… and we won’t have to share Kirby Smart with Alabama any more. All things considered, the transition hasn’t worked out too badly on either end.
Smart was able to put his Alabama defense in a good position while smoothing the blowback that resulted in firing someone like Richt, who was an exceptional coach during a 15-year period.
It’s easy to think Smart should have dropped everything he accomplished and risk relationships for the sake of starting the Georgia job immediately. But with how things played out, Smart handled it beautifully. Nothing disastrous happened to Georgia, and Alabama is playing for a national championship Monday against Clemson. It’s the best possible scenario Smart could have hoped for at this stage of the transition.
And Tuesday, Smart will no longer wear the crimson “A” on the left side of his chest. He finally will trade it in for the black “G” for good. He’ll wait out the final few days of the dead period before hitting the recruiting trail. From there, Smart will do his part to keep what’s considered a top-five recruiting class. Given Smart’s reputation — and the optimism brewing around the program — that’s something that easily could occur.
Smart also was able to nail down his coaching staff, which would be lauded by some and hated by others no matter who he picked. And he also landed an up-and-coming strength and conditioning coordinator in Scott Sinclair, who was recommended to Smart by numerous confidants in both the states of Georgia and Alabama.
I’d like to think a smooth transition portends an era of wise stewardship as Georgia’s head coach, but, really, who knows? Maybe things went easy more because of Nick Saban than anything else. (I keed, I keed… I think.)
Two things I’m most curious about as I type this post: one, how well does Smart game plan to control Deshaun Watson tonight; and two, how well does Smart game plan to control the Georgia Way after tonight. We’ll find out soon enough.