Georgia Football: Is It time to ask the Kirby Smart question?

Kirby Smart and JT Daniels, Georgia football. Mandatory Credit: Joshua L. Jones-USA TODAY NETWORK
Kirby Smart and JT Daniels, Georgia football. Mandatory Credit: Joshua L. Jones-USA TODAY NETWORK /

With the commitment of 5-star Quarterback Gunner Stockton, Georgia football looks loaded with talent for the foreseeable future. Is it time to start asking the Kirby Smart question?

When Georgia football hired Kirby Smart as Head Coach in December of 2015, the Bulldogs did so with the expectation that he could raise the program from the plateau of the perennial (9-3) team to a National Championship contender.

With the recent commitments of two 5-star Quarterbacks in Brock Vandergriff and Gunner Stockton, one can easily surmise Smart has done that in the area of recruiting. Consequently, is it now time to start asking the Kirby Smart Question?

One of the more tedious arguments one has to endure as a writer and radio show host is the lazy, mind-numbing, know-nothing, message board arguments some insist on trotting out. People read something then regurgitate it proudly like a dog would chasing a stick and returning it. Like they did something.

One of the more tedious of those arguments is the whole “Well, Georgia has always recruited well” or “Smart is no different than Richt! Look at their first 4 years!”. What kills me is that some of these people have children.

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Let’s dispose of this garbage, please. Take recruiting. The Reverend Mark Richt recruited very well with Georgia football. If you consider top 7-12 recruiting classes, nationally every year, recruiting very well, he most certainly did. But ask Auburn how that has worked out. That place gets you 4-8 in the SEC.

Recruiting is the life-blood of modern college football. Just covering said process is a multi-billion dollar media business. Academic institutions spend tens of millions a year to recruit football players. It is a beast that feeds itself with championships.

Kirby Smart as HC of the Georgia Bulldogs has had five straight top-3 recruiting classes. Richt never did that. Smart has had two recruiting classes ranked number one in five years. Richt never did that. Smart has now signed five 5-star Quarterbacks in five years as head coach in Athens. Richt never did that. The former is defense guy, the latter an offense guy. Go figure.

In fact, Smart has won the SEC East division three times in his first five years. Richt never did that. And on that point, I’ll stop. I can go on and on and on. But I won’t because it is cumbersome and useless.

Like the comparison. If you insist on holding to that comparison, you are like the kid that can’t swim at the pool, yelling at the kids playing games in the deep end. Kind of pathetic. Definitely not in the conversation.

That said, because of Smart’s acumen and ability to draw elite talent to Athens, one peeks at the current roster in 2021 and has to ask: If not now, when? If Smart can’t get it done this year, can he?

Is it too early to start trying to hang that albatross around his neck? Maybe. The aforementioned multi-billion dollar media business will certainly try later this year. That bubble has already started bubbling.

There is legitimacy to it, though, regardless of timing. The Georgia Bulldogs are traditionally a program and team that is underwhelming and underachieving. It is rarefied air for the programs that get as much hype, historically, and do as little with it as the Dawgs. It is hard to come up with more than five or six teams that underachieve more and with a quickness. They do less with more than just about any program in the country.

And, yet, here we are. The 2021 Georgia football team is loaded. I mean loaded. Like Bama, Ohio St., Clemson, Oklahoma loaded.

UGA has multiple 5-stars in every position group. They might have the best front-7 in all of college football. In fact, there could be as many as 5 or 6 NFL first round draft picks on this team. Bama-esque.

But, when Saban has a team like that, it wins National Championships.

Is it too early to ask the Kirby Smart question? If not now, when? If he can’t win with this team, can he win? It may be too early, but it isn’t unfair, in my opinion.

The perennial plateau of (9-3) is gone. Just about anyone can see that.  But winning a National Championship in today’s game, against some of the best coaches in football history, and against the greatest of all time, is a big ask.

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Can he do it? Maybe. Does he already have the team? Yes. Absolutely. Should he be judged by that? You decide.