The curse of higher expectations

I can’t say I’m the biggest Dean Legge fan, but I do think he gets a lot right in his post about the pressure on Kirby Smart to win a natty.  I certainly wouldn’t say I have a general impression that the fan base is unreasonably anxious about it, but I’ve seen more than a few comments here and there suggesting there’s a rise in impatience in certain quarters (not that I expect anyone in Butts-Mehre to take it seriously).

Anyway, saying it’s Smart’s fault isn’t fair, but I can’t quibble too much with this:

Winning it all is never an easy thing to do.

Georgia fans and Kirby Smart know that well. They know it in excruciating form, actually. But when does the pressure really start to build on Kirby Smart to win it all?

He’s recruited so well that players like Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason and Justin Fields have all been on campus in his first four years on the job. And yet the title has elided him – in a way more painful than most.

First, if folks are wondering out loud why you haven’t won it all yet that means you are doing something right. No one ever said that about Steve Spurrier in Cootlumbia, and I’ve yet to hear that about Dan Mullen in Gainesville.

What Kirby has done to elevate things at UGA shouldn’t be undersold. This was an institution (UGA) that wasn’t really sold on the power of a winning football program. And by winning I mean winning in a way that get people in Arizona, Nevada and California to notice you.

UGA may disagree with the notion that they didn’t understand the marketing power of football, but their actions over the last two decades say otherwise. For the bulk of that time the powers that be either seemed in the way, or were used as an excuse for the reason football was stumbling behind the Gators, Tide and much of the rest of the SEC. Georgia wasn’t living up to its potential.

Those days are gone.

If you want to say that in certain quarters, Kirby Smart is a victim of his own success, I don’t think that’s an unfair assessment.  And I guess it’s fair to ask what happens if that final validation continues to elude his program for a few more years.

Either way, because of what Kirby has accomplished in his short time in Athens, one has to wonder when the pressure will really be on for him to win it all. Jim Donnan, Kirby’s coach while he played at UGA, was fired for losing three times in a row to Tech… that’s not the sort of pressure Kirby is facing. Mark Richt was let go beucase it had become clear the program had regressed.

Kirby has been given the keys to pretty much anything he wants at UGA (not without him having to make that happen). He’s recruited on a level the SEC has rarely seen. In fact, he might be recruiting at a level college football has never seen if he grabs another No. 1 class this coming winter (Nick Saban’s recruiting juggernaut included Kirby… now Saban going against him, and Kirby is winning).

The biggest thing that Kirby has done is change the level of imagination at UGA. Georgia should be doing this sort of winning, and more. And that’s what Kirby will be judged by.

Mark Richt built something in Athens.  Kirby Smart, in turn, built upon that and and raised the level of the program as a result.  Where do things go from here and how patient are you willing to be?

Me, I look at what Smart’s done in the past three months and I see someone who’s as unwilling to settle for what’s happened in the last three years as the impatient part of the fan base.  The attitude we want to see is there.  The question is whether his vision is right, but Smart’s earned the time to find out.

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85 Comments

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85 responses to “The curse of higher expectations

  1. Bigshot

    Smart is the victim of circumstances. History tells us that UGA can’t win a National Championship. Something will always go wrong.

    Like

  2. ASEF

    Kirby’s problem is that everyone around him has lifted their game. Alabama’s operating at a peak for both the program and the sport. Clemson too.

    LSU just had the outlier of all seasons. So everyone around him is winning that trophy. Georgia Fan interacts with their fans daily.

    Tennessee, Florida, Auburn, SC, and FSU all have silly money to throw at football, which collectively makes everything in recruiting even more difficult.

    Most SEC opponents individually will not come close to matching up, but enough of them are within striking distance that the Upset No One Saw Coming gets several rolls of the dice.

