Gus Malzahn told Kirby Smart after first Auburn-Georgia game he would see him in SEC Championship

ATLANTA — Gus Malzahn says he doesn’t remember his exact words, but Kirby Smart confirmed the gist of their conversation after the former won the Auburn-Georgia game last month.

The details of the conversation made the rounds on social media and message boards over the last couple of weeks. Here is a brief summary:

Gus Malzahn: We’ll see you in Atlanta.

Kirby Smart: I’ll tell Nick [Saban] you said that.

Gus Malzahn: You do that.

Malzahn was right. After beating the Bulldogs, 40-17, Auburn defeated Alabama two weeks later by a score of 26-14 to win the SEC West. Now Malzahn is facing Smart for a second time in four weeks, this time in the SEC Championship Game.

On Friday, Smart said that’s how the conversation went down.

“That’s pretty close,” Smart said when a reporter repeated the exchange. “We were talking about it today when I saw him. I said, you held up your end of the bargain.”

According to Smart, Malzahn then asked the Georgia coach if he told Saban — his former boss at Alabama — about what he said.

“He asked if I did, and I told him I never did,” Smart said. “But he held up his end of the bargain, and they got back to Atlanta.”

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Malzahn, ever the guarded one in press conference situations, said he might not have been exactly that bold with his statement to Smart.

“I think I said, ‘Hope to see you in Atlanta,'” Malzahn said. “But regardless, I’ll just say this: Kirby and I, we went against each other numerous times. We have a lot of respect for each other. I just had a feeling we’d play again.”

They will on Saturday afternoon in Atlanta. No. 2 Auburn will get into the College Football Playoff with a repeat win over No. 6 Georgia, who could easily make the final four if it leaves with the title.

It wasn’t exactly the scenario many saw coming a month ago, when Malzahn was on the hot seat and Smart had the No. 1 team in the country. But Smart saw the potential in the Tigers, who won big at home in their first meeting.

“I think Gus and them are doing a tremendous job,” Smart said. “I’ve said over and over I think they’re one of the hottest teams in college football. I’ve seen Gus teams, Gus offenses for a long time, and I have a lot of respect for the job he does. I don’t think he gets enough credit, especially when he’s got a quarterback-running back tandem and receiver tandem that he’s got now.”

The post Gus Malzahn told Kirby Smart after first Auburn-Georgia game he would see him in SEC Championship appeared first on SEC Country.

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