You can’t win if they don’t play (for you).

Does recruiting matter?  In the SEC?  Are you kidding?

It’s almost a requirement to win an SEC championship that a school is located in a state considered among the best nationally producing high school talent. It’s why 81 percent of the 84 SEC football titles (including the last 18 straight) to date have been won outright or shared by schools from the state of Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana, all fertile recruiting grounds.

Whatever else you want to say about Kirby Smart, he knows where the primary focus of becoming a successful head coach starts.  And that’s why if he can keep it up, he’s got a legitimate chance of achieving that success.



Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

18 responses to “You can’t win if they don’t play (for you).

  1. Russ

    I agree. If the recruiting stays at this level, we’re bound to succeed.


  2. I’ve seen a lot of concern about next year’s class and I know most want to give Smart all the credit for this class but Richt deserves equal credit for it. It’s obvious that a lot of recruits are holding in a wait-and-see pattern. As am I. But, yeah, I think Kirby can do it. My question is can everyone else in the program do it? So far all they’ve demonstrated is the ability to step on their own toes. Well, that and the ability to amass a large reserve fund for the afterlife.


    • dawgtired

      I’m thinking we need to pile up some wins and start looking good in games to keep the recruiting at the level of the 2017 class.

      Example: I know the leader of a local youth group. He is a great marketer. Every event is advertised as ‘AWESOME!!’…with ‘AWESOME!!’ games and ‘AWESOME!!’ food and ‘AWESOME!!’ fun. But with every event the kids see the same ole, same ole. Guess what? The size of the youth group has dwindled down from 130 to about 30 over the past 2 years.


  3. Uglydawg

    If I had to pick between a great coach with good talent, or a fair coach with great talent, I would pick the former. A great coach will do more with less than a fair coach will do with more.
    Georgia will have the players.
    It is coaching that must make the greatest strides.
    It will all come down to game day coaching. Having the right game schemes on both sides of the ball, calling the right plays, managing the clock, putting the right players in the right positions at the right time.
    Just because you can build or buy a fast machine doesn’t make you a great driver. Last year scared the hell out of me.
    I’m cautiously optimistic. If CKS, in his critical analysis, is as introspective as he is outwardly (and rightfully) towards his players, we might see greatness emerge.


    • You have to be right because most teams that win National Championships have great coaches with good talent like _____ & _______ & ________.

      How do you argue with that?

      In truth, the last time you could argue that occurred was 2002 or 2003. That’s tressel’s OSU team and Saban’s LSU team, respectively.

      Every year since then a team with great talent has won it. Many, like Auburn (Chizik), Texas (Brown), LSU (Miles), Clemson (Swinney) and FSU (Fisher), had good but not great coaches.

      There are teams with great coaches and good talent. Michigan state and Washington come to mind, but they probably aren’t winning national championships….ever.

      If facts matter, it’s pretty obvious that you’re much better off with a good coach and great talent.


      • dawgman3000

        ^^^This all day^^^


      • Uglydawg

        Derek, you can beat down my premise if you change it.
        Did I say “good”? (ref your 4th paragraph) I thought I said “fair”. 3.0 vs 2.0. Hell, I DID say “fair”…a word I carefully chose to avoid “good”.
        I agree with you that “good” will cut it if you have that special talent.
        I’d rather have a 4..0 coach with 3.0 talent than a 2.0 coach with 4.0 talent. . But, yeah..a 3.0 coach with 4.0 talent can do some the cases you pointed out show.
        Last year we saw what sub-par coaching can do to a team that is clearly more talented than (some of) it’s opponents. I’m not saying that to indict CKS, because I believe he will be OK. But last year did scare me and causes more skepticism for me than I would like.


        • At least a third or perhaps even half of the coaches I listed with natties could be fairly called fair.

          College football has always been and will always be first and foremost about talent. I’d rather have a Watson, a Newton or a Young than almost any coach you can name. Other than Saban and Meyer, no coach active today is as valuable as those kinds of players are. I want the coach who can sign them up first and foremost.

          Very few coaches out perform their rosters. SOS did and then there’s….?

