As Georgia squandered its Number 1 ranking on Saturday afternoon, Kirby Smart quietly accomplished something that no other coach in the history of college football has done.
Smart moved to an even .500 record against four of the most revered coaches in the modern era of college football.
- Auburn’s Gus Malzahn: Kirby Smart is 1-1 against Malzahn, who is no longer on the hot seat.
- Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason: Kirby Smart is 1-1 against Mason and his powerhouse Vanderbilt program.
- Tennessee’s Butch Jones: Kirby Smart is 1-1 against the not-yet-fired Jones.
- Florida’s Jim McElwain: Kirby Smart is 1-1 against the canned leader of the Gators.
No other coach in America has managed to post a 4-4 record against what is collectively referred to as the SEC’s Fantastic Four, and the fact that Smart is exactly 1-1 against each worthy foe is flatout astounding.
Keep it up, Kirby.
–The Kirby Smart Hater
Dude’s note: I typed and published this from my phone. Pardon typos or formatting disasters.
Look, I get the temptation. “This is just like [insert embarrassing Georgia loss here] all over.”
But it’s not. I don’t think. Or maybe it is. Either way, it doesn’t really matter.
There are only two possibilities as it relates to Georgia’s face plant against Auburn.
- This is who Georgia is. The past nine games were a mirage. Georgia is Georgia and the Bulldogs cannot and will not ever change that no matter who’s roaming the sideline.
- This is not who Georgia is. It stings and it’s a harsh, all-too-familiar reminder of recent history. But this performance was an anamoly.
If we take the bearish stance (option 1 above) then at least we know the truth now. We get three extra weeks to write off a surefire SEC Championship Game loss to whoever wins the West. We can adjust expectations accordingly and pretend we’re happy to be there while simultaneously wishing we had somehow been screwed out of winning the East. If the real Georgia showed itself on Saturday, the outcome of the Auburn game itself doesn’t matter because the Dawgs were never going to accomplish anything noteworthy anyway.
If we take the bullish stance, then this game really doesn’t matter either. The Dawgs weren’t expected to have a 12-0 regular season and they won’t. We might get another crack at Auburn or we may get a crack at Auburn’s big brother. The loss sucks, sure. But we kicked Auburn’s tail pretty consistently as of late despite the fact that Auburn has been to two National Championships in this decade. Something was bound to give. And the notion that Georgia could go to the playoff without winning the SECCG and in doing so become the first second team from a conference to make it…well that never seemed likely.
There is an obvious, guttural reaction that is to say, “Oh no. Not again!” after a game like this. But aside from the outcome of one single game this team is nothing like recent Georgia squads.
Georgia doesn’t “always get blown out in big games” as the narrative still asserts. Just ask number three (possibly number 2 after tonight) Notre Dame. Ask number 16 Mississippi State (currently tied with Alabama at the half) about how Kirby Smart’s teams never show up. Ask division rivals Tennessee, Florida and South Carolina about how ill-prepared this Georgia team is.
I think we saw an outlier from Georgia against Auburn. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Georgia is better than Auburn. It just means Georgia isn’t normally 23 points worse than Auburn — or anything close to that.
Irregularities happen in college football. Frankly, that’s why I love the sport. But I think it’s much more likely that one of Georgia’s 10 performances this year was an irregularity as opposed to nine of them. And that’s what separates this team in my mind.
Don’t get me wrong — that sucked. I wish it didn’t happen. But unlike years past, I’m not totally sold on the notion that it will happen again.
That’s all I got/
PS: Hate to say I told you so.
NEW PODCAST Y’ALL! Good work @me forgetting to post it on the site until now.
Inside, you’ll find:
- Andrew and Chad disagreeing about most everything on the LOADED Week 11 slate.
- ZERO analysis of Georgia’s 24-10 win over South Carolina, as it happened six days ago.
- A lot of bad inside jokes turned into content.
Subscribe, rate, review, and someone please leave a five-star review reminding us that we hinted at podding on Sunday. Go Dawgs.
MUST SEE: Very Attractive Georgia Fan Hilariously Trolls Tennessee and Florida with Sexy Halloween Costume
Chad Floyd (@Chad_Floyd on the Tweets) and Andrew Hall (@DudeYouCrazy) get together to recap last week’s college football action and preview the week ahead. They speak with varying degrees of confidence about Georgia’s upcoming matchup with Florida and breakdown an absolutely loaded Saturday schedule.
Or stream below.