    It’s an insanely hard thing to do, but Saban and Dabo winning multiple trophies and getting multiple bites at the apple make it look easier than it really is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Uglydawg

      I doubt Dabo would have won it had he traded schedules with any SEC team. He’s got a cakewalk that lets him treat the season like a football camp with plenty of work for his second and third squads and rest for the starters. Also very little prep time having to be spent on most of his opponents. He’s a good coach, but he’s got an unbelievably easy situation to reach the playoffs.

      Like

  3. Jeff Sanchez

    As long as people keep that same energy with Kirby that they had with Richt…interesting seeing a lot of the “it’s really hard and requires a lot of luck!” talk start popping up again, this time from the other group

    Like

    • James Stephenson

      I have always said it is hard and takes a little luck. Even with better players this axiom holds true.

      Like

    • Former Fan

      CMR was 1 play away in at least 3 different seasons. Thing is, he never really had the support of the administration that CKS does. Still, CKS recruits a lot better and sooner or later, the ball will bounce Kirby’s way.

      Like

  4. Bright Idea

    Smart is in good shape but the first question that will ultimately come is, “but we spent all of this money?”

    Like

  5. Tiimphd

    Maybe I am all alone in this, but I find the total focus on winning the NC to be overblown. Twenty years ago I would have been happy to have three straight SEC East titles, one SEC championship, a playoff appearance and a Rose Bowl win. I would have called that good. We have beaten the hated Gators three years in a row, have won 3 of the last 4 from the Barners and now have the talent to compete with anyone. If you had asked me 20 years ago would that happen I would probably have said no.

    I do want to see this team win the NC, but I am happy now that we are in the discussion of the best teams in the country, and will be considered for the playoffs on a regular basis. I had the great pleasure of sitting in the stands in Notre Dame, the Rose Bowl and this years home game against ND, all Dawg victories. I have to savor those things and not minimize them because we don’t win the NC. I want to continue to crush Florida’s dreams, beat the Barn with regularity, etc. If a Natty comes with that I will be thrillled. If not, I will still revel in crushing the Gators and Barn.

    Liked by 11 people

    • JG Shellnutt

      Exactly

      Like

    • RangerRuss

      Well stated. The total beatdowns of Tennessee and Florida after the years of mediocrity have made being a Dawg fan quite enjoyable.

      Like

    • Athens Townie

      Biiiingo, Tiimphd.

      Like

    • Macallanlover

      I agree, the title or bust group is loud, but confined more to an ESPN, under 30, type crowd for the most part. So it is overstated regarding the UGA fans, and a favorite of national media and talk show hosts, imo. I would love to have it off our back for those fans (so they can enjoy life again), and for the players, coaches, etc., who have worked so hard and believed in themselves.

      But, sorry Jeff Sanchez, it does take a combo of talent, and some fortuitous timing/health/breaks/calls to all come together to end up winning it all. Like a hole-in-one in golf, the shot has to be pretty damned good for proximity reasons but it takes some incredible luck after that for it to find the bottom of the hole. It doesn’t take that degree of luck in CFB, but there are numerous factors, many of them beyond your program’s control.

      So while I want to win every game, the fun of being competitive with every team we play, and being around the conversation regularly is quite exciting as a fan. Most UGA are that realistic, anf who wants to be obnoxious blowhards like so many Bama or ohio fans anyway? Having perspective and being appreciative is more what I want to see in our fans base. The ugliest part of our fans base is the unhappy ones ones disappointed with the environment we are currently in.

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      • Jeff Sanchez

        “But, sorry Jeff Sanchez, it does take a combo of talent, and some fortuitous timing/health/breaks/calls to all come together to end up winning it all.”

        Don’t get me wrong, I agree with this 100% and always have, arguing it many times from 2002-2015

        I’m just highlighting the fact that when people made this argument when CMR was here, it was dismissed as excuses and whatnot.

        Like

      • Dawg1

        But…”I want to continue to crush Florida’s dreams” is the ultimate victory, right?

        Like

  6. Mick Jagger

    Post of the week/month/year, Tiimphd!

