With two loses on the season, the Georgia Bulldogs are not exactly were they wanted to be in the College Football Playoff picture. This is the 5th year of the Kirby Smart era, or 5 A.R. (After Richt). It’s no secret that the Georgia Bulldogs are in a 40 year drought for the ultimate prize in the sport. The National Championship has eluded Kirby Smart so far, just as it did Mark Richt. However, those who are clamoring for the firing of Kirby Smart need to remember, he is and has been exactly what they asked for during the Richt years.
Many of the Georgia faithful saw Mark Richt as a meek and mild leader. Richt was and always will be a cool customer, unflappable. That rubbed many supporting the team the wrong way at times. When things were going wrong, or even going right, people wanted to see Richt show some fire, let loose. That rarely happened. In this regard Richt and Smart are about as different as Tom Glavine and John Smoltz were in the 90’s for the Braves. You hardly could tell if Glavine was breathing and it seemed like Smoltz was breathing fire. Kirby breathes fire! The emotion is raw and he rips players and referees with fervor, but he also celebrates big time with the team.
For years it seemed like Richt wouldn’t go after the big in-state QBs like Deshaun Watson. Well Kirby has certainly went after the top Dawgs in the Peach State and landed them. Jake Fromm (5-Star), Justin Fields (5-Star), and now Brock Vandagriff (5-Star). Yes the Fields and Fromm saga is one that many will never let go of. However, if Mark Richt had been at the helm, neither one might have even been recruited hard, much less considered coming to Georgia. Not just at the quarterback position has Kirby’s recruiting paid of either. Georgia has as much talent as anyone in the country now across the board. (Insert, well it’s time to do something with it reply here, despite nearly winning the Natty and playing 3 years in a row for the SEC Championship).
Finally, Georgia’s defenses were often horrendous and held back the Bulldog squads during the Richt era. Kirby Smart has left an indelible mark so far on the Georgia program with the style of defense he plays. It’s tenacious, it’s in your face, and when fully healthy, it’s smothering more often than not. Now Kirby Smart is hoping for the last needed piece to the puzzle on offense to bring everything together. Kirby Smart needs a dynamic and accurate quarterback to pair with the unparalleled talent level on both sides of the ball. JT Daniels (another 5-Star) or Brock Vandagriff figures to be that guy. Just remember when complaining how things are, or what Kirby has done, there were a lot more problems in the past and the program is still in great shape going forward.