Today, in Kirby gets it

I may get a little irritated when Kirby Smart talks about needing fans as recruiting props, but, man, does he get this right.  All of this:

“I’ve always been in favor or a nine-game schedule, (but) it’s not my decision to make,” Smart said, asked his thoughts on adding another league game with respect to the fact that`the Bulldogs are making their first trip to LSU since 2008 and under the current model won’t be in Baton Rouge again until 2030.

“I think it (would be) a good thing, but I think you will have teams with more losses,” Smart said. “Does it affect a team getting in the playoff? I don’t know, but I know you have a lot more games to get up for, a lot more good rivalry games.

“It’s not just about traveling, it’s just as much about the atmosphere of playing an SEC opponent, I think you are playing more comparable teams to your talent level, I think it’s important for college football.”

Smart fondly remembers playing in Tiger Stadium himself, his team-high 12 tackles highlighting a 28-27 Georgia victory in 1998.

“Every environment in the SEC is incredible, but this is one of the best in the country, it always is, their fanbase cares so much, they tailgate, and they are the center attraction, they are the show,” Smart said. “I played there as a player, coached there a lot of times, and it’s a great program, great atmosphere, they are loud, their fans are passionate.”

Smart, who has a degree from Georgia’s celebrated Terry College of Business, said adding another conference game is also another way to ensure college football attendance stabilizes.

“If college football attendance continues to drop, they’re going to be looking to do this,” Smart said. “So I think it’s important, and I think it’s good for the game.”

One big reason I’m making the trip this week is because who knows if I’ll be in any shape to make the next one?  That’s kind of sad.  Isn’t that what playing in a conference is supposed to facilitate?  Bless the man for saying it.

One other thing here — when the day eventually comes that Smart’s had enough with coaching, I sure hope Georgia has enough sense to look at him as an athletic director.  He’d make a good ‘un.  That is, unless the SEC steals him for a bigger role.


Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

30 responses to “Today, in Kirby gets it

  1. ChiliDawg

    That’s a really depressing though. I’ve never been to Baton Rouge and unable to make the trip this time. That means my next chance is… gulp…. 12 years away?

    I really hated conference re-alignment. Can’t we just go back to the previous version?


    • I’m with you, Chili. $live and the presidents screwed it up by inviting Missouri. It should have been a school that was in the east. I’m not sure who was available and would have been a net add, but $live was paid to make it happen.

      On the issue of going to Red Stick, I never want to go as a visiting fan given some of the stories others have told about BR. I would rather see a night game and enjoy the experience.


  2. Salty Dawg

    Nooooo…I don’t want to even think about Kirby leaving.


  3. Got Cowdog

    2030? I’m seriously kicking myself for not setting up a trip. Not only should this be a really good game, I have family there I haven’t seen in a couple of years.


  4. W Cobb Dawg

    ““Does it affect a team getting in the playoff? I don’t know, but I know you have a lot more games to get up for, a lot more good rivalry games.”

    I’m starting to despise the fixation on the CFP. Memo to ALL coaches: Beat your next opponent, win your division, win your conference, and then start thinking about the CFP.

    Liked by 1 person

    • DawgFlan

      It’s called self-preservation.


    • Macallanlover

      Exactly right. Winning the SEC East is our first goal, win the SEC title when you get there. I am not worried about what comes next, we will be fine, and get our shots to play more top teams. Kirby gets that his players might be off because they are playing so many cupcakes this year. Last year we had ND to focus on early, then a night game against MSU who had blown LSU out, it set the mindset in a way this season’s schedule hasn’t. You know the players’ friends are all talking to them about the after game parties, not what will happen on the field.

      Good on Kirby for supporting the 9th conference game, someone needs to be worried about how little interaction there is. Still no A&M, it is 2018 for God’s sake. Empty seats again in The Swamp for LSU, Auburn with thousands of empty seats before a matchup of Top 10 teams three weeks ago when LSU came into J-H. Wow, coming at us fast.


  5. 2030 will be the next trip to LSU. Not sure I will be around to catch that one. A nine game schedule would up that time frame considerably. I hope the SEC makes the change to a nine game conference schedule soon.


  6. Jeff Sanchez

    I’ll say it again:
    -No divisions
    -Each team has five permanent opponents (for us, UF, UT, AU, SC, KY)
    -Rotate the other four teams on a home and home basis
    -Top two teams play for SECC

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bulldog Joe

    Nine game SEC schedule favors the teams with depth in recruiting, namely Georgia, Alabama, and LSU.

    Easy to see why these schools favor it. Given the push back from last season, it will likely be a while until we see two conference teams make a four team playoff. Nine games make it more difficult for a flawed 2013 and 2017 Auburn team to take a division championship.

    Also, getting a bye in the conference championship week has playoff advantages. I don’t see the playoff committee allowing a team other than Notre Dame to do this going forward.

    But no changes will be made until the dropoff in actual attendance and media revenue affect the SEC’s bottom line.


  8. I like the 9 game schedule and it would be ok if we discontinued the permanent cross-over games as well. For us, throw AU in with everyone else in the West and that would enable UGA to have even less years between playing other schools on that side.


  9. TN Dawg

    This is absolutely the drawback of league expansion.

    South Carolina was a good add, but Arkansas, Missouri and Texas A & M were bad for traditional rivalries and interesting cross-division games.

    Who the hell wants to go to Missouri every other year over visiting Alabama or LSU once a decade?


    • Nine-game schedule solves multiple problems at once. Kirby is on the right path by highlighting declining attendance as one of the problems that a nine-game schedule could alleviate.


  10. Ginny

    This is exactly the reason why we are going this weekend. Who knows when the opportunity will present itself again, and I feel as though I am still young enough now to properly enjoy it. It really is a shame though. I’d take more SEC games in a heartbeat even if it means a chance of more potential losses.


  11. PTC DAWG

    IF our TV contract ever dictates 9 games, then and only then, will it happen.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. 92 grad

    The sec is the most badass conference but they (suits) don’t act like it. The more the better, 9 games really should happen. Next year will be a great one for home games but that AU and GT away cycle really bites. Admins, do some work to take care of your local people and fix these dang schedules.


  13. Hobnail_Boot

    So long as Georgia plays Florida in Duval County, this giving up a home-stadium game every other year, both schools should be pushing hard for a 9-game league schedule.


  14. I wish we could sell Arkansas and Missouri to someone. They suck and add nothing to the SEC.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. DawgFan092412

    The old scheduling rules just made more sense. Every player (and student) got at least one matchup against every SEC school during their 4 years on campus. Stick around 5 years and you’re guaranteed at least one road trip to every school in the conference.

    A&M joined the conference in 2012. There are kids who’ve completed undergrad and wrapped up a master’s degree or a J.D. without seeing a Georgia-A&M football game.

    With a 9-game schedule you can guarantee at least one match-up with every team in the conference during any 4 year period. You can also guarantee at least one road trip every 6 years (instead of every 12). 6 division games, 1 fixed rival, 2 rotating games.