    However, that kind of logical thinking is not allowed among Georgia fans! LOL

    Like

    • Rocketdawg

      This is because all we hear from ESPN and every other outlet is “Natty this” and “Natty that”. Before we had the playoff and it’s predecessor the BCS it was more important to beat your rivals, win your conference, and play in a NY Day bowl. That was considered a successful season. If some group of newspaper writers said you were the best in the country then it was gravy (and something for the old men to argue about at the barbershop).

      The fact that we are bitching and complaining about a 12-2 season where we beat all of our major rivals, played for the conference championship, and won a Sugar Bowl is evidence that college football has jumped the shark. When ESPN gets its wish for an 8 team playoff the death will be complete.

      Like

      • Tony Barnfart

        It’s such a cliché to say this, but you know what would remedy the obnoxiously shallow, natty-or-bust culture that runs through college football. Turn it into a pyramid structure like English soccer with promotion and relegation. Those folks stay engaged and watch the bottom of the standings just as intently as the top because it’s fun to see teams fighting for their survival. Watching Mississippi State fight Arkansas to avoid banishment to the Sun Belt would be compelling television. And the teams that stayed up by finishing middle-of-the-road would feel pretty good about the win(s) that kept their head above water……rather than disengagement when the one, unitary goal isn’t accomplished (that’s what college football has become IMO).

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        • I don’t know why folks treat relegation as something that should be seriously considered, if for no other reason than that college athletics involve more than one sport.

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        • Uglydawg

          “Watching Mississippi State fight Arkansas to avoid banashment to the Sun Belt would be compelling television”
          No.
          Watching Florida battle Tennessee to avoid banishment to the Sun Belt would be compelling television…in fact, I’d probably buy a ticket and travel to the game..get a seat on the 50.

          Like

  7. DawgByte

    “Mark Richt built something in Athens. Kirby Smart, in turn, built upon that and and raised the level of the program as a result. Where do things go from here and how patient are you willing to be?

    Me, I look at what Smart’s done in the past three months and I see someone who’s as unwilling to settle for what’s happened in the last three years as the impatient part of the fan base. The attitude we want to see is there. The question is whether his vision is right, but Smart’s earned the time to find out.”

    Senator I think you nailed it in the above paragraph.

    Like

    • Will (the other one)

      Exactly that, and it’s why I’m excited about what future teams can do.
      Offense and special teams outside of Hot Rod really didn’t get it done at a championship level, and coaching on both those areas was overhauled. No “we just went 12-2 so let’s go with stability” complacency, just a relentless pursuit of further improvement.

      Like

  8. Phil Mickelson is the Georgia parallel in the golf universe especially at the US Open. Sure, he’s won a lot and won some big tournaments, but everyone remembers the ones that got away. 2nd and 26 was Payne Stewart at Pinehurst. The SECCG fake punt was Mickelson’s implosion on the last hole at Winged Foot. LSU last year was the equivalent of Tiger Woods at Bethpage Black.

    I only hope the “natty or bust” crowd doesn’t eventually win the day with Kirby if he doesn’t get over the national championship hump in the next few years.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. W Cobb Dawg

    If not for terrible refs Kirby would have that natty.

    Having said that, truth is even with boatloads of talent Chaney was never, and will never be, a championship OC. Coley was hamstrung with an ultra conservative approach and scant help from the O staff. Overall, the offensive coaching and approach has left a lot to be desired. Hopefully, Monken will be a refreshing change.

    And Kirby needs to present a more compelling argument for players to return. Trent Thompson, Imac, Holyfield, Nauta, and perhaps Fromm aren’t as nfl-ready as they believed.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Tronan

    “Cootlumbia.” Yeah, I guess Spurrier is a coot, isn’t he?

    Like

  11. ATL Dawg

    In Kirby’s 4 years, we’ve had 1 year where we either won the conference or made the playoff. 1 out of 4 years is good but not great.

    We’re not a “natty or bust” program. We’re a “we need to start winning the conference or making the playoff more often” program.

    Like

    • You make it sound so easy.

      Like

      • ATL Dawg

        I do? That wasn’t my intention.

