Georgia vs. Florida Preview: Who’s the Better Coach – Kirby Smart or Jim McElwain?
Welcome to the Kirby Smart Hater’s Guide to Georgia Football, where we give a voice to the fans who will never be happy with Kirby Smart at the helm in Athens.
Apparently our lord and savior Kirby Smart opened the week of practice by asking players in the locker room to raise their hand if they’d ever beaten Florida.
Some members of the lamestream media are implying that this was some how a “tone-setter” for the team and an exercise in self-awareness. I think it’s shameful, ignorant and downright misinformed. After all, there are 51 players on Georgia’s official roster who have not beaten Florida specifically because of Kirby Smart. A slew of clearly talented freshman like D’Andre Swift, Jake Fromm and Stetson Bennett haven’t even had a chance to play against Florida yet because it took Kirby Smart all the way until 2017 to realize these 18 year-olds know how to play football. And every sophomore on the roster is 0-1 vs. the Gators because Kirby Smart is a worse football coach than Jim McElwain.
Raise your hand if you knew that. [Your hand should be raised.]
Last year, Georgia arrived in Jacksonville flying high off of a 17-16 home loss to Vanderbilt and having dropped three of its last four contests. How’d that work out? In case you forgot, Jim McElwain’s boys snatched every semblance of momentum from the lifeless body of Kirby Smart. The Florida offense racked up an epic total of 231 yards and held the ball for more than 37 minutes while picking up 20 first downs and a staggering 24 points. Georgia’s offense had no answers. Quarterback Jacob Eason was held to a completion percentage below 50%—something that has only occurred five total times in his career. Georgia’s allegedly strong ground game accounted for just 21 yards on 19 carries.
Florida Kirb-stomped Georgia to an extent Bulldog fans had not seen since 2015 and before that 2014.
Kirby was hired to “fix” Georgia football and arguable the program’s biggest problem was the Florida rivalry. Over the course of Mark Richt’s tenure, the Bulldogs were outscored by an average of 7.27 points per contest against Florida. Noted “fixer” Kirby Smart turned that into a 14 point deficit in just one single year. But what do you expect from a guy who just 1-3 against Florida during the golden years of Georgia football (the end of the Ray Goff Era and the beginning of Jim Donnan’s rule).
It’s honestly insane to me that people think Kirby Smart is a better coach than Jim McElwain. Apparently the record book no longer matters and the fact that McElwain-coached teams have never lost to Smart-coached teams is irrelevant. Also unimportant: the two coaches’ records as coordinators at Alabama. Interestingly, both Kirby and McElwain first served as coordinators (McElwain of the offense, Kirby of the defense – allegedly) at Alabama in 2008. Alabama was 12-2 that year with its two losses coming in the SEC Championship and the Sugar Bowl. Kirby’s “defense” gave up more than 30 points in each of those two contests. Wow. But I’m sure he’s the better coach.
Saturday is gonna be ugly, folks. And I’m afraid we’re soon going to be longing for the days of only losing by 7 points to really talented Florida teams. We’re going to tearfully remember a fun, energetic, disciplined coach like Mark Richt. And we’re going to be stuck watching another disappointment from Kirby Smart. I guess the good news here, is that at least we’re used to it. Kirby doesn’t have a winning record as a head coach against lowly Vanderbilt, disgraced Tennessee or little brother Georgia Tech. How on earth could he be expected to shine against Jim McElwain, a coach who has literally been to the SEC Championship Game every single year since he arrived at Florida?
Hey, raise your hand if you have beaten Florida!
Something tells me Larry Culpepper-lookin-ass Kirby Smart won’t be able to do that for a while—if ever.