ATHENS — The negative narratives surrounding Georgia football coach Kirby Smart are getting old, as far as SEC Network host Paul Finebaum is concerned.
“Well to be a great coach you have to be a great recruiter. Don’t hold it against Kirby Smart that he’s a great recruiter.” Finebaum said during the On The Beat Show on Monday night on DawgNation.
“I think the single laziest, most disingenuous argument in college football is that Kirby Smart is not an elite coach, that’s just total BS, and if we weren’t on a family show, I’d use stronger language,” Finebaum said.
“I hear it every day on our program, I hear it when we gather as media members, and it’s always the same: ‘He’s stubborn, he gets in his own way, he’s a great recruiter but …
“Well to be a great coach you have to be a great recruiter.Don’t hold it against Kirby Smart that he’s a great recruiter.”
Georgia’s recruiting classes have indeed been among the best in the nation since Smart arrived:
2021: No. 4
2020: No. 1
2019: No. 2
2018: No. 1
2017: No. 3
2016: No. 6
The only real shortcoming for Smart, if it could be called that, is he remains winless against Alabama coach Nick Saban, 0-3.
“He’s blown, two double-digit leads against Alabama, (But).who else has had a double-digit lead against Alabama to blow?” Finebaum pointed out. “C’mon, this has to stop, this is just insanity, and I have a feeling we’re going to continue to hear it, I guess, until Kirby Smart wins a national championship.
“Every talk show Bubba in the South is going to throw that out to his audience like chum to shark, and I’m going to keep defending Kirby Smart.”
Smart was part of four national championships while he was an assistant to Saban at Alabama, and he has won three of the past four SEC East Division titles and run up a 10-6 record against Top 10 teams.
But Finebaum, who was once based in Birmingham, has a background that runs even deeper with the 45-year-old Georgia head coach,
“I’ve know Kirby Smart, I’ve known him a long time, I watched him as an assistant, I know how much Nick Saban thinks of him,” Finebaum said. “I know how much other coaches think of him, and he’s still relatively young in his career. Five years into Saban’s tenure, he hadn’t won a national championship yet.
“Do I think Kirby Smart is going to win one? Yes. Do I think this is going to be the year? It’s very possible.”