Is it go time for Georgia?

Ordinarily, I’d brush off columns like the one Brandon Marcello wrote yesterday after the Kendrick and Gilbert news came out.

You can practically hear the clock ticking in Athens this summer.

Georgia is attacking the offseason with an unmatched urgency, and Tuesday in a span of only 17 minutes the Bulldogs grabbed two of the better players available in the Transfer Portal: Arik Gilbert and Derion Kendrick. This wasn’t just an effort to pick up the best of the best, a practice that is now becoming common for the bluebloods in the still-early-days of the Transfer Portal. No, Gilbert and Kendrick also fill the biggest holes on a roster already packed full of former blue-chip prospects.

… This wasn’t an effort by Georgia to build depth. This was a plan enacted several months ago to turn weaknesses into strengths, and should Kendrick and Gilbert get to campus and join practices in August, the Bulldogs will shake up the SEC.

Kirby Smart has built the best roster in his conference, and possibly the country. Only Alabama and Clemson can match what the Bulldogs can roll out on Saturdays. Smart knows it and his players know it. The pressure has been building year to year and is cranked beyond the boiling point.

… No more quarterback controversies. No concerns with depth. No more excuses.

But you know what?  He’s right.  There’s only so long a Georgia fan can be excited about talent accumulation for accumulation’s sake.  At some point it has to be turned into results on the field.  Given that, along with this year’s schedule, it’s not a stretch to say that point is now.

It’s time to beat Alabama. It’s time to lift a couple of trophies. It’s time to win a national championship.

Kirby Smart’s got the bodies.  Does he have the touch to push them across the finish line?

93 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

93 responses to “Is it go time for Georgia?

  1. Ran A

    Not changing the offense quick enough, getting the right O.C. and getting and keeping the right QB has been the issue. Once Kirby drew that conclusion, he moved quickly, but did it in a year where Covid took away Spring Practice, where many dominoes fell after that. This is the first time since Smart got to Athens, where I have believed that Georgia had all of the tools (including the right O.C.) to win it all.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. ugafidelis

    Lort I hope so.

    Like

  3. Teacher Martin

    This is exactly what I said.

    Like

  4. Greg

    There is also some luck that goes along with it…..we are definitely due for that.

    “Rather be lucky than good”

    Liked by 3 people

  5. No excuse not to be in Atlanta in a de facto quarterfinal. Will we beat Alabama? Who knows. Get there, leave it all out on the field and let where the chips fall where they may. Kirby has taken all the right steps to get to this point.

    Liked by 5 people

    • rigger92

      Absolutely. If we get to ATL and lose to Alabama, it will have been a game for the ages and a successful season. The optics will be negative in the media, but beating Alabama isn’t something that any other program does with regularity.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Migraine Boy

        I disagree. Losing to Bama again, even in the SECC, would not be a successful season.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Let’s play it out. If we finished the season 13-1 with a win over Clemson and a NY6 bowl win and only a close loss to Bama in the SECCG, it wouldn’t be a successful season? That’s just crazy. You must not know what true failure looks like. Go back and take a look at the late 80s and the 90s.

          Liked by 5 people

        • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

          Agree with you. We have to beat Bama or whomever the West sends to Atlanta this year.

          Winning the SEC and getting the playoff is a successful season.

          Winning the East and losing in Atlanta is NOT a successful season. I am fucking sick and tired of losing to Bama. Clemson’s beaten them twice. LSU beat them in 2019.

          If Kirby is going to do this thing he has to get over the hump.

          Liked by 4 people

          • miltondawg

            Clemson needed generational quarterbacks to win (which I don’t think that JT is). LSU had the greatest offensive season in college football history (until Alabama last year). I’m all for it beating them in Atlanta finally, but it will take a special offense and a special season.