        Like

        • Winning the SEC the past two seasons has meant either beating one of the all-time dominant programs in the history of college football (one that still has a slight talent advantage, too) or a team that played one of the most epic seasons in college football history. The CFP doesn’t favor multiple teams from the same conference, which makes it even tougher for UGA.

          I don’t mean to denigrate your point that Georgia hasn’t gotten where we’d like to see it go, but, like it or not, I don’t think we can ignore the context, either.

          Liked by 1 person

          • ATL Dawg

            I don’t disagree. Those are good points.

            However, that doesn’t change the fact that talking “natty or bust” is a little ridiculous when we’ve only broken through once and that was 3 seasons ago. Hell, that one breakthrough was our lone conference championship in the last 14 years. If some other program held those credentials and started yipping “natty or bust”, we’d be laughing.

            To me, “natty or bust” talk is for programs that have very consistently been close to winning one and just haven’t done it yet. Have we been close before? Yeah. Have we been close on a consistent basis? No.

            Like

          • BA Baracus

            “The CFP doesn’t favor multiple teams from the same conference, which makes it even tougher for UGA”

            All the more ironic that the one time two from the same conference get in, it’s that very 2nd team that keeps us from winning it. I swear it’s really hard not to believe in curses as a Georgia fan…

            Liked by 2 people

    • Jeff Sanchez

      Since CKS’s first year (wash, doesn’t count) we’ve been trending downward
      2017-SEC Champ, playoff, NC game
      2018-Lose SEC championship in close game, no playoff
      2019- blown out in SEC championship, no playoff

      2020- on paper, the most talented team in the country. What’s the result?

      Like

    • Did you expect us to be competitive for the conference in 2016? I didn’t, but I also didn’t see us almost have the most embarrassing loss in the history of the program or lose to Vandy on homecoming. I would say 1 out of 3 of being in the conversation.

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      • ATL Dawg

        I certainly didn’t expect to go 8-5 after these recruiting classes:

        2014 – #8 nationally
        2015 – #6 nationally
        2016 – #6 nationally

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        • I can get that … see my comment above regarding the Nicholls and Vandy games in particular. The blown Fech game was ridiculous.

          I also know that Kirby was turning the battleship to change culture and bring a physical mindset to the team. Don’t take that as buying into the “throwaway season” crap Jeff Dantzler tried to sell in 2016.

          Like

  12. 964Dawg

    I am glad to see reasonable responses to this. Natty or bust is way overblown in my mind. Smart has elevated the program is a level that is amazing considering he’s been head coach for only four seasons. Is there room for improvement? Sure, but all UGA fans need to be enjoying what’s happening and not nit-pick Smart and the program to death. I firmly believe the best is yet to some for the Dawgs and Smart.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Mayor

    The pressure comes from the fact that all our rivals have won natties relatively recently and Georgia hasn’t. UT, Auburn, FU, LSU, Bama, Clemson—even Georgia Tech—have won natties since the last time Georgia won one. These are teams the Dawgs beat regularly or at least compete with on an even footing (except for Bama in recent years) and that is why it is so hard to take. Georgia under Mark Richt could easily have won a national title 4 time if things had broken a little differently. 2002 the team was 13-1 and was a better team than either of the undefeated teams that played in the BCSNCG that year. 2007 was an oddball year where LSU won the whole thing with 2 losses—Georgia had 2 losses and wasn’t allowed to play in the BCSNCG by the greatest anti-Georgia lobbying campaign ever conducted by ESPN in history. 2012 end of game mismanagement by Richt lost the SECCG to Bama which crushed ND in the BCSNCG (Georgia would have done the same) and the refs stole the title away from the Dawgs in 2017. There were other years where if the Dawgs had won a key game that they lost, usually to FU, they would have been right there. I don’t think there has been another team that has been as close so many times without winning at least one as Georgia. That’s where the expectation comes from. We need to continue to support the Dawgs and Kirby. When your 12-2 or 11-3 team is an off season your program is in a pretty good place.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bigshot

      This is exactly what I am saying. Numerous opportunities, but for some reason something always happens.

