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Alabama vs. Georgia: Mike Bobo, Kirby Smart are long-time friends

The Crimson Tide defensive coordinator and the Bulldogs offensive coordinator go way back.

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

When Mike Bobo's Georgia Bulldogs offense lines up against Kirby Smart's Alabama Crimson Tide defense in the SEC Championship Game, it's not just a trip to the BCS National Championship Game on the line. It's also bragging rights between two old friends.

Bobo and Smart, both sons of coaches who grew up around the game, became fast friends when they were players at Georgia in the mid-1990's.

They were re-united as assistant coaches under Mark Richt in 2005 and have kept in touch ever since (courtesy of

"We've tended to compete at everything we've ever done, whether it's cards or golf or who can get to the store fastest, it's just one of those things," Bobo said. "It never ends pretty, so we'll just see. It's not really about who wins or loses but who talks the most. That's usually in golf and he's usually got the better partner, by the way. But this is a game, he's not on the field and I'm not on the field. We've got to go out there and help put our players in the best position to win and execute. Hopefully that's what we'll do on Saturday."

Under Smart, Alabama has become a perennial defensive power and 2012 is no different, as the Crimson Tide are currently ranked No. 1 in the nation in points allowed.

As a result, Smart has become one of the hottest names in the coaching carousel, with many expecting that he'll become the next of Saban's coaches to get a program of his own to run.

If Bobo can get his offense going on Saturday against his old friend, he might find his name on some of the same lists.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.