            Like

  6. Russ

    Yeah, I expect to be there this year. And next year. Kirby has it straightened out now and barring another pandemic or a meteor strike, I think we win it.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. bcdawg97

    I’ve been tempted to express similar thoughts but the Munson in me fears the jinx it brings on. But honestly, it is sort of put up or shut up time. Sorry to those “the SEC is the only prize that truly matters.” Yes, I know Saban was year 9 and Dabo year 8, but with a roster this talented, there’s only a few viable excuses left for not making the playoffs at the minimum.

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    • If you win the SEC, you’re in the playoff. That’s why it’s the only one that matters. Bama has proven twice that it’s better to miss the SECCG than to lose that game.

      Even if both teams come in undefeated and play a tight game, only one comes out of Atlanta in the playoff. I know that’s not the conventional wisdom on that scenario, but it’s likely what would happen.

      Like

      • jcdawg83

        What you say about missing the SECCG being better than losing it is true. However, if we are not in the SECCG we will most likely have 2 losses or more and no 2 loss team is going to be invited to the ESPN Invitational Tournament.

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        • It’s not an unreasonable scenario. Let’s say we are 11-1 with a loss to the Handbags (perish the thought) and they are 11-1 with a loss to Bama. They go to SECCG and lose again to Bama. We would be in the mix if there are multiple P5 champions and ND with 2+ losses.

          It’s the 2017 scenario Bama took advantage of. Whether ESPN invites us over a 2-loss conference champion is a totally different question.

          Liked by 1 person

          • bcdawg97

            I did forget about the Bama exception. I do think a win over Clemson and maybe we can slide into the playoffs without being in the SECC. But whatever scenario plays out, it’s gotta be playoffs/champ game appearance at the minimum. Ultimately, with the roster we have, there aren’t many excuses for anything less.

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            • Tony BarnFart

              We ain’t losing to the effing Handbags. We are going to tear Dan Mullen a new asshole this year.

              Liked by 2 people

              • I agree with you. I was just presenting a scenario.

                Like

                • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

                  I think what we need to consider in any scenario where we don’t win the East, but finish with one loss is that the reason Bama got into the 2017 playoffs was as much about their reputation than anything else. That it proved to be true reinforced it as the right decision that Bama gets the benefit of the doubt.

                  We haven’t done anything to deserve the benefit of the doubt let alone receive the benefit of the doubt.

                  Meaning, in that scenario, I don’t think we get
                  into the playoff. I think the two-loss conference champion does.

                  Liked by 1 person

            • rugbydawg79

              If we lost to uf the season is ruined for me. I don’t give a crap about a Natty in a season we lose to them. Talk about tainted.

              Like

    • Teacher Martin

      You must be really miserable.

      Like

      • bcdawg97

        Ha! Aren’t you always the one being negative on here, bickering with the Senator? But yes, I am still salty about 2017. You never know how many shots you’ll get at a natty. But to answer your question – nope. I’ve long separated UGA football from my life’s priorities. I can’t control it so it doesn’t ruin my day (but sure would be sweet when we win one).

        Liked by 1 person

  8. charlottedawg

    Pressure is a privilege – Kirby Smart

    the only people who don’t feel pressure are ones from whom not much is expected.

    On a tangent, before we can talk about beating Alabama or winning a national championship we need to beat Florida. All our goals depend on winning the east and winning the east depends on beat the Gators.

    I know we’re happy about poaching Gilbert but this year is really important in the rivalry because we need to make sure last year was an abberation not a foothold for the Gators. From 2008-2019 the series is tied at 6-6 with each team going on 3 year win streaks. A win this year breaks that pattern and makes us winners of 4 of the last 5 and 7 of the last 10. Lose another one and the series is tied 5-5 over the last 10 and the Gators have a two game win streak. We’re in a position right now where we have a better roster and coaching staff than the Gators, we need to take advantage of the window so long as it’s open and translate that to results on the field. Order needs to be restored.

    Liked by 7 people

  9. TN Dawg

    Definitely time to win the NC.

    As of yet, Kirby has proven that he has been unable to win the big games when it counts and has choked away two titles with his late game panics and brain seizures.

