Kirby Smart Says the Big Stage is Great But Is Honest About the Challenge of Preparing on a Short Week

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Kirby Smart Says the Big Stage is Great But Is Honest About the Challenge of Preparing on a Short Week

Kirby Smart during Saturday's National Championship media day press conference, 2018-Jan-06
Kirby Smart during Saturday’s National Championship media day press conference, 2018-Jan-06


Georgia head coach Kirby Smart fielded questions about the season and upcoming National Championship game versus Alabama as well as gave an update on the Bulldogs during Saturday morning’s College Football Playoff National Championship media day at Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA.


Kirby talked about how big of a stage this National Championship game is in the new College Football Playoff system, but that it is a great experience for the players.


“Yeah, been great. I think the stage is even bigger now,” said Coach Smart. “You think about where the BCS went and where this CFP has gone, it’s unbelievable how far it’s come. It’s a great honor and reward for players that have worked their tail off all season. I just wish more teams could get to embrace this, be part of this, because it’s really special when you roll up in a hotel and they’ve got the buses wrapped and they’ve got — it’s great for your kids. It’s great exposure.”


And what was the biggest game or games Kirby participated in as a college football player?


“… probably Georgia-Tennessee when Tennessee was ranked in the top in the country,” said Kirby. “Georgia, Florida, they were always ranked at the top. Probably one of those. Maybe a bowl game.”


It’s certainly the biggest game for the Georgia Bulldogs in 38 years, and given the fact that Coach Smart is just 2 years into his head coaching career, it’s also his biggest game to date.


Both Alabama and Georgia are having to prepare to play each other in two fewer days than last year’s College Football Playoff finalists. Last season, each team had nine days to travel back from their semifinal games to get ready for the National Championship, but this year, there are only 7 days. The Crimson Tide had less distance to travel, but it is still a challenge, especially considering the level of the competition each team is preparing for.


“Well, it’s tough. It’s really tough,” said Kirby. “I think it’s tough on the other team, too. The hardest part is — the first one wasn’t as hard. You had too much time. Overthink it, do too much, whatever, anxiety, buildup. This one, it’s a quick turnaround. I’ve never had to experience talking to the Clemson staff, they had nine days last year, and this seven-day turnaround is wicked when you’re flying back after a game, three hours’ time zone difference. It’s been a tremendous management.”


Smart when on to discuss what he thinks makes going up against his former boss, Nick Saban, so difficult and shares his thoughts on The Classic City of Athens, GA.


Click on play to listen to Kirby Smart’s media day press conference:






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The University of Georgia 1991-1994. Lanier Tech 2009-2012. Writer and graphic artist covering UGA athletics, college football, and recruiting. Peach cobbler fears me!