Nick Saban has a history of scheduling big non-conference games. Often those games are neutral site, season-opening contests that generate tons of national exposure for his program. Kirby Smart seems to have adopted his mentor’s approach to scheduling.
Kirby is especially interested in scheduling these games as season openers:
It helps your program when you open with a really good team. So I am always in favor of being able to play somebody (opening). We won’t get a chance to do it every year; we won’t get the venue. But when we get the opportunity I’m excited to do it. It makes for a great off-season, a lot of energy, the kids tend to work harder – I’m in complete support of that.
Kirby Smart was asked about his philosophy on nonconference scheduling during his appearance at UGA Day in Macon 2016