    The biggest win to date has been against Oklahoma, a team that is routinely lambasted for being overrated and without a defense and playing in an inferior B12.

    When he goes up against superior gameday coaches and equal talent (Saban, Orgeron, Mullen, Herman, etc) he generally chokes and fails.

    It’s time for Kirby to prove he isn’t completely inept on the sideline.

    Like

    • Give me a break about Orgeron. Until Joe Brady showed up in Baton Rouge, he was about to be fired.

      What panic in the national championship game are you talking about? A 4-year starting safety bit on the QB’s eyes and got caught out of position.

      Your comment summarizes why “big game” and “Dawggrade” show up in the Senator’s lexicon.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hogbody Spradlin

        I predict Cajun Ed to be filed away with Gene Chizik, and Orgeron won’t even get TV because nobody can understand what he says.

        Liked by 1 person

      • TN Dawg

        We went into a shell in the 4th quarter offensively.

        Saban put it in overdrive.

        Liked by 1 person

        • jcdawg83

          Could Michel being injured in the 4th when he was the best running back on the field possibly have had something to do with the play calling?

          Liked by 2 people

      • TN Dawg

        And honestly, if you truly assessed things, would you have hope for our offense of Monken wasn’t here?

        Either we say Orgeron only won because of Brady and Kirby will only win because of Monken, or we say the head coaches are part of the game-planning and philosophies.

        You can’t really have it both ways.

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        • I’m only responding to your comment that Orgeron is a better in-game coach than Kirby. He was squarely on a hot seat when Brady showed up and will be again if they look bad again. Using your logic, Gene Cheat-zik is a better in-game coach than Kirby because he won a title.

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          • thunderdawg42

            Orgeron was not on the hot seat when Brady arrived. People were griping about getting blanked by Bama, sure, but they also beat the SEC East champions (that was us, ranked #2 at the time, in case you forgot) in a 10-3 season that saw them finish ranked #6 with a Fiesta Bowl win.

            Like

        • TN Dawg

          My logic isn’t that winning a Natty makes them better coaches.

          My logic is that Coach O beat Kirby heads up twice.

          Once using Burrow as a grinder, routinely Tim Tebowing us on 4th and 1, to which Kirby had no answers.

          Once spreading the field and toasting Kirby’s secondary like rye bread to the point of being burnt beyond recognition while Kirby hopped up and down like a dancing poodle with his get back man pulling on his leash.

          Both of those LSU teams had inferior talent according to recruiting rankings.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Russ

            Well, I wasn’t agreeing with you until you pointed this out. And yep, I can’t argue with it. Damn.

            Kirby needs to win it all to wash this out of my brain.

            Liked by 2 people

          • RangerRuss

            When Kirby starts that “dancing poodle” act? The get back guy needs to slap the shit out of him and tell him to calm the fuck down.
            The Dawgs are on the right path and should win a few National Championships. All the preparation in the world ain’t worth a damn if the boss can’t keep his wits about him in a tight situation.

            Liked by 4 people

            • The “get back man” reminded me of the Cape guy that would travel with James Brown’s band…pick up the cape put it on The Godfather right when it looked like he was completely wiped, and then bam…2 more hours of dancing and singing…Ole Scott Sinclair better not Give It Up and Turn it Lose

              Liked by 2 people

    • siskey

      If this is ineptness then I can only dream what it will be like when we get someone like Mullen, Herman, or Orgeron. I left Saban off because he’s the best fucking football coach ever and there aren’t many like him.

      Like

    • Ran A

      Isn’t completely inept on the sidelines? Wow… You and I view Kirby Smart from very different lsns.

      Like

    • Tony BarnFart

      Standard dawg-grading will give no credit for a win over [a pretty strong] Cincinnatti team. But the winning head coach was trailing 21-10 early in the 4th quarter. That takes some wits and coaching to get out of that. And how about the clock management / communication between sideline and field on the crucial final drive ? One hiccup and we’re not even in position to make a really long field goal.

