You cannot defeat the narrative. You can only hope to contain it.

I knocked Barrett Sallee a little earlier this week for bringing forth the already stale “Kirby Smart’s under pressure from the fan base” preseason talking point.  At least, though, Barrett was honest enough to put Lincoln Riley on the same footing as Smart — hell, let’s not forgot who beat whom when the two faced off in the CFP.

Leave it to Stewart Mandel ($$) to turn the volume up to eleven.

Kirby Smart or Lincoln Riley: Which coach has the most pressure going into this season? Both have done great, but the fan bases at each school are not going to be satisfied with conference championships and/or participating in the Playoff. Sooner or later, patience will wane, and usually, that starts the clock ticking. — Mike

… I don’t think Riley is under any pressure at all as long as he keeps dominating the Big 12 and beating Texas more often than not. I could be wrong, but I think Sooners fans will be more frustrated if Oklahoma goes to the Playoff and gets blown out by an SEC team in the semifinal again than if the Sooners go 10-2 and miss it entirely. OU fans are proud enough to believe they should win the national championship more than once in 20 years, but also realistic enough to realize how good they’ve got it.

Most importantly, longtime AD Joe Castiglione realizes that. He never flinched when Bob Stoops had the occasional 8-5 season, and that will be the case with Riley as well unless there’s a more-than-one-year blip.

Georgia is another story because Smart himself has created a national championship-or-bust expectation level with his tremendous recruiting. Georgia sits at No. 1 in the country in 247Sports’ team talent composite rankings, so it’s understandable why Bulldogs fans think they should finish an actual season No. 1 at some point.

But, one step at a time. First Georgia needs to actually win the SEC again (it won in 2017), which will require either beating Alabama for the first time under Smart or beating someone else in the SEC West that was good enough to beat Alabama. I would think that checking off that box, regardless of what happens in the CFP, would be considered a successful season.

But if Georgia, despite finally having a legitimate star quarterback (who hasn’t transferred yet) in JT Daniels, goes 10-2 again and either loses to Florida and misses the SEC title game or gets there and loses, that will truly be a test of fans’ patience. Mind you, that’s still a pretty good season, but the CFP has changed the way fan bases like Georgia’s measure success. Mark Richt made it 15 years in Athens without ever reaching a BCS title game. Smart made it to the national title game in his second season and is hardly getting a statue built for him just yet.

Sigh.  There must be something in the water in Montana.

54 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

54 responses to “You cannot defeat the narrative. You can only hope to contain it.

  1. mp

    The narrative in so many words is “1980”. There is a way to defeat it, but it’s just really hard to do as there is only one cfb champion each year.

    Like

    • Derek

      And harder to do it now than it was then.

      Do we win the seccg and 4 team playoff in 1980?

      There were some really good one loss teams out there and we got to play a team that couldn’t beat tech.

      Liked by 3 people

      • RangerRuss

        Dammitman! Forty years later and Georgia fans are Dawgrading that NC.
        I’m kidding, Derek, I think.
        Break…

        Hey Bill, you five-jump-chump, register here on GTP and state your case that Kirby = Richt and see how that opinion goes over.

        Like

        • Derek

          I know it reads that way but we were more lucky and opportunistic that year than really good. As UF showed, even with Herschel running all over the place, if you could put up some points, you could really make it tough on us. Our non-34 related options to score points were really limited.

          It was Herschel, defense, Rex and when we needed a play Scott or Lindsey or Terry made it. We haven’t had a season anywhere close to it since. That 1980 team was NOT our best team over the past 40 years.

          1982, 1992, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2012 and 2017 were all better football teams.

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          • RangerRuss

            Simply because you’re on point about 1980 NC opponent Notre Dame and are possibly correct that some of those teams might’ve been better doesn’t belie you’re Dawgrading that Championship, Derek.
            Some meat is just tough to swallow no matter how tasty.
            😉

            Like

          • I may even say the 1981 team was better than the ’80 team. That defense was ferocious and without a boatload of turnovers at Clemson, the game against Dan Marino would have been for the national title.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Bulldawg Bill

          Kirby>Richt

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Stewart Mandel is so stupid. Other than our commenter Corch, I haven’t heard anyone specifically say if Kirby doesn’t win a national title by X, he should be relieved of his duties. The bottom line is the SEC championship game is a de facto national quarterfinal (used to be a semifinal). Get to that game and play your best (which we didn’t do the last time we were there). Let the chips fall where they may.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Down Island Way

