Only a few hours until two Southeastern Conference teams will face off for the National Championship of college football.
WAAY 31 has the Coverage You Can Count On for the big game. WAAY 31 special contributor Erin Dacy and WAAY 31 sports anchor MaryLee Adams are in Atlanta.
At the head coaches news conference today in Atlanta, we heard from Alabama’s Nick Saban and Georgia’s Kirby Smart.
We're now just one sleep away from the national championship in Atlanta. Today gave us one final time to hear from both head coaches before they take the field in Mercedes-Benz Stadium Monday night.
Alabama’s Saban and Georgia’s Smart have ties that go back over a decade. And today’s news conference really showed it.
The two seemed relaxed, at ease and once again very complimentary of the other. Coach Saban saying he thinks Kirby did as good a job as anybody during his time as defensive coordinator at Alabama.
Smart said what Saban has been able to do in the most competitive league is incredible.
We even got a peek inside one of the things the two do off the football court together.
When Saban was asked the question: what motivates you to not be complacent? He responded, "If you have that mind set you're not going to be able to play with any consistency and if you can't play with consistency in performance then you're not really gonna have a lot of success long term.”
Make no mistake. The two are competitors.
“I hate to lose and I've been around Kirby long enough and he's been on my basketball team long enough that I know he hates to lose too and I think that has something to do with it," Saban said.
So the two are even basketball buddies.
Saban also adding that during Kirby's time at Alabama the two became like family. His wife Terry was even there when Kirby's first child was born. It’s a pretty special relationship and it's going to be very interesting to see how tomorrow night unfolds.
Kirby Smart was very different, Sunday, than he was on media day on Saturday. Yesterday, there were flip answers with a tinge of sarcasm. Today, alongside his former mentor, Alabama head coach Nick Saban, he seemed more respectful and poised.