Getty Paul Finebaum believes Georgia has overtaken Alabama as the top college football program
Although Alabama owns a victory over Georgia in three of their last four meeting since 2018 and defeated the Bulldogs as underdogs in the SEC Championship on December 4, 2021, Paul Finebaum is convinced that the UGA has surpassed the Crimson Tide as the premier program in college soccer.
The SEC Network host argued that Nick Saban and company. they have lost many of their biggest players to the NFL this past April and May. “Just watch the NFL on Sunday and there are a lot of Alabama players who are no longer on that campus,” Finebaum said on ESPN’s GetUp on Wednesday. “They still have the two that matter (Will Anderson and Bryce Young), but a lot of them have gone and they haven’t replaced some of the elite wide receivers … they haven’t replaced some of the elite defensive players.”
Georgia lost 15 starters from its 2021 national championship roster, with 9 of them on the defensive end of football. That said, the defense has held up, though it ranks behind Alabama in most defensive metrics through 3 weeks of the 2022 season.
Losing Kirby Smart is Finebaum’s main reason Alabama is No. 2
Paul Finebaum didn’t mention any programs other than Alabama and Georgia when discussing the supremacy of college football at this current time. Traditional Big Ten powerhouses like Michigan and Ohio State, which are currently in the college football playoff spots if the season ended today, haven’t really figured out the conversation about which program is at the top of the game.
With that out of the way, Finebaum sees Kirby Smart’s presence on the fringes of Georgia as why Alabama is no longer the nation’s leading power. “I think overall the biggest shortcoming of Alabama today is the fact that Kirby Smart is in Georgia,” Finebaum said during the Sept. 21 edition of GetUp. “He was Nick Saban’s most valuable assistant and he hasn’t been able to replace him…and I think a lot of the change has moved to Georgia.”
Smart was able to earn his first victory over his former boss Saban during the 2022 college football playoff finals on January 10, 2022. He previously went 1-4 against the Crimson Tide, including an earlier loss in the national championship on January 8, 2018. .
Paul Finebaum Says Alabama’s Dynasty Isn’t Over
After berating Nick Saban for calling the 2021 season a rebuild year on Aug. 3, Paul Finebaum refused to say Alabama’s dynasty was over during his Sept. 21 GetUp interview with ESPN morning host Mike Greenberg. .
While continuing to acknowledge Smart’s absence as the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator, Finebaum credited the current man in that role, Bill O’Brien. “And Nick Saban has good assistants; he has Bill O’Brien but he has never been able to replace Kirby Smart, and I think the change has already happened,” said Finebaum. “I’m not saying the dynasty is over, I’m not saying anything like that, Nick Saban is about to turn 71… but Georgia looks like a better program right now and they’re backing him up on the field.”
Georgia has a much better point differential after Alabama narrowly avoided a Sept. 10 upset against Texas at Austin’s DKR Stadium. The Bulldogs’ 49-3 dismantling of Oregon stands out as the best win (by far) for either team, but there’s not enough evidence to say the Crimson Tide isn’t still the premier program in the country. A championship and three dominant games allowing a total of 10 points to start the 2022 season still don’t tip the scales east to Georgia. The Bulldogs would have more to claim after winning a potential SEC Championship rematch in December 2022.