— “Absolutely there’s a balance. And I think that balance really has been reached,” Smart said. “I feel comfortable with the amount of time I’m able to spend with each component (offense, defense and special teams). …
“We’ve got to do better in each one. We’ve got to perform better in each one. We’ve got to execute better. We’ve got to get the young players to play better. We’ve got to get less penalties. There’s so many areas we can improve on. That has nothing to do with the balance of time that I spend.”
I have absolutely no doubt of the sincerity of that comment from Georgia’s first year head coach. He knows what he wants and he firmly believes he knows how to get there. That conviction is the engine driving Georgia’s 2016 season, at least what’s left of it.
Which is what led me to this horribly cynical thought: you know what Kirby’s remaining goal is for this year? I’m not talking about the aspirational stuff, the making players better blah, blah, blah coachspeak. I mean that which has taken the place of competing for things like winning the East.
It’s seeing Georgia reach bowl eligibility. Not because he’s invested in the concept of making sure his team finishes with a winning record in his first season, unlike, say, Greg McGarity, who has to be pondering that possibility and the offseason defense to it he’d have to construct with an increasing sense of impending gloom, or worse, cynicism. No, that’s not Smart’s concern at this point.
The reason Kirby Smart cares about winning two more games is because he wants the extra month of bowl practice to build on for the next go ’round. That’s all there is. It’s the ultimate end justifies the means exercise for this mediocrity of a season.
Sure, we get the occasional oh, so close stuff.
“Every game has come down to the fourth quarter with the exception of Ole Miss,” Smart pointed out Tuesday. “Every one of those games easily could have gone either way. That’s SEC football. Welcome to the world we live in as coaches.”
Thanks for the invitation, Coach. It’s good to know that narrow brushes with FCS cupcakes and losses to Vanderbilt are the new normal. I’ll adjust my expectations accordingly.
In the meantime I look forward to paying to watch plenty of teaching moments. That’s what you get when the Georgia Way meets the Process and has a baby. But, man, that 2018 season will be spectacular.