      Like

    • Rocketdawg

      Wow. 1998 and 2008 are “lately”? UT and UF’s titles are as relevant to the current landscape as ours in 1980. Tech’s doesn’t count since they played the softest schedule and beat a mediocre Nebraska team in the freaking Citrus Bowl.

      We are unfortunately (or fortunately) living in the era of one of the most dominant coaches in CFB football who is at a historical program in our conference. As much as they want to run their mouths UT and UF have been largely irrelevant for the last 12 years. Our SEC Championship in ‘17 is the only non SEC West win since 2008.

      Perspective. I feel like we now have the horses and more importantly depth to compete with Alabama.
      I do agree with whoever posted above about being better about keeping boarderline NFL kids around for their senior seasons. Our offense this year looks a lot different with Nauta, Holyfield, and Ridley along with Holloman not getting kicked off the team.

      Like

      • “We are unfortunately (or fortunately) living in the era of one of the most dominant coaches in CFB football who is at a historical program in our conference.”

        Exactly my point about Phil Mickelson above. If he didn’t play in the same era as Tiger Woods, he would probably be looked at as one of the best ever … similar to everyone else in the SEC in the Nick Saban era.

        I totally agree with you about the guys who left early. If you aren’t a projected first 2 day selection, you shouldn’t leave. All Kirby can do is give them the information and provide advice.

        Like

  14. Russ

    We’ll get there eventually. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the ride.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Busta

    The thing that gets overlooked with Kirby is how many years did it take Saban, Spurrier and Meyer to win a natty as a HC? After appearing in the NCG in his second year as HC, people, especially of other fan bases judge Kirby as if he’s been a 10-15 year HC that hasn’t won it all. “Kirby Smart underachieves with all that talent” many say. He just finished his third recruiting class that was entirely made up of he and his staff, he’s not sitting on 5+ classes in the top 3 that would have 5 star veterans. I remember Dabo being on the hot seat for “Clempsoning” every year before he broke through. How many years was he coaching before he won it all? Kirby is well ahead of schedule, and I believe he was one of, if not the biggest driving factor in Bama’s success. He has to out do what he largely help build with a new version that isn’t yet established…while being judged as if he’s been at UGA for at least a decade.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jeff Sanchez

      I seriously am tired of this argument.

      By firing a very successful, well-loved and respected coach, UGA was telling everyone they were all-in on a NC. CKS knew this coming in and accepted the challenge, to his credit. “On the job training” was implicitly not included in this expectation.

      Like

      • Jeff, I’m going to take the bait as a person who admires and respects Mark Richt for his on-the-field performance and off-the-field representation of the Georgia football program. I was not happy on November 29, 2015 and let the AD know I wasn’t happy about it. I admit I wasn’t happy about the hiring of a coordinator to replace one of the two best coaches in the history of our football program without a real search for a proven head coach. I did decide to give him my support even though I was skeptical.

        How long do you give Kirby Smart to win a national title before you decide he no longer warrants your support? I’m genuinely curious and not trying to troll you.

        I’ll give you my opinion. I prejudged Kirby and was wrong. We are beating our main rivals regularly (especially FU). We have been in a de facto quarterfinal game each of the last 3 years. We are in the conversation. I will not support a “lather, rinse, repeat” approach if Kirby keeps us at the level we are right now.

        Like

        • Jeff Sanchez

          Thanks for a good take and respectful tone.

          I, like you, was really unhappy with CMR’s firing at the time and wasn’t on the Smart bandwagon. I don’t have an answer to “how long” I’m giving Kirby, and ultimately I don’t matter one bit.

          What HAS changed for me, though, is after what happened to Richt I’m no longer blindly supporting any coach. I’ll praise Kirby to the heavens when he does well and drag him for doing stupid shit. I’m game-to-game with him now (and with any coach the rest of my life) because that’s the message we kind of sent in 2015.

          Just trying to be honest with my thoughts…

          Like

          • I can totally respect that point of view. Excellent take.

