If I might take a moment to talk to Georgia fans everywhere. Do not give in to buyer’s remorse just yet. I get that historically hiring a defensive coordinator for his first head coaching job has failed far more often than it has succeeded, but that doesn’t mean that replacing Mark Richt with Kirby Smart was a mistake.
Yes, Kirby’s first year has been short of what you were hoping for but Richt had over a dozen years to get you where you wanted to be and it didn’t happen. Smart might well be just another Ron Zook, Ray Goff or Will Muschamp. I know Goff was actually an offensive coach but the shot was there so I took it. Only time will tell. He might actually be another Nick Saban. Hey, it could happen.
However, Smart must be given time to build his team with his players. Then when he fails you have a legitimate right to complain. Right now, he hasn’t had near enough time to prove himself one way or the other. Give him an opportunity to show exactly what he is capable of accomplishing. You might be happy and we might be surprised.
He still has some very winnable games left this season including my Gators who are still struggling on offense and may be without their starting middle linebacker for the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Not exactly the position you want to be replacing when facing Nick Chubb.
Two of the Bulldogs’ losses were late surprises that could have gone either way. It was not realistic to expect to win the SEC East with a true freshman quarterback to begin with. Take it from someone who witnessed both the Zook and Muschamp debacles. You don’t have to become concerned unless he’s struggling to get bowl eligible in year three.
But admit it Georgia fans, as much as you were openly claiming to pull for Mark Richt at Miami inside you were thrilled to death to see him fall out of contention for the college football playoff. That would have been embarrassing.
So suck it up buttercup and ride out this season as what it is. A transition year. Winning the division in a coaches first year like McElwain did is the exception that proves the rule. And besides, he had head coaching experience already. This is the inaugural voyage of the USS Kirby. Pour a strong drink and enjoy what’s left of the 2016 season. Before you know it, it will be over and you will be counting the days until August with renewed hope. That’s college football.