of McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning garnered a strong response from Touchdown Alabama Mag’s Stephen M. Smith — who agrees with the SEC Network host and sees the 2023 season as a “defining” one for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.
“This fall will be a defining college football season for Nick Saban and Alabama,” Smith wrote. “He has not allowed three straight seasons to go by without a national championship, but Kirby Smart and Georgia are the new challengers on the block. After winning back-to-back College Football Playoff National Championships, Georgia has been held as the new standard of college football.”
Smith acknowledged that Saban has fared well against Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs throughout the years, but similarly recognized that the last meeting between the two in the 2022 College Football National Championship game is what is dominating the narrative because of back-to-back Georgia titles in 2021 and 2022.
“Saban is 4-1 all-time against Smart, but what matters to the masses is his loss to Smart in the 2022 CFP National Championship Game and not making the CFP in the 2022 season,” Smith wrote. “Alabama’s failure to get in because of two losses allowed the Bulldogs to cash in on another championship.”
Georgia, Not Alabama, Looked at as ‘Favorite to Win it All’
Smith relayed that Georgia, not Alabama, is seen as the program in pole position to win during the 2023/24 season despite Smart losing a good number of the Bulldogs’ defenders.
“Smart has lost several players to the NFL Draft, especially on defense, but the Bulldogs will be looked at as the favorite to win it all. Saban pulled in an elite recruiting class, including a few athletes from Georgia, but he has to undercut Smart’s momentum in the fall,” Smith wrote.
The Touchdown Alabama Mag reporter believes the Dawgs’ dynasty talk “becomes legitimate” with a three-peat.
“If Georgia gains another national title, then the talk of a dynasty for the Bulldogs becomes legitimate,” Smith wrote.
Former Alabama QB: Georgia is ‘The Standard’
On the May 2 edition of the “Always College Football” show, former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy acknowledged that his alma mater is behind Georgia talent-wise. McElroy would then call the Bulldogs “the standard of college football.”
“Let’s start with the fact that Georgia, right now, is the standard of college football,” McElroy said. “That is not some secret. That is not some hypothesis. This is fact. They’ve won consecutive national championships. They are right now based on preseason prognostications favored by many to win 3 in a row. When you look at Georgia over the last couple of years, they have done a remarkable job of replenishing talent.”
McElroy shared that his doubts of whether or not the Bulldogs have staying power as a contender were answered by Smart and Georgia during the 2022 season following a talent raid from the NFL draft.
“Many people, self included, had question marks going into last year,” McElroy said. “Would they be able to replicate the success of the year before? Not only did they do that, in many ways, last year’s team was maybe even a lit bit better across the board at times than they were in 2021 when they won the first championship under Kirby Smart.”