With Kirby Smart, UGA has a chance to win really big

Three cheers for the new man. (Vasha Hunt/Al.com/AP photo)

Three cheers for the new man. (Vasha Hunt/Al.com/AP photo)

I pretty much told you this would happen, and esteemed colleague Chip Towers is reporting that it will: Kirby Smart will be named Georgia’s coach. I like the move. I like it a lot.

To reiterate: Smart isn’t Ray Goff, who was hired as Georgia’s coach only because he was an alum. Smart would be a good hire if he held a degree from, oh, the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has done great work at the highest level of college football. He’s a smart (pun intended) guy who has been on many school’s want lists. He’s about to come coach Georgia.

Does it bother me that Smart hasn’t been a head coach? A little, but only a little. Vince Dooley was a career assistant and became the best coach in Georgia annals. Mark Richt was a career assistant and became the second-best coach in Georgia annals.

Does it bother me that Smart has coached defense? Not even a little. The four best coaches, college or pro, are Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick. Three were defensive guys.

And here we must — or at least we should — give credit to Greg McGarity. The athletic director has become everyone’s punching bag, but say this for the man: Knowing he’d become a punching bag, he made a difficult call on Richt, and clearly he had Step 2 in mind all along. He wanted Kirby Smart, and it appears he’s going to get him.

Much more on this later, but I’ll close for now by saying: If you’re a Georgia fan, you should like this move. Maybe you hated seeing Richt fired, but you should be happy with his presumptive replacement. This coach has a real chance to win really big.

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314 comments
TideDawg
TideDawg

If Kirby Smart can't win with all the talent that's already there(except for QB) then don't expect anything better in a year or two.

Gman84
Gman84

Been a year since I looked at the comments. Not much changed. Bucknut still spends all day here denigrating everything in sight. What an unhappy way to spend your time

OH:IO
OH:IO

Richt to the U


Preacher man in camo's

OH:IO
OH:IO

Over/Under for the first "Fire Smart"? 


I'll go with October '16

JeffersonDavisHogg
JeffersonDavisHogg

Very interesting hearing Hines Wards interview on Finebaum. He all but says he'd like to coach on Smarts staff saying he's reached out to him and is interested.

JeffersonDavisHogg
JeffersonDavisHogg

@FT, he seemed pretty passionate about it. I bet he'd have no problem recruiting receivers.

cmac22
cmac22

Wasn't my first choice, but I am happy!!! 

BCB
BCB

Will ADGM give the new Coach what he needs to succeed? 

OH:IO
OH:IO

So, 12/13, is it going to be Belk, Birmingham, Memphis or Music City?

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

@OH:IO  Which SEC team will you lose to this year? Streak started in 1992 with your hero herbie.

BCB
BCB

@OH:IO The team will visit Hernandez in prison.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@twelveofthirteen @OH:IO   I didn't realize OSU had a losing streak against SEC teams because the last time I saw them play  against an SEC team they were running all over the Crimson Tide.


OH:IO
OH:IO

Savior Smart sends tingles up Chip's leg.

StevefromDC
StevefromDC

@OH:IO @twelveofthirteen well then, don't go to sleep 'cause you'll be experiencing that same dream, only as a nightmare.  OSU has many reasons surrounding it for all to hate, esp sub-Urban Meyer. 

Dawgcatcher
Dawgcatcher

Smart's first not-so-smart move. Hire Muschamp. 1. He had some interesting things to say about UGA when he got the Florida job;  2. How he fared after he got the Florida job; 3. How he fared after he got the Auburn job.

kicksix
kicksix

@Dawgcatcher Say what you want Muschamp is the best defensive coordiantor in the nation.  Auburn will win another NC before Georgia does.

StevefromDC
StevefromDC

@kicksix @Dawgcatcher I'd put my mortgage on the line in saying YOU'RE WRONG about THAT.   UGA's future looks damn bright for a lot of reasons, most of which is Richt's LEAVING.  and, most of Auburn's (former UGA) thugs will be leaving for the NFL (or maybe more jail time) and with a down team, as this year, they'll suck for several more years.

BMOC
BMOC

I tend to be one of the ones that didn't think this was the best time to fire Richt.  I look at it like this:  Richt was very successful his first four years because he had a very good offensive coordinator (himself) and a very good defensive coordinator (Vangorder).  After that, things started progressively getting worse.  In his 5th year UGA won the SEC, but their defense got exposed by West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl.  Once Richt handed play calling over to Bobo in 2007 there was a slight drop-off in offense, along with the continual downward spiral in defense.  Then, Bobo's offenses started to put up lots of yards & points (even though he would over-think play calling at times like not handing the ball to Gurley at SCar on 1st & goal at the 4-yrd line).  SO, UGA had an offense that could just about score at will, but only an average defense at best.  Finally,in 2013 Louisville did UGA a HUGE favor and got Grantham, so 2014 UGA finally had a good defensive coordinator again, only to see Bobo leave.  SO, UGA gets the defense fixed, only to see the offense fall apart.

