Kirby Smart practicing what he preaches with 8-0 start

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Kirby Smart practicing what he preaches with 8-0 start

The term of Georgia’s season so far has been the word “elite.” First, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said that he measures his defense by whether they are “elite or not.” He then challenged the fans to be “elite” and show up early and loud for Georgia’s top-10 matchup against Arkansas, which was a noon game earlier this season.

Kirby Smart also deserves credit for making the Georgia program “elite.” Coming off of a dominant 34-7 win against Florida, The Bulldogs clinched the SEC East with a Kentucky loss later that night on the road at Mississippi State.

“The expectation is to win the East and play for an SEC Championship,” said Smart on Monday. “I think it is the greatest conference in the country in terms of the competitive nature and the recruiting battles are really tough. I am really proud of our guys and the work that they have done.”





In Smart’s six years at Georgia, the Bulldogs have now won the SEC East in four of them. This year it was in a historic fashion as noted by Chuck Dunlap of the SEC.

A huge part of Smart’s ability to turn the program from very good to elite has been his success on the recruiting trail. After Georgia’s victory over Florida, Smart offered some insight into his recruiting mindset.

“There’s no coach out there that can out coach recruiting,” said Smart. “I don’t care who you are, the best coach to ever play the game better be a good recruiter because no coaching is gonna out coach players. Anybody will tell you our defense is good because we’ve got good players… if you don’t recruit, you’ve got no chance.”





It is a stark contrast to the situation going on in Gainesville. Georgia currently has No. 1 class in the 247sports 2022 recruiting rankings, meanwhile, Florida has the 22nd best class nationally which only ranks ninth-best in the SEC. Look at Dan Mullen’s recent comments, or lack thereof, on recruiting and you can see why the talent gap between the two schools is continuing to grow.

From Graham Hall of the Gainesville Sun:

While Georgia still has to face Missouri and Tennessee, it seems like the Bulldogs’ toughest in-conference opponents are behind them. If Smart continues to bring in and develop talent at this pace, his squad could dominate the SEC East for the foreseeable future as Nick Saban has at Alabama in the west.

Georgia heads into its matchup against Missouri as 38-point favorites. Even though the game likely will not be competitive, Smart wants to see his players continue to improve no matter the matchup.

“Regardless of the outcome of the game, there are things you have to work on to get better,” said Smart. “Millions of things that you guys don’t see, or aren’t privy to during the game that on the tape coaches watch are mistakes. Five-six busted coverages, but yet all they hear on TV is how coordinated the coverage is. That’s not necessarily true, and you guys don’t necessarily know that. You wouldn’t, but our guys do, and that’s what Monday’s about, making sure we can clean that up.”

This is not meant to be a cheerleader article for Kirby Smart, he is certainly capable of messing up as a coach. At the same time, acknowledging Smart is becoming an elite head coach while building an elite program is also fair.





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