Georgia coach Kirby Smart was a bit of a tagalong during much of his coaching career. There was sound reasoning behind that.

Considering how much success Smart has had as the head coach at Georgia, it would be incredibly unwise to question his reasoning to work with Alabama coach Nick Saban for much of Smart’s career. Saban and Smart are most often associated for their time at Alabama before Smart took the Georgia head coaching position before the 2016 season. However, the two also coached together at LSU and for the Miami Dolphins in the NFL.

So why did Smart want to work under Saban for so much of his career?

“Accountability,” Smart said during an appearance on College GameDay. “I appreciate everything he’s done for my career. He’s done for a lot of coach’s careers .. a lot for college football. I don’t think he gets enough appreciation for how consistent his teams have performed.

“I was fortunate to be a part of a lot of that…He holds everybody in the organization accountable for their job. It makes you feel comfortable that you’re going to be successful, and you can go recruit good players. They want to be part of that.”

Smart learned well. While at Georgia, his record is 64-14 and 40-9 in the SEC. Smart has won the SEC Eastern Division four times during his tenure at Georgia, including this season. The Bulldogs are a 6 1/2-point favorite against the Crimson Tide in today’s SEC Championship Game, which will kick off at 4 p.m. EST.