ESPN analyst predicts Georgia's Kirby Smart will be next coach to win his first national title
Many of the nation’s top college football teams are led by coaches who already have national championship rings. That list includes Alabama’s Nick Saban, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and Ohio State’s Urban Meyer.
So, that begs the question — who will be the next first-time national championship-winning coach in the FBS ranks?
Even if it isn’t this year, it’s an interesting question. On Tuesday, ESPN’s Ryan McGee asked fellow ESPN writer Mark Schlabach just that in a 100 days until kickoff article, and Schlabach chose Georgia’s Kirby Smart:
McGee: So who’s the next FBS head coach to win a national championship (20)?
Schlabach: My money would be on Georgia’s Kirby Smart (21). He got the Bulldogs really close last year, before losing to Alabama 26-23 in overtime in the CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T. I think Smart is Saban’s biggest threat because he knows the Alabama program so well. He’s following the same blueprint as Saban, and Georgia is so fertile when it comes to recruiting (22). The Bulldogs are spending money on facilities, and Smart has everything he needs in terms of resources.
Georgia might take a small step back after losing so many players from last year, especially tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel (23). But D’Andre Swift was fantastic as a freshman, and Elijah Holyfield looks like the real deal.
That’s not a bad pick, as the Bulldogs were in last year’s College Football Playoff title game. In fact, they held a sizable lead before Alabama came storming back to win.