If you’re curious as to how the national media looks at Georgia now that the selection committee has bestowed its number one ranking on the program, here’s the latest from the New York Times.
On the first Saturday of November in 1980, undefeated Georgia took on South Carolina at home. It was the Bulldogs’ first nationally televised game that season, and it introduced viewers across the country to the powerful freshman running back Herschel Walker, who ran for 219 yards in his team’s victory.
A lot has changed since then — thanks to CBS, NBC, ESPN and the SEC Network, every one of Georgia’s games this season has been available everywhere — but around here, mid-autumn still means facing the Gamecocks, a marked ability to run the ball and the eternal springing of hope. In 1980, that hope was rewarded with a national championship, Georgia’s only one in the past half-century.
As Georgia took care of South Carolina again on Saturday, 24-10, the Bulldogs (9-0) are once again setting their sights on a national title run…
For whatever reason, in the postseason era — going back to the first Bowl Championship Series title game after the 1998 season — Georgia, the flagship team of one of the top states for recruiting, has been consistently great but never the best. Under Mark Richt from 2001 to 2015, for instance, Georgia finished ranked 11 times, and in the top 10 five times. But it never made the national postseason during a span in which SEC teams won nine titles.
So perhaps Smart’s myopic mind-set is, well, smart. Georgia has not yet done the things for which they hang your picture and speak of you a half-century hence.
That’s a pretty fair framing. Keep winning and the picture will continue to be filled in.