There is no question who the top dog, or should I say dawg, is in college football — Kirby Smart‘s Georgia Bulldogs.
Back-to-back National Championship trophies reside in Athens, and it doesn’t seem like the program is slowing down anytime soon. The Bulldogs continue to put together loaded recruiting classes, including the 2024 class that features the top overall prospect in Dylan Raiola.
Add in the fact that the SEC East’s most competitive challenger is Tennessee, who spent exactly one week as the top-ranked team in the nation before getting slaughtered between the hedges. Georgia’s path to a third-straight title is as clear as any; it would put Smart and the Dawgs in a class of their own, becoming the first to three-peat.
Everyone wants a shot at the king, or do they? CBS Sports might not consider Kirby Smart the Czar of College Football just yet, despite the total domination over the last two seasons. Kim O’Reilly wrote the piece, but it was a collective vote among the entire CBS team, so they are all to blame. She might not have even voted for Saban to be the top head coach in college football because she prefaced the rankings with: “Don’t shoot the messenger.”
Here’s what she had to say about the pair:
Kirby Smart: There was an outside chance Smart might have overtaken Nick Saban after winning his second consecutive national title, but while Georgia may be the premier program in the country, all those rings on Saban’s fingers still carry too much weight to overcome. How much longer will that be the case? If Georgia wins a third straight title in 2023, I wouldn’t expect Smart to remain in second. [Editor’s note: Smart received multiple first-place votes.] 2022 rank: 2 (E)
Nick Saban: He’s the greatest college football coach of all time and remains No. 1 in these rankings. Seven national titles, 11 conference titles (shout out to 1990 Toledo!) and an army of former assistants running programs nationwide — including the guy hot on his heels here — fill out his extensive resume. Saban has been so phenomenal throughout his career that going two years without winning a national title has people wondering whether he’s lost a step. 2022 rank: 1 (E)
I agree that just because Nick Saban hasn’t won a title in two years doesn’t mean he’s fallen off; in fact, nobody should be surprised when the Crimson Tide challenge for a College Football Playoff spot. Alabama is still an elite program, and Saban is the second-best coach in the country, but what Kirby Smart has done with the Georgia Bulldogs deserves praise. It doesn’t mean Saban isn’t the greatest of all time because he is, but currently, the title of the best coach in college football resides in Athens, Georgia.
Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire
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