So, Dean Legge is getting virtual nods and back pats over his “Critics Are Missing Kirby Smart’s Vision” post yesterday. It’s basically a more optimistic version of where the program appears to be after Smart’s first four games than my post on the same subject from last weekend.
Legge is putting all his eggs in the faith basket based on Smart’s proven recruiting prowess and his experience as an Alabama assistant. And he may well turn out to be right based on that. It’s too early to tell. But this passage lines up nicely with one of the points I made:
I’m watching the games – obviously – but what I’m watching closer is where Kirby is trying to take UGA. The results of this program (Ole Miss should never beat UGA 45-14 in any sport let alone football), are important in the moment for sure, but Kirby has a vision for where UGA should be now, where it should be in the future and what it will take to get there. For the record: No one ever said this was going to be pretty. More than anything else that matters… and this is important… Kirby is willing to do something about it.
This is the sort of thing that has been sorely lacking not just in the football program or athletic department at Georgia, but the academic institution itself. Even with the new medical school, the University of Georgia is still trying to figure out if it should compete at a national level as a major research institution or just churn out the top in-state students who will go out and make this state a better place.
Vision has been missing there, quite frankly, too. Kirby doesn’t have that problem. His situation, obviously, is much simpler.
Still, vision has been missing in the athletic department and football for some time now…
I can’t argue with a single word there. There’s a problem, though: Kirby may have a vision, but, other than “win more games than Mark Richt”, none of the people he answers to have one. That only works out in the long run if Smart is able to bring his vision to fruition before the AD, the school president and — perhaps most importantly — the big boosters lose patience with his approach. I have no idea as I type this how long a time frame that is, but I feel certain it’s a good deal shorter than the one Mark Richt was allotted.
Some of it will have to do with how ugly things get in the short run. And the results from the first quarter of the season certainly qualify as ugly, as even Legge admits. If Kirby sticks to his guns, something I expect, and the wins come slowly as he adjusts the program, what’s the patience level from Butts-Mehre going to be like?
To make matters worse, while lists like this don’t mean shit right now, if they become the general perception of things after the season, you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think McGarity will get some serious grumbling thrown his way over it. No, that doesn’t mean that Smart gets canned after one season. It just means that his leadership will be questioned more by people who, as I said before, don’t have a clue. You tell me if that’s any way to run a railroad.