Kirby Smart Jan 8, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart looks on during the fourth quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2018 CFP national championship college football game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, Auburn Tigers head coach Hugh Freeze raised a few eyebrows when he had some surprising comments about the rivalry between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Auburn Tigers, saying the rivalry “doesn’t have the hatred that other rivalries that I’ve been in have.” But Georgia head coach Kirby Smart actually agrees – and he doesn’t think that’s a bad thing.

Kirby Smart thinks the rivalry between Georgia and Auburn is inherently different than Auburn’s rivalry with Alabama, and he agrees with the sentiment that this rivalry is not necessarily fueled by hatred.

“They’re both rivalries,” Smart said according to On3. “Georgia-Auburn is a border war rivalry and Alabama-Auburn is obviously an in-state rivalry. That’s on another whole level of difference from being over there because they live with it 365 days. We share that with several other out-of-state rivalries.

“There’s no diminishing of a rivalry. I tend to agree with coach Freeze. It’s not about hate for me. I don’t look at it as I hate any of their players. I recruited a lot of them. I don’t look at it as I hate any of their coaches because I like a lot of their coaches. I’ve known all those guys for a long time and have a lot of respect Hugh.”

Whether it’s fueled by hatred or not, it’s one of the more prominent rivalries in all of college football, and both teams will be eager for Saturday’s matchup as a result.