            Like

            • Bigshot

              CMR got 15 years

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              • He wouldn’t have gotten 6 years without 2 SEC titles and another SECCG appearance. Richt did not get fired for failing to deliver a national championship. He was fired because of 4 games in 2014 & 2015:

                1) The two debacles against Florida,
                2) The curb-stomping in the rain against Alabama, and
                3) The win over Georgia Southern.

                You can make the case Red Panties should have fired him in 2009 or McGarity should have had the guts to do it in 2010, but that’s the earliest you could make a rational case for change.

                Like

                • ATL Dawg

                  Agree with some of what you wrote. Don’t forget these reasons:

                  4) 0 conference titles in his last 10 years
                  5) losing 4 or more games 4 times in his last 7 years
                  6) 2 top 10 finishes in his last 7 years

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                • ATL Dawg

                  Forgot this gem…

                  7) lost fewer than 3 games only once in his last 8 years (while only playing in 2 conference championship games and 0 BCS champ or playoff games)

                  Like

                • No argument there, but the 4 games I highlight are the ones that caused the powers that be to turn on Richt.

                  Like

    • To answer your question without too much opinion…

      Number of seasons with school it took to win their first title as HC, since 2000:
      Coker, Miami, 1
      Stoops, OU, 2
      Tressel, OSU, 2
      Meyer, Florida, 2
      Chizik, Auburn, 2
      Orgeron, LSU, 3 (full seasons; excludes 2016 interim)
      Meyer, Ohio St, 3
      Carroll, USC, 3* (2003 split title)
      Saban, Bama, 3
      Miles, LSU, 3
      Saban, LSU, 4* (2003 split title)
      Fisher, FSU, 4

      It’s possible. People treat Dabo like the norm and I don’t necessarily agree. Other than the names on this list, only Dabo (8) and Mack Brown (8) have won titles in the time since 2000. Again, I’m not advocating for firing Kirby at all. And I won’t after next year even without a title.

      But it is possible.

      Like

    • To answer your question without too much opinion…

      Number of seasons with school it took to win their first title as HC, since 2000:
      Coker, Miami, 1
      Stoops, OU, 2
      Tressel, OSU, 2
      Meyer, Florida, 2
      Chizik, Auburn, 2
      Orgeron, LSU, 3 (full seasons; excludes 2016 interim)
      Meyer, Ohio St, 3
      Carroll, USC, 3* (2003 split title)
      Saban, Bama, 3
      Miles, LSU, 3
      Saban, LSU, 4* (2003 split title)
      Fisher, FSU, 4

      It’s possible. People treat Dabo like the norm and I don’t necessarily agree. Other than the names on this list, only Dabo (8) and Mack Brown (8) have won titles in the time since 2000. Again, I’m not advocating for firing Kirby at all. And I won’t after next year even without a title.

      But it is possible.

      Like

      • Busta

        What’s lost on some of those stats/coaches is that it doesn’t show how many years they were HCs for before they won the MNC, but rather how many years of assuming the job for that team. Saban was a HC before going to LSU as was Spurrier before fU. I’m not sure (because I haven’t looked it up) how many coaches have won the national championship as a brand new head coach, especially those who weren’t already on staff of the previous head coach. Kirby gets compared to guys who have much more head coaching experience and talented teams imo.

        Like

  16. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Dean, the grammar police (okay, me) wonder how titles elide you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dawg1

      Ha, Dean has arguments with his co-writer there who is a stickler for grammar and spelling. Dean — Not so much — and he admits it!

      I don’t find him as bad as many do, frankly. I think his criticisms of the program, when necessary, are coming from a lover of all things Dawg. I can take that.

      Like

    • stoopnagle

      Yeah, I LOL’d.

      Basically don’t use “utilized” if you can use “used.” Simple language is best. No one is impressed when you misuse a word.

      Liked by 1 person

    • CB

      First if all, I hate when titles elide me. smh

      Like

      • I don’t think this is a matter of Legge getting hoity toity with his language. More like the i and u keys are next to each other and he doesn’t have an editor.