      From April to August, expect any kind of shit to be thrown at the wall thought process…I’ll scan these word writers for the name of UGA footballs prior coach in the same thought as the current UGA football HC, at that point i flush the toilet and move on…There Is No Comparison (in 100 years, maybe)

      Like

  3. originaluglydawg

    They’re just FOS.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ApalachDawg aux Bruxelles

    Stewie…
    How quickly will all of these knuckleheads call Kirby the greatest thing eva or make him out to be the 2nd coming of Nicky, when we win it all?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mddawg

    I don’t think he’s wrong that Smart has more pressure on him than Riley does, and that’s not the same as saying that either of them are on the hot seat. Riley has more championship rings in his trophy case (as a head coach) than Smart does, and Smart is probably up against a more rabid fan base.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. sniffer

    Mandel may be a lot of things but he’s not wrong on this. There are some grumbles already heard in some locales about Kirby not “getting over the hump”. As each opportunity slips away to:
    1. Beat Saban
    2. Win the conference
    3. Win a CFP game
    4. Win a NC
    ..the outcry will increase. Hell, I’ve grumbled myself. Losing to SC in ‘19 was inexcusable and I blame Kirby. Where Mandel is wrong is in thinking Kirby will be on the hot seat. Grumbling and wanting him fired are two very different things. IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Where he’s wrong is pretending there’s some sort of difference between Smart’s situation and Riley’s.

      Liked by 3 people

      • sniffer

        Unless I’m missing something, there is a great deal of difference between Riley’s and Kirby’s situations. As stated, Riley is likely to win his conference more times than not. Kirby has yet to make the East his birthright.

        Like

        • So what you’re saying is the difference is that Alabama plays in the SEC, which isn’t exactly a reflection on either coach’s ability. Meanwhile, neither of them has won a natty and neither is in any danger of losing their job over that.

          BTW, Smart’s won the East three of the last four seasons… or did I miss something?

          Liked by 3 people

          • Derek

            Doesn’t the irrationality prove Mandel right to some degree tho?

            I mean you’d have to be insane to want a new coach yet the same types of folks than ran SOS out of Gainesville are among us. Its undeniable. Perhaps not to the same degree as UF, but they’re out there:

            “Kirby don’t get “it”!!!!!”

            Like

          • sniffer

            I hate arguing with a lawyer. They’re right sometimes.

            Like

        • PTC DAWG

          3 out 5 last SECE Titles…I don’t see a team doing much better than that. I’ll take 3 out of the next 5 right now.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. akascuba

    He`s just jealous no one will ever consider building a statue for his work.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Gaskilldawg

    Notice the gratuitous crack referencing JT Daniels not having transferred yet when he damn well know Daniels has used his one time transfer and isn’t going anywhere else.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. “First Georgia needs to actually win the SEC again (it won in 2017), which will require either beating Alabama for the first time under Smart or beating someone else in the SEC West that was good enough to beat Alabama. I would think that checking off that box, regardless of what happens in the CFP, would be considered a successful season.”

    Did I miss something or did we not beat a team from the SECW that was good enough to beat bama? I consider that box checked.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. G. Parker swift

    How old was Saban when he won his first national championship? 53?

    How old is Kirby? 45?

    Patience, grasshopper.

    Liked by 5 people

    • doubledawg09

      Bingo! Patience is key here.

      Like

    • dawgphan34

      You really think that the folks that hired Smart will wait 8 more seasons for him to win a title?

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    • 81Dog

      Nick had been a HC for years before he even got to LSU. Dabo kind of thrashed around for, what, 5 years before “Clemsoning” quit being a thing. Patience is a virtue. Good things come to those who wait, if they work like hell while they’re waiting. Kirby is working. We will get there. Until then, people will shit talk us. Don’t be distracted by the BS.

      Like

  11. Ran A

    I lose iQ points when I read stuff by that guy. So I’m not going to bother. But based on what was written about his comments, will make the following points:

    Kirby lives in the SEC. Not the Big 12… Huge difference, when your neighbor to the West is Alabama. Not to mention that LSU and A&M appear to now be on a track of being very competitive year in and year out. (Will say that LSU appears to be in more trouble than you can shake a stick outwit legal and NCAA issues, so that could change rather quickly.

    Will also point out that the rise of Clemson makes it that much tougher. Fact is that the two Natty’s that the Tigers have was done off the backs of the two best QB’S to come out of Georgia in a very long time. If Georgia secures either to them, there is a better than good chance that the Natty is already there. (QB problem appears to be solve now – but the way, with two 5 stars and a 4 star on campus and another 5 star committed).