Some of this is because Chubb tore his knee and had no capable QB.  I was one of the ones that was hoping Richt would right the ship when the Jabob Eason and the #1 recruting class rolled onto the UGA campus in January.  I would have liked to see if, with the defense fixed and the offense back on track, could Richt gotten over the top???

Not sure.  That's the biggest question as opinions are deeply divided.  No one knows for sure, only has an opinion.  I will say, who thinks Dabo Swaney is the best coach in America??  No one.  That tells me that you don't have to have the 'best' coach, but must have a, what I call an '85-90% coach', meaning that they are better than 85-90% of other coaches, AND you must have the talent & assistant coaches in place.  I tend to think Richt could have gotten it done, just as Dooley did when he was only slightly above average coach, but went 33-3 when Hershel arrived on campus.

But, I also understand the frustration with Richt's coaching:  Using time-outs in the 1st & 3rd quarters, bad clock management, lack of emphasis on special teams, bone-headed decisions like squib kicks or punt return personnel, holding on to assistants longer than he should have (Martinez) etc, etc.  So, I get it.  I just hope Smart is smart and doesn't make this a 'buddy' system and hire guys like Muschamp.  He was a failure at Florida, but an even bigger failure at Auburn this year with the 11th (out of 12 teams) defense in the SEC.  Why would Smart even entertain this?!?!???  (if he is) .  I don't like the idea of an assistant in today's football world cutting their teeth at a major SEC program and expecting to win big.  Some believe Richt could never get it done;  Some think it's worth a chance to go back to 5-6 win seasons to get a new coach that may bring magic to Athens.  I just hope they can accept those 5-6 win seasons if that's what happens.  At this point what's done it done, so I will sit back & watch while plays out.  I hope I'm wrong & the DAWGS win big.  We shall see.

StevefromDC
StevefromDC

@BMOC for the reasons you list abour Richt's shortcomings (clock and t.o. mismanagement, lack of good offensive play calls, pooch kicks in stupid situations, basically ineffective offense and no interest in intervening, special team play vastly lacking, etc, etc) I was ecstatic at his dismissal, and wonder WHY it took so long. He's a mental midget and was just going thru the motions with no passion and no ability to assess the situation and see what needed fixing. UGA was losing to mediocre SEC teams, and almost losing to non-conference teams. 2 games with NO TOUCHDOWN, laughable!  Richt was awful, but he was hired to be successful which didn't mean be a great guy, but to win. Doing BOTH is fine, even fantastic, but not winning and being OK with that was NOT acceptable. Got tired of hearing "we are doing well with working through adversity, and I'm proud of the guys doing that"......WHAT???? His job is to AVOID adversity in the first place.....playing mediocre football creates adversity, but dealing with it isn't a stated goal for the program. good luck Miami 'Canes.....but look out for the warning signs mentioned above!!!!!

BobDawg
BobDawg

You know, everyone has glowed about MR's recruiting but let's face it; Derrick Henry was committed and Bama scooped him up…The Kimdeches went to Ole Miss along with Laremy Tunsil.  I'm hoping Smart can close the deal with guys like this to get us over the top...

FlatTire
FlatTire

@BobDawg  Good point


Finally some thought provoking and logical posts

OH:IO
OH:IO

@BobDawg


It's always something the dogs ain't got that will put them over the top. 

FlatTire
FlatTire

I just heard someone say how is Smart going to stop GaTech


The fan club for years have been funny but these comments the last couple days is absolutely hilarious;

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

@FlatTire  I just heard someone say you actually read and don't hear posts online you idiot. Nobody said that it was an article written by the GT journalist and he asked the question. You really don't know how to post anything other than Richt comments do you? He is gone. Come up with something new to talk about.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@buellerbuellerbueller 

Don't go there Bucky would be on here 24/7 saying Ohio St. belongs in the final 4. Heck if Clemson or Iowa loses he will be on here harping that the Buckeyes are entitled to defend their Title.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@Buschleaguer


Not my style, Bush, but I'd like to see it happen. Slim chance yet a chance nonetheless. 

GT-Steve
GT-Steve

I hope your normal success rate continues with this one Mark....lol, jk 

MaybeMaybeNot
MaybeMaybeNot

Jacob Eason would be the worst thing that would have happened to UGA.


Nutty UGA fans would have lobbied for Richt to stay around for the at least 3 years Eason was there.  


"Eason was just a freshman this year, even Peyton Manning wasn't golden as a true freshman.  Richt at least deserves a chance to see what he can do with Eason the next two years."  And the cycle goes on and on an on.