Kirby Smart Likes Opening with Nonconference Games on a Big Stage

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Kirby Smart Likes Opening with Nonconference Games on a Big Stage

Nick Saban has a history of scheduling big non-conference games. Often those games are neutral site, season-opening contests that generate tons of national exposure for his program. Kirby Smart seems to have adopted his mentor’s approach to scheduling.
Kirby is especially interested in scheduling these games as season openers:

It helps your program when you open with a really good team. So I am always in favor of being able to play somebody (opening). We won’t get a chance to do it every year; we won’t get the venue. But when we get the opportunity I’m excited to do it. It makes for a great off-season, a lot of energy, the kids tend to work harder – I’m in complete support of that.



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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.

5 responses on “Kirby Smart Likes Opening with Nonconference Games on a Big Stage

  1. Tim Silvey

    Georgia this year might surprise me I have Georgia going 9 / 3 prove me wrong go Dawgs

  2. Jesse1

    Greg Poole AlphaDawg UGA may lose some games, but it won’t be on account of being scared, trembling, chiuahuas.

  3. Bulldawg Bob2

    For good or bad and whether it is true or not, there seems to be a perception that UGA as of late has not been a team that goes into a big opening season game well prepared, but as Greg points out, winning cures all those perceptions whether they are true or not.

    However, Georgia did beat a pretty good Clemson team that opened the season ranked 15th just a couple of years ago 45-21 to open the season in 2014, and the Dawgs lost just by 3 in 2013 to the Tigers in a close one.

  4. AlphaDawg

    As long as he can turn around the fear that most UGA fans have for opening on a big stage. We’ve been embarrassed many times on opening stages which are nationally viewed. Nothing helped the argument that “UGA is overrated” than us getting our butts handed to us in a game where media hyped UGA into this monster SEC contender.