Here’s the entirety of the Mailbag entry on the subject (h/t Justin):
Hey Stewart,What an incredible Rose Bowl win by Georgia! That victory, plus your article about the Dawgs’ upward trajectory under Kirby Smart has me wondering: how close is Georgia to moving from Baron to King?Scott Sandy, Cobleskill, N.Y.Do you think the denizens of Montana would recognize a Georgia football helmet today?Justin MichelsHa.A little background for our subscribers: Ten years ago I wrote a column separating the nation’s power-conference programs into four tiers — Kings, Barons, Knights and Peasants — based solely on prestige. No fan base was more up in arms than Georgia’s over the fact I didn’t have it in the highest tier. I did not believe then — or in 2012 and 2017 when I updated the list — that Georgia’s program was perceived as a national power.One blog in particular really latched on to my contention that if you showed a Georgia “G” helmet to 100 random fans in Montana they would not be able to identify it as easily as Michigan’s or Alabama’s. They even sent a fan with a video camera out to bars in the state to try to disprove me. It didn’t work, but I admired the effort.But nothing changes a program’s perception more than winning a national championship. Last year I elevated Clemson to King. And so, let me just go on the record right now — if the Dawgs beat Alabama on Monday, I will officially consider them kings. Please pass this news along to Senator Blutarsky in the (very likely) event he’s not a subscriber here.