Here’s Barrett Sallee, going back to that well we know so well:
Here’s our list of coaches under the most pressure entering 2021. This is not a hot seat list. Again, this is NOT a story consisting only of coaches who may be on the proverbial hot seat ahead of this season.
Kirby Smart, Georgia
If not now, when? Georgia will enter 2021 with the best quarterback in the SEC (JT Daniels), the best running back room in the SEC (Zamir White, James Cook and a host of ultra-talented studs) and the best defense in the SEC — if not the country. It also has a chip on its shoulder as evidenced by the #UnfinishedBusiness hashtag that was used when several of those stars like Daniels, White and stud defensive lineman Jordan Davis. That mindset has a very “Clemson 2018” sort of feel.
All of that has led to a ton of optimism in the Classic City, but it also has cranked up the pressure on Smart. This Georgia team walked into Mercedes-Benz Stadium with a shot at the College Football Playoff in three consecutive seasons from 2017-19, and it has therefore raised the bar for Smart and the Bulldogs. Granted, they made the CFP in 2017, but we all know how Tua Tagovailoa put an end to that fairy tale. Georgia needs to make the CFP this year. Otherwise, Smart will start looking plenty like former Georgia coach Mark Richt.
To be fair to Barrett, at least he was consistent enough to include Lincoln Riley on his list, for many of the same reasons, plus this. But, damn, it’s only April and I’m already bored as hell with reading this. Sad to say, I am reaching the point where the joy of watching Georgia win a national title will be outweighed by the relief of knowing if that happens, I won’t have to see this tired take repeated ad nauseam.