    Finally, Oklahoma should enjoy that dominance on top. There is a new Sheriff in Austin, and me thinks that Texas will be an absolute force in 3-5 years. Add to it, that Oklahoma has shown some signs of cracks in their own right. This little robbery incident makes you wonder where ‘character’ fits in to the model; where as the guy they are comparing him to, preaches character all the time.

    I like where Georgia is. And while I would love to see that Natty come this year; I’m not stupid enough to want to push Kirby out for someone else. No sir! Georgia has it’s coach. The only question is how long Kirby will want to coach. If we are lucky, it will be for at least 10 more years, where I am quite confident that Natty and maybe one or two more will come with it, in a run that should show dominance over the East, with the occasional potential hick up against UF. In other words, we have switched positions witih the Gators and I intend to enjoy it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Never bet against Texas stepping on their dick. Mack was the exception, not the rule.

      Liked by 3 people

      • miltondawg

        I posted this in a comment to another thread recently, but I don’t think that Texas is anywhere close to 3 years away from being a legitimate year-in and year-out contender to OU. Even 5 years might be a stretch. Their talent has fallen way off. It’s been five years since they have had a first round NFL draft pick and in the last three years they haven’t had a first or second round NFL draft pick. Sark has a lot of work to do to get the depth where it needs to be to consistently challenge for the Big XII.

        Liked by 1 person

    • stoopnagle

      Yeah, this is solid save for Texas and OU. The boosters haven’t gotten out of the way and Oklahoma is just better.

      If Sark:Texas::Carrol:USC, I’ll be shocked.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Our worst case scenario is Lose to Clemson, lose to Florida, lose the East and Kirby will have only continued to meet the bar CMR established but was hired to exceed. There’s no Hot Seat because the momentum is still positive, the Saban excuse persists, and there is not any single viable candidate out there worth entertaining to replace him anyway. Kirby’s here until Saban retires and then shows whether he can push us through the hump. Go ahead and remodel the kitchen MJ…you’ll be here a while.

    Our best and most likely scenario is Kirby breaks through within the next 3 seasons. Then Mrs. Smart can build a whole new house…or two.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Russ

    Bullshit take propagated by Mandel and other idiots like him.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. stoopnagle

    I think they’re both in a pretty good spot. Our schedule is pretty light this year. I mean, our toughest opponent is an ACC team and Florida is down. Anything less than 11-1 is a disappointment. So we get the SEC cred whilst playing none of the best teams (Bama, A&M, LSU – who’s the fifth best team in the SEC?)

    Oklahoma is going to do their usual thing – particularly now that they have the QB situation stabilized in pre-season.

    Like

  15. timberridgedawg

    But at least Montana knows we exist now.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. spur21

    Having been a fan in 80 I can say as much as I enjoyed the Natty it didn’t change my life. Don’t get me wrong I would love another one but my life isn’t dependent on what a team of teenagers accomplishes.

    Liked by 4 people

    • 81Dog

      Right on the money. I love UGA, I cherish the friends I made there, and the fun I’ve had there. Winning is great, but at the end of the day, we win or lose a NC and the bad things in my life are still bad, the good things are still good. I hate to inject perspective into an irrational discussion, and I’m going to Charlotte to bark at Clemson fans, but I’m going to live however it turns out.

      The only people who need to be obsessed and totally lacking perspective are the staff and players. Me, I’m enjoying the ride.

      Like

    • HirsuteDawg

      Good point – and I bark even when we lose.

      Like

  17. ZeroPOINTzero

    Eleven. One of the greatest movie quotes of all time.

    Like

  18. siskey

    I think that Mandel is wrong as it relates to both coaches. Stoops won one at Oklahoma and lost in 03, 04, and 08 in the BCS Championship game. I don’t think there was a big clamor for him to be fired when he retired. Arguably Riley has an easier path now that Texas is on their 3rd coach since he was hired and are not the threat they were. Oklahoma fans are probably analogous to us in that they want to beat their rivals and be in consideration. If Kirby keeps beating Florida and getting great players we will win a National Championship that will likely mean beating Saban and Alabama but there are scenarios where we get in without facing them. What I want out of Kirby is to not be UGA from 2008-2015, meaning don’t lose to Mizzou, Florida, or whoever when there is an opportunity to go to the SEC Championship game. I am a long-time fan and I can’t complain about 4 straight “Big” bowl games coming off of the tail-end of the Richt era (who I love and thought was great).

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Whiskey Dawg

    I’m Kool with Kirby – just filled a trademark on that for apparel and car magnets.

    Like