Kirby Smart is entering his fifth year as Georgia football head coach. Smart’s record in Athens is 44-12 with three-consecutive SEC East Championships.
You have to play with the cards you are dealt. That is hardly a Georgia football or Kirby Smart axiom. Yet the metaphor sums up one of Kirby Smart’s greatest strengths.
America has been dealt a new hand. We do not know how soon anyone will get a new deck, much less be dealt another hand. If I had to pick one man who can make the best of any situation in a state of flux, or in a state of inertia, Kirby Smart would top my list.
First, he seemingly does not sleep. He certainly does not sit still, at least figuratively. He is adept at anticipating a multitude of changing scenarios that few mortals could anticipate. Without delving into an endless list, let’s recap some highlights.
More from Dawn of the Dawg
- UGA Football: Why the Bulldogs will win the SEC East again in 2020
- UGA football: 2021 commit Brock Vandagriff impresses at Elite 11 camp
- UGA football roster: Adam Anderson, the third down superstar
- UGA football roster: John Fitzpatrick the forgotten man among tight ends
- UGA football roster: Last year, last chance for veteran lineman Ben Cleveland
Georgia appeared flat and uninspired in the Sugar Bowl against Texas, most would agree the Bulldogs should have won, despite regular season stars who did not play for whatever reason. If we ever see that again under Smart’s tenure it will be a surprise to me.
The following Sugar Bowl was not Georgia’s desired destination either, and even more regular season stars did not compete in that game. Yet Georgia football handily defeated an excellent Baylor team.
The 2019 offense was not what anyone hoped it would or could be. When the promising first year offensive coordinator delivered only slightly less than what was expected, Smart brought in Todd Monken to change things up in a big way.
When a stout offensive line coach surprised many by defecting to Arkansas, a perhaps equally stout Matt Luke was quickly named to fill the void. A stunner of stunners was Scott Cochran’s decision to leave Alabama for Georgia, to coach Special Teams of all things. Cochran’s influence will certainly not end there.
When Jake Fromm announced his departure for the NFL, Georgia got a graduate transfer and yet another huge high school commit, creating perhaps the most interesting quarterback competition in school history. The quarterback room will be so full of talent they might have to share playbooks.
LSU will be unrecognizable next season. Alabama will be so damaged by Cochran’s departure they might not even be the favorite to win the SEC West. Clemson’s meteoric rise may have stalled. Ohio State will be strong but still a question mark. The rest are, the rest.
The Georgia Bulldogs get smarter, bigger, faster, deeper and stronger year after year. Next man up on the offense and defense, line and skill positions, from coaching staff to administrative assistants. Off the field incidents and distractions are few and minor.
The Georgia football program is unmatched in its integrity at every level. No one can guarantee a national championship in any sport at any level in any year. Yet the Georgia Bulldogs under Kirby Smart will win it all. There is no doubt.