Just when Scott Cochran finally leaves Alabama, he turns around and has to face Nick Saban’s program a month into the season at his new job.

One of the biggest assistant coaching moves in the Southeastern Conference this offseason came when Cochran suddenly left Alabama — in the middle of the program’s fourth-quarter conditioning program, no less — to take over the special teams coordinator role in Athens.

That move, and the timing of it, only intensified the growing rivalry between Georgia and Alabama and should serve as extra motivation for both programs leading up to the Oct. 17 showdown between the two teams in Tuscaloosa.

During his Friday afternoon media availability, Cochran was asked to share his thoughts on his pending return to Alabama.

“I’m just excited,” Cochran said. “I mean, how could you not be? Just having football alone is exciting, but going back (to Alabama) — every game is important — when that time comes, it’s going to be great.”

So what was it that ultimately led to his decision to leave Saban’s program after working for the coach for nearly two decades?

While he wouldn’t get into much specifics, Georgia’s special teams coordinator had this to say about his move.

“I think everything happens for a reason,” Cochran shared. “Timing is everything and, at the time, I felt like I was in a good place. Now, I feel like I’m in a great place! I think timing has everything to do with it and, for me, right now is the time. I’m just excited about [this] opportunity.”

Considering he referenced the opportunity in Athens, Cochran was asked if the fact that Saban wasn’t willing to give him a staff position at Alabama as motivation this offseason?

“I mean, you can use anything for motivation. To me, the question goes deeper,” Cochran added. “I think Coach Saban has my back – I worked for him for 18 years. If the position would have been open there, it probably would have been a possibility.

“For me, I want to work with Coach Smart. I wanted to work with somebody that I see eye-to-eye on with a lot of things and I see the same with Coach Saban, obviously. I wouldn’t be here without him, but with Coach Smart, I feel like there’s a big emphasis on some things that I’m big on.”