As the stats and records attest, there can be no quarrel that Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs are the current Kings of College Football!

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As the stats and records attest, there can be no quarrel that Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs are the current Kings of College Football!

Jeff Dantzler
Jeff Dantzler

Daring to be great, the Georgia Football program has soared to unprecedented heights in the Kirby Smart era. Punctuated with a second consecutive national championship, the Bulldogs proudly gaze from the mountaintop.

Over the last half century, corresponding with my lifetime, only the most royal of blue bloods have won back-to-back national titles – Nebraska, Oklahoma, Alabama and Southern Cal. The support system, history, tradition, fan and alumni passion and incredible in-state recruiting base has long had Georgia in the dreaded/hope-breeding “Sleeping Giant” category.





Hungry for that first national championship since 1980, with so much heartbreak and so many haunting near misses, Georgia defeated Alabama 33-18 on January 10, 2022 to capture the ultimate prize. There is no way any national championship has meant more to a fanbase than the 2022 title meant to the sons and daughters of the Red and Black.

The stage was set for a victory ride for the ages this past season. Despite having a record 15 players, including five first-round defenders, selected in the National Football League Draft, the Bulldogs capped a dream 15-0 campaign with a record-shattering 65-7 demolition of the TCU Horned Frogs on January 9, 2023 in the National Championship Game.






Next Level.

The Bulldogs are the first team in the College Football Playoff era, which began in 2014, to capture back-to-back national championships.

Georgia is in that select regal company of Nebraska, Oklahoma, Alabama and Southern Cal, while Smart joins the legendary likes of Paul “Bear Bryant,” Nick Saban, Tom Osborne, Pete Carroll and Barry Switzer with back-to-back crowns.

Georgia’s victory over TCU in Los Angeles marked the Bulldogs 33rd win in the last 34 games. Kirby’s Canines ride a 17-game winning streak into the 2023 campaign, equalling the school record set from late in the 1945 season through early 1947, primarily encompassed by the Charley Trippi-led 11-0 Southeastern Conference champions of 1946. Georgia had won 16 straight, dating back to the final four games of 2020, before falling to Alabama in the 2021 SEC Championship Game. A loss that turned out to be a blessing. Just as the 2017 40-17 drubbing at the hands of Auburn on the Plains. Smart’s second team won the rematch in the 2017 SEC Championship Game, downing the Tigers 28-7 and earning a berth in the College Football Playoff. The re-centered, re-focused and re-energized Bulldogs of 2022, getting to play the underdog role in the minds of college football fans (though not the suits in Las Vegas), took down Michigan in the Orange Bowl and then slayed the Crimson dragons for the second of Smart’s epic in-season vengeance victories.

Dating back to that 2017 campaign when the Bulldogs followed up the win over Auburn with an unforgettable 54-48 overtime victory over Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl in one of the two greatest College Football Playoff Semifinal games ever (more the other in just a bit), Georgia has embarked on a crowd-pleasing remarkable run. Amongst the highlights, a remarkable record against the ancient and arch rivals. Since 2017, Georgia is 22-2 against Tech, Florida, Auburn and Tennessee.

Georgia has won five of the last six games in Jacksonville against Florida.

The Bulldogs have won the last six meetings with Tennessee – the closest margin this past season’s 27-13 vanquishing of the Volunteers in the No. 1 vs. No. 1 matchup Between the Hedges.

Starting with the 2017 SEC Championship Game, the Dogs have beaten Auburn six straight times. Georgia has won 15 of 18 against the Tigers since 2006. Astonishing. Back in my younger days, when Auburn won seven of eight against the Bulldogs from 1983-1990 (I was 11-18 then by the way … scars), such a record would have seemed a far-fetched dream.

Smart’s Bulldogs have won five straight against the Yellow Jackets, with the closest victory this past season’s 37-14 triumph on Dooley Field in Sanford Stadium, which clinched a second successive perfect regular season.

Now that’s some selective company. Since the SEC split into divisions in 1992, the only other conference school to post back-to-back 12-0 regular seasons was Saban’s Crimson Tide teams of 2008 and 2009. The back-to-back 8-0 perfect SEC marks had been accomplished only twice prior: Steve Spurrier’s Gators of 1995 and 1996, and ‘08 and ‘09 Alabama.

Over these previous two seasons, while going 29-1, Georgia has delivered some dominant margins of victory. Way Back Machine for a moment to the previous golden era of Georgia Football, the beloved Bulldogs of 1982 won a third straight SEC title and went to the Sugar Bowl with an 11-0 record. Georgia trailed in seven of those – including the unforgettable 19-14 victory at Auburn when Munson’s Magic had sugar falling from the sky. Hunker Down equals hang on. Of the 29 victories, 26 came by double digits. The highlight is obviously the 65-7 National Championship Game win, the largest margin of victory in a bowl game, and by 20 points the biggest in a national championship game (Nebraska beat Florida 62-24 to win the 1995 title).

The wins that didn’t come by at least 10, the 10-3 win over Clemson to open 2021, the 26-22 squeaker at Mizzou this past season and the epic 42-41 Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl victory for the ages over Ohio State. One of the two greatest CFP Semifinal games ever.

This time we beat Marino.

Georgia has moved into the Top 10, ninth to be precise, in all time victories amongst College Football Division 1-A (FBS) teams. Georgia’s 868 wins are one more than both Tennessee and Southern Cal.

Smart’s Dogs two conference titles increase Georgia’s total to 14, the second most ever, one more than Tennessee’s 13 and two more than LSU’s 12. December’s 50-30 triumph over the Tigers was a history swinger.

How about the playoff hit list of the Smart era? Michigan has the most all-time wins, Alabama and Ohio State are tied for second and Oklahoma has the sixth most. TCU is 39th. Over these last two seasons, Georgia has beaten every other school that has played in the CFP National Championship Game – Oregon, Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson, LSU and TCU.

Considering the record-breaking accomplishments under the watch of the favorite son at his alma mater, there can be no quarrel that Kirby Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs are the current Kings of College Football.





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