        Like

        • CB

          I get it, but that rarely if ever happens on your free blog, whereas Legge has the nerve to ask for money for his site yet can’t be bothered to proofread. There are apps that will check grammar for you. It’s just flat out laziness or not caring.

          Journalism has gone so far down the drain. Legge isn’t even the worst of it. I thought Conor Riley was bad enough, but I recently saw that Sports Illustrated has a high schooler covering UGA basketball for them. A F*KN HIGH SCHOOLER! Smh. Bulldog Maven my ass.

          Like

  17. Whiskey Dawg

    My dad took me to my first Georgia game in 1965. I barely remember it. I do remember the high of 1980 – watching the Dawgs defeat ND from Duluth, Minnesota surrounded by Irish fans who said we had no chance. My father passed away a few months before the Sooner game at the Rose Bowl. He was very frail when I retired back to Athens to look after my mom. One of the last things he said about the program was, “I think we got us a good coach in Kirby Smart”. Stay positive Dawg fans – the promise land is in sight and we will get there.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. I feel as if many of the folks here labeling others as being part of the “natty-or-bust-crowd” don’t completely understand what bust actually means. Unless anyone is advocating for firing Kirby Smart if the Dawgs don’t win a game in Miami in January of 2021, then they aren’t really “bust”, are they? If you cautiously say that we need to break through and have a competent offense, then that’s just higher expectations. But no one here (or really anywhere else that I’ve seen) would ever suggest firing CKS after next year.

    Everyone commenting that beating Florida/Auburn/Tennessee/etc. is what makes a great season is correct, to an extent. But I promise you CKS and Co. don’t have that as priority number 1. Yes, it’s wonderful and important. Beating Florida is my favorite thing on earth, but only because I’ve never seen a national championship.

    I’ve mentioned this before on here, but if you think Auburn recalls the 2017 season more fondly than Georgia or Alabama, I have a wonderful piece of property in Arizona I’d like for you to take a look at.

    But acting as if those of us who want a national title soon have our pitchforks ready at any given time is ridiculous. I like the strides Kirby has taken with Monken, but we’ve seen this before. Naturally, I’m optimistic, hell- I’m a Georgia fan after all. But expecting a little more isn’t unreasonable.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Lazy Grad

    An underlying irritant with this is thinking is due to errybody saying “1980” as if the UGA fans are helpless to counter that argument ender… so SOMETHING has to be done NOW to shut up fans of other schools.

    Under Kirby…
    2016 – Kirby looked to be too stubborn with man-ball and getting player buy-in
    2017 – so damn close to winning the NC
    2018 – back at the SECCG
    2019 – with that impotent offense, UGA was so close to making the CFB playoff

    If I recall correctly, Tom Osborne, Bobby Bowden, Spurrier, Saban, Dabo, took several seasons to get to that level.

    Fingers crossed that Kirby will allow and Monken can coach up the offense to equate their talent. The talent is there… albeit, with some questions, but on-paper it looks to be very good.

    Like

  20. Sports Fan

    We will win 3 of the next 4 National Championships.

    2020
    2022
    2023

    Book it.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. “Bust implies you’d want CKS fired if we don’t win a game in Miami of January 2021. And I am yet to see anyone here (or really anywhere) suggest that.”

    You must not read much on social media. We have a segment of our fan base that wanted to run Kirby and Jake Fromm out of town after the USCe loss last year.

    No one is saying a national championship isn’t important, but if your sole measure of the success of the program is whether the program achieves that milestone, then you may be a member of the “natty or bust” crowd.

    For you, how long do you give Kirby to give you a national title (I was alive in 1980) before you decide he no longer warrants your support as the head football coach at the University of Georgia?

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    • Very reasonable response and I appreciate it.

