What UGA's Kirby Smart is Getting Wrong

LAS VEGAS - There’s so much that Kirby Smart is doing right with UGA, but there’s one message he’s getting wrong.

“Why not us.”

I hate that phrase. I hate it because it assumes the negative. It’s a mindset that starts off on the wrong side of things.

When Vanderbilt or South Carolina fans ask “why not us” you sort of get it. When UGA says it - in any sport - that’s not an accurate representation of where Georgia is, and certainly not a representation of what Georgia should be.

Again, Kirby is making all of the right moves. I believe in what he’s doing. I think he has passion, energy, toughness and vision. He can change the trajectory of Georgia.

But not by saying “why not us.”

I only bring this up because I had dinner with a fellow SEC publisher at Scout. He’s a guy who has been in the industry for decades. He understands the ebb and flow of the college athletics world. His premise, and I agree with him about this, is that Kirby is going to bring Georgia a national title - perhaps national titles… plural.

We had a long, frank conversation about the league. Only so many forces, frankly, can counteract what Alabama has become. One coaching hire at Tennessee, Arkansas or Mississippi isn’t going to stop the powerhouse that is Bama right now.

But some institutions, LSU, Florida and Georgia, can be a major deterrent to the Tide. Why? Facilities, money, talent - those things will always be there for some institutions. But you need the right coach to make those things work. Time will tell if Kirby Smart is that guy, but it seems like he may well be to me.

With that said, it appears Kirby is doing all he can to manage (lower) expectations. I get that. But Kirby is the guy who infused the program with enough energy and passion to fill Sanford Stadium to over capacity (depending on which outlet or agency you read or believe) for a spring practice. Kirby is the guy who left the machine in Tuscaloosa to come home and try to do the same thing in Athens. Kirby is the guy who has noticeably changed the recruiting trajectory in the program - flipping commitments from his former employer to the Red and Black. 

Kirby is the leader many hardcore fans wanted for a long time.

Try as he might to lower expectations as much as possible, he shouldn’t say “why not us.”

It should be you - it should be Georgia. Period.


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