      Pretty good coaching if you ask me, dawggrade notwithstanding.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Hogbody Spradlin

    My alma mater, Grimsley High School in Greensboro North Carolina (The WHIRLIES) just won its first 4A state football title since 1960.
    If Ole GHS can break the drought, so can Them Dawgs!

    Liked by 4 people

  11. TN Dawg

    In some ways, the smart path to the playoffs might be to beat Clemson, throw the game to Florida to avoid Bama in the SECCG and then cruise in as a one-loss team.

    Otherwise we probably have to beat Bama twice.

    Like

    • Unless ND has more than 1 loss and there are a bunch of 2-loss conference champions, you may have a point. You could make the case that Mark Richt is the reason Georgia didn’t break through in 2017 when his Miami team blew out the Irish.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s actually a great idea, TN! Our 5-stars might want a week off in late October anyway, to spend a little extra time with their Opendorse coarches. Let the 2-stars play the Florida game, give them a chance for some TV exposure, to burnish their own online resumes.

      This’ll all be in the collective bargaining agreement by then, anyway.

      Like

  12. Skeptic Dawg

    Isn’t there a stat pointing to a coach winning a title in his second year at a school or never winning a title? It’s possible that I am off base on this one. That being said, what Kirby has done to elevate this program, the recruiting and the mindset, is nothing short of incredible. Win the East, compete for the SEC title and hopefully we make the playoffs. I do not expect to hear Alabama until Saban leaves.

    Like

  13. originaluglydawg

    When a coach starts building two and three deep talent at almost every position, there is intra-squad competition. Everybody’s good and but only as secure as his last effort. That’s where Saban has had Alabama for a long time. That’s where Kirby finally has the Dawgs. If a kid wants to eat rat poison and mail in an effort, there’s someone there to take advantage of his complacency.
    Then you have a kid like Pickens.
    George Pickens loves to play football. He is so competitive (although sometimes his competitiveness manifests itself in negative but very entertaining fashion) that, were he healthy, he would push all of these receivers to play their best. I hope he makes it back and plays. Most would just hang it up until the draft, but he loves the game so much we may get to see him in red and black again.
    Little doubt that this is the greatest assemblage of talent we’ve ever seen at Georgia.
    Let the Big Dawg Eat!! (but not rat poison).

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Derek

    I got two rooms in Indianapolis for a reason!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. bucketheridge

    I suppose I’m a dinosaur, but the day I think that any season where we beat Clemson, Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, and Tech is anything other than a successful season is the day I realize that I’ve forgotten what made college football my favorite sport to begin with.

    The national championship isn’t the end all, be all of college football.

    Liked by 11 people

  16. Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

    That’s the question. I honestly don’t know the answer.

    Can he get out of his offenses way, and leave his foot on the gas for an entire season? Some of y’all here have very low opinions of Coach O, but that’s exactly what he did in 2019. He stayed out of Joe Brady’s way and Joe Brady delivered him a National Title.

    Can Kirby do that? When we’re up 17 in the fourth quarter against Mizzou or Auburn, will Kirby keep his foot on the gas or will he put on the brakes? Every previous year he’s put on the brakes.

    We’ll see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Derek

      Because Coach O noticed that the ball wasn’t hitting the ground in spring practice.

      I know that Jake Fromm is the no. 1 pick but for Kirby being in the way in your mind, but personally I don’t think the issue has been Kirby being in the way. The problem is that Kirby has had freshman, nfl bench warmers, walk ons and a Temple QB playing in that spot.

      Coach O had the no. 1 pick at QB. But sure, play calling and gas pedals and “it.”

      Liked by 2 people

      • TN Dawg

        Kirby had the No. 11 pick in the NFL draft.

        He used him on the punt team.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I’m sure you were screaming for Fields to start every game in 2018 from the beginning of the season.