      Couple notes overall, I wouldn’t say anyone who seriously (or even moderately) understands football advocated for firing Kirby. I’m on twitter and didn’t personally see anyone saying that, but you’re right that it probably did happen. So if you take out the .1% that expects and demands to go 15-0 from now until the end of football, then it is a much more rational fanbase. But saying zero was maybe an overstatement.

      That isn’t at all the sole measure (a national title), for me anyway. Again, beating our rivals is truly one of the greatest things in the world. But our rivals aren’t always dumpster fires with moron head coaches. I don’t at all mean to put an asterisk on the Ws against the SEC East as of late, but surely you admit they are far, far below where they had been for the 20 years prior to the last 5. Would an early 2000s Tennessee team needed to ask 40 different people to coach them? And Mullen is still relatively early in his tenure at UF. CKS didn’t exactly have a stellar 2016 season. Attitudes about Mullen will change if they unfortunately ever notch a W soon. And let’s not forget the fearsome McElwain before that. Or Muschamp at Carolina.

      I mostly get frustrated when I express dissatisfaction with our team (namely offensive philosophy or in game decision making by CKS) and get criticized for not appreciating the fact that we beat our rivals.

      And finally, I’ll support anyone as our head coach, as long as he is our head coach. If that day does come 3-4 years from now when we are talking about when Kirby will get his first national title, yes, I may wish we had someone else be our head coach. But I’d save that for the offseasons.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. PTC DAWG

    First off, the term “natty” makes me chuckle.

    That said, if you are on the “MNC” (because it is still somewhat mythical, a vote is need to participate) or bust train, you are doomed for disappointment.

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  23. duronimo

    The fan base has no reason for discontent. After all they are but voyeurs to the game. Richt did us proud and Dooley before him. Every UGA coach has given us moments to cherish. Kirby is unlike any coach on the scene today. His vision is in building a brand-based athletic empire. He has a business plan that has no column for the shallow, what have you done for me lately, reflexes of the fans. He’s more interested in the future than the past. The past, for him, is only a tool to correct his current and future course. That he is ours, is the point.

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  24. UGA '97

    Seems the offense this year is built on a very opportunistic approach. How will that affect this season & next? Also, how Monken handles in-game adjustments, down to down, quarter to quarter is a big part of a natty run.

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  25. ATL Dawg

    0 national championships in the last 39 seasons
    3 conference championships in the last 37 seasons
    1 conference championship in the last 14 seasons

    0 opportunities to win bowl game and claim national championship during 15 year period from 1983-1997
    0 appearances in the BCS championship game in its 16 year existence from 1998-2013
    1 appearance in the playoff in its 6 year existence from 2014-2019

    Yet we’re going to act like we’re “natty or bust”? Give me a break.

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    • We may not be a “natty or bust” program, but we damn sure have more than our share of “natty or bust” fans.

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      • ATL Dawg

        I don’t think we do but YMMV. Everyone’s interpretation of how many fans think this and how many fans think that is different.

        I think most fan angst can be attributed more to not winning the conference much (3 times in 37 years) and not playing in many bowl/playoff games that could lead to a national championship (2 games in 37 years).

        If we start winning the conference more and appearing in bowl/playoff games that matter more but still keep falling short, I think many of us will develop a “natty or bust” perspective. But as it stands now, I think most of us are in a “win the conference or make the playoff or bust” frame of mind.

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  26. Uglydawg

    Here’s one big problem.
    One of the teams that is now perennially taking 25 percent of the slots in the CFP’s is doing it with a schedule so easy that if any of the top eight teams in the SEC (and some other conference) were to trade places with them, they’d be that perennial playoff team.
    That’s right. If Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Auburn, LSU, A&M, MSU, and a lot of years KY, Mizzo, USCe, etc were to trade conferences and schedules with Clemmons, they too would be in the CFP every year and recruiting at a high level because of it.
    So Georgia..or Auburn…can be the second or third best team in the country. but when they’re not Conference Champs…and have lost a tough game to a team in the toughest conference…they can’t get in ahead of a patsy eater.
    SOS should count a LOT more than it does.
    But Mickey isn’t concerned with that.

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