Change is exciting. Change means hope. But change means change, too. And I wouldn’t be completely honest if I didn’t admit to a certain amount of apprehension about how well Kirby Smart is able to do as Georgia’s next head football coach. I’d say my concerns are two-fold.
One, and this is a generic issue, is that obviously Smart has never run a football program before. It’s one thing to be a gifted assistant and recruiter. It’s another to be the man. That’s not to say he’s guaranteed to flop; it’s more like he’s not guaranteed either way. We don’t know what he can do running the show. The good news is that he’ll have a running head start on that. But there’s no other way to look at it for now as a great unknown. And, yeah, that makes me nervous.
The second issue, though, is anything but generic. I guess the best way to describe it would be to ask what happens when The Process Meets The Georgia Way, for want of a better expression. Kirby Smart has been at a place where it’s a given that everyone rows the boat in the same direction. That ain’t the way things have been in Butts-Mehre for a long time.
What happens with Georgia’s drug and discipline policies? I doubt they change much, but at least it would be nice to know that somebody might put his foot down about scheduling a random drug test for players returning from spring break. Also, there’s the question of money. And that’s really two questions: how much can be spent and how wisely can it be spent? How much control Smart has over the purse strings will be some indication of how much success he’ll have making the program go the way he wants.
I am skeptical, because, well… because there’s a track record at Butts-Mehre that’s hard to ignore. If things really are ready to change, it could usher in a new era of greatness. I’m not ready to make that kind of pronouncement yet… and probably won’t for a while. But I’ll keep my fingers crossed.