          More over who can you spot easier? The next head coaching prospect or the kid that’s playing like a man against boys on a Friday night?

          One is easier and one is more likely to bring results than the other. In short, you can have your schemes and play callers. I want the best players. There’s a place for what you have in mind: the NFL.

          Fair coaches don’t win Super Bowls. Fair coaches do win natties.

          Fair rosters win Super Bowls. Fair rosters never win natties.


          • Uglydawg

            When we say “someone” got “out-coached”…which we all hear a lot..we’re saying he had the players but not the coaching savvy…and it happens to the best of coaches occasionally..but when it becomes more than occasionally, it means you have a coach that’s holding back his team. Not going to name names.
            On the other hand, Yeah, Spurrier was good at fielding his talent on is Cutcliff and even Gary Pinkle.
            If the only measure that we can accept is winning a natty, then I’m not arguing..but if it’s winning conference championships, eleven or twelve wins every year, and beating down cupcakes, it takes a good to great coach to keep his team up and focused. IMHO, Saban is probably the best there has ever been at that in college football…maybe Woody Hayes, too (he made Saban and SOS look like choirboys in his demeanor)
            Good discussion..but I’ll still take a great coach with good talent over the fair coach with greater talent. Ray Goff may be the picture coach of my argument…Loved the guy, but he was snake-bit.


            • bennythedawg

              I was hoping the hiring firm would pick or at least interview Tom Herman, to me, he can win without tons of talent and is a lot better coach than Kirby. McElwain’s been impressive so far, as had Penn St from a pure coaching standpoint. I was among the majority very disappointed by the first year 7-5 number Kirby put up, that’s ridiculous given the talent. How do you get so little out of McKenzie, Sony and Nick? That was hard to believe. When you build your HC and staff around recruiting and not developing talent, you roll the dice. Give me Tom Herman any day.


            • Saban signs the No. 1 class every year. There’s little evidence of him winning games with less talent than the opposition.


    • Greg

      Agree for the most part…..pretty sure if you left all of the talent at Bama and changed the head coach, you would not have 4 MNC there. I feel that Saban is a great coach, but he would probably be the first to say he could not have done it with great players. Both are needed, but it would be much tougher without a great coach.

      Muschamp also comes to mind, he was 28 – 21 at Florida. He also had classes that finished #3, #4 and #8 (nationally). …..coaching matters. I certainly hope we are not seeing a repeat of that. But like you, I am cautiously optimistic….Kirby seems to be changing (coaching style), this year will be a big year..


  4. JarvisCrowell

    It’s definitely true, great coaching brings out the full potential of their athletes. But since athletes are human beings, their potential becomes limited by their personal gifts. The best thing about great players is they give a coach more room for error by requiring less cohesion and execution to be successful. It’s very much a chicken/egg situation as both coaching and players are integral and critical factors in a team’s success. I tend to side with the players side of the spectrum solely because you can make more mistakes and still win. You’re technique doesn’t need to be quite as good if you’re an unstoppable man mountain. Conversely, a team of Rudys could still be champions, but all 11 of them would have to execute near perfectly every time to have a chance. I recognize that this issue is largely academic and certainly falls on a spectrum so strong arguments can be made both ways.


  5. Many people said the previous guy could only out-talent teams. You better have both an excellent coach and excellent players (and a once-a-generation talent helps, too). Clearly, Kirby is amassing talent and finding a balance in talent acquisition. The jury is clearly still out on whether he and his staff can translate the talent acquired into results on the field … I guess that’s what the Process is for.


  6. Nashville West

    Is Alabama really a “fertile recruiting ground” ? It seems like auburn and bama get all of their top recruits from other states like Georgia, Florida and Texas. Only 6 out of 24 players (25%) in bama’s 2017 class were from Alabama. auburn had 10 out of 23 (43%). Not bad for a smaller state but they are not depending on Alabama players to compete nationally.

    The Dawgs had 18 out of 26 (69%) from Georgia.


  7. bennythedawg

    Hope so, but UGA always recruits well and haven’t won even a Championship since 2005. Doesn’t seem to be a cause of anything at UGA