          Like

          • In his defense, if I remember correctly, he was one of the few readers here who kept pushing for Fields to get more playing time.

            Like

            • I wanted Fields to get more meaningful snaps in SEC games especially those where the games had gotten out of control. I thought Kirby should have given Fields snaps in the LSU game when it was clear Jake wasn’t at his best.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

                How the hell did THIS conversation turn into another Fromm vs. Fields debate?

                FFS. We need to win a damned National Title just to give us something else to talk about in DawgNation.

                Liked by 1 person

                • MGW

                  I think it’s something along the lines of “If Kirby had Burrow instead of Fromm we’d have a title or two,” and then someone made the point that we had Fields and that should have been enough…. and now here we are having this same old discussion….

                  Like

                • bigjohnson1992

                  Amen corch.

                  Like

              • mddawg

                Meaningful snaps is the key part there. Bringing him in for one random 2nd and whatever play was infuriating.

                Like

              • Migraine Boy

                Exactly this.

                In the last couple years the conversation has moved to “NO coach would bench Fromm for Fields in 2018!!” which is a total strawman argument

                Like

                • TN Dawg

                  Not just Fields, really.

                  Eason too. He was SEC Freshman of the Year at QB. The after three plays it was determined he was of
                  inferior ability.

                  All three are considered among the top 100 best in the world at the position for the last 10 years (as all 3 are on the 3-deep chart in the NFL).

                  Pretending that Kirbs had no QB talent is really an absurd argument.

                  Liked by 1 person

  17. MGW

    We are among those few teams against whom the rest of CFB should have absolutely no chance. We’re not the only team at this level, and it is a massive achievement just to be at this level…. but it should be viewed as an absolute disappointment every year we don’t win it all, until we do win it all.

    Like

  18. “There’s only so long a Georgia fan can be excited about talent accumulation for accumulation’s sake.”

    BINGO. I’ve found myself less excited about recruiting over the years because Kirby is going to recruit well. That’s what he’s elite at doing. He now needs to take that and apply it on the field. We’ve been very close, but I (like many others) want to see him take the next step, and this year sets up perfectly for UGA. Outside of Daniels getting hurt, there are no excuses.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

    I propose a new internet “law” akin to Godwin’s Law. We can call it “Blutarsky’s Law.”

    Blutarsky’s Law states that any Georgia Bulldog Football discussion on the internet, once it reaches a certain number of replies, the Fromm vs. Fields Debate will always come up no matter how the discussion started.

    Like

    • TN Dawg

      Not wanting to start a Fields vs Fromm debate.

      Just countering the point that Kirby hasn’t had quarterback talent.

      Whether or not he chooses to play them is his choice, but to say that LSU was successful because they had a top QB while Kirby was stuck with two nationally ranked number 1 quarterbacks he chose not to play is absurd.

      Liked by 1 person

    • MGW

      At least we’re done discussing whether or not Richt should be fired.

      Liked by 3 people

  20. W Cobb Dawg

    I’m not sure I agree with the whole ‘we have more talent than 2020’ premise. Only time will tell whether Kendrick/Gilbert/Smith is better than Stokes/Pickens/Campbell (or Webb, or Daniel, or Stevenson). We had boatloads of talent last year, and the year before, and the year before that.

    Yesterday’s announcements were kool-aid at its finest. But I’m reminded our coaching staff struggled to beat a well-coached Cinci team, in a game played here in GA, and despite owning a huge talent advantage. Kirby & Co. certainly needs to step it up on the coaching front. Here’s hoping we do achieve that elusive mnc and put those coaching concerns to rest.

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  21. I tell you what we need…we need some paying gigs! (National Championship)

    Then most of us (me) responds like Doyle…guitars and Cadillacs

    It’s coming…just Keep Calm and Go Dawgs

    Liked by 2 people

  22. bigjohnson1992

    Agreed. We’re out of excuses at this point. Anything other than an undefeated season is another annual waste of elite talent.

    Liked by 2 people