Kirby Smart, carrying the conference banner

This is a weird Matt Hayes piece, even by his standards.  For one thing, keep in mind as he’s laying out all the drama for Georgia, he’s picking the Dawgs to win the opener and he’s got them as the top team in the SEC (“Georgia (12-0, 8-0): I don’t care about camp injuries. This is the Year of the Dawg.”).

But, yeah, this is a trifle dramatic.

Don’t be fooled by the narrative. This game means everything for Georgia.

And by everything, I mean the season.

“Success comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it,” Kirby Smart has said over and over this offseason.

Success in a hyped 2021 season at Georgia, begins and ends with the opener Saturday against Clemson. Beat the Tigers, and the season sets up magnificently with a wildly fortunate schedule.

Lose to Clemson, and everything changes.

Because for all Smart has accomplished since returning to his alma mater in 2016 as coach, he hasn’t been able to push Georgia over the top when it comes to games against the king of college football, Alabama.

Now the Dawgs get a shot at college football king 1A, the Clemson Tigers – and more failure in this specific game exposes a nasty undercurrent that will grow stronger.

But it’s not the weirdest part of what he writes.  This is:

The events of this offseason have moved Saturday’s game at Charlotte into a more critical light.

Specifically, the SEC vs. The Alliance spotlight.

A Clemson win over Georgia is a huge step for the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC “alliance” desperately trying to slow the big, bad SEC from eating the entire college football world.

Because whether real or not, or believable or not, it’s no longer the SEC vs. the ACC in this rare replay of a one-time bitter rivalry from the 1970s and 80s. Just like it’s no longer SEC vs. ACC when Florida plays Florida State, or Georgia vs. Georgia Tech, or South Carolina vs. Clemson or Kentucky vs. Louisville.

Now it’s the good guys (The Alliance) vs. The Death Star (the SEC).

A loss by Georgia knocks the SEC down a peg, moving a significant win toward the alliance ledger. The more wins vs. the SEC, the more the strength of the alliance grows (whatever that means).

You may not believe it, and it may be a silly concept on its face value. But wait and see what happens if Clemson beat Georgia, and how the narrative quickly becomes the alliance – all 41 teams – can trade blows with the SEC any time, any week.

Seriously?  Georgia is the underdog and the lower ranked of the two, but Clemson winning means Wake Forest can trade blows with Texas A&M?  Even if ‘Bama and LSU win their openers?

I’m looking forward to the day when Greg Sankey, having watched his conference and ESPN crumble into dust in a few years, looks back and says to himself, “if only that fucking Kirby Smart had beaten Clemson…”.


Filed under Georgia Football

33 responses to “Kirby Smart, carrying the conference banner

  1. The Truth

    “in this rare replay of a one-time bitter rivalry from the 1970s and 80s…”

    We’ve played Clemson twice since Texas and aTm last played and we’re on the books for a number of upcoming meetings. It’s not that rare (although I still wish we played every year).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. beatarmy92

    Sports writers are collectively the stupidest bunch of melodramatics on earth. It’s like they are dreaming they’re living in Hoosiers or The Natural instead of reality.

    Liked by 2 people

    • W

      Right? This is fucking stupid. It sounds like my Clemson friend but only after he’s shitfaced and trolling. Which was plausibly the authors exact condition at his laptop.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. JaxDawg

    Speaking of drama…I’ll be in Boston this weekend. Anyone know of a dawgs backer bar up there? I’d prefer to watch it in the company of fellow dawgs than a random sports bar.



    Liked by 3 people

  5. classiccitycanine

    Man, this is dumb.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. DawgFlan

    Of all the vibes, the “for the conference” is the dumbest. No one in the UIGA program could give a hot damn what this means for the SEC.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. stoopnagle

    Good grief. “The Alliance” isn’t even a thing. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. akascuba

    He’s a FU grad what do you expect. He has a long history of whenever possible dumping on Georgia. His praise if given rates rates right there with Pawwwllll both have personal motivation not in Georgia’s best interest.


  9. Spell Dawg

    I prefer to think of the SEC as Conan

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Weird times in college football lead to weird narratives by columnists. I get that he’s trying to put out a few manufactured narratives to see what sticks and to get some clicks, but come on man, can we just talk some football?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. W Cobb Dawg

    “Don’t be fooled by the narrative. This game means everything for Georgia”

    I know we’ll win a lot of games this season, probably 11, 12, maybe more. But I can’t say I disagree with that statement. If we lose this game, be prepared for the shitstorm of the century pouring down on us and Kirby about a failure to win big games.

    Whether it’s a squeaker or blow out, we just gotta take clemmons down. The “man enough” game years ago shut down a narrative that was dogging us. This is Kirby’s “coach enough” game.

    Liked by 2 people

    • dawg100

      Man Enough. That’s why our Oline and Run game will be key. As good as they are defensively, I think we can run on them.

      Barely a word all camp about Zeus and Cook. I think that is on purpose. They are in a good place.

      Liked by 3 people

  12. ASEF

    Sometimes, sports writers fall in love with a narrative and really push it. Matt apparently believes in the Alliance far more than even the Alliance. I guess he sees a lot of potential content in that “conflict”?

    Matt’s pretty good with team analysis. Bigger picture stuff, not so much.


  13. So Sankey is now a Dawg fan? Maybe he’ll suspend PWG calls for just this one season.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. theorginaldawgabides

    Help us Dabo Wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope.


  15. No one doubts Ohio State, Clemson, Penn State, Oregon, USC, and possibly Michigan can punch with the top teams in the SEC including Oklahoma and Texas. What that has to do with the Alliance reeling in the SEC’s power is a bridge too far to draw any conclusions.

    A blowout on either side may damage the losers’ playoff hopes, but other than that, if the loser wins their conference, that team will be in the playoff. I know some are talking about 2 SEC teams in the playoff, but I don’t see any way the committee puts 2 teams in unless there is total chaos in the other conferences and ND isn’t playoff worthy.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. archiecreek

    Ho Li Phuk!!
    It’s the DAWGS vs clemmons!
    RED against urnge!!
    Our way of life against there’s!!
    Nothing more than that….
    Alliance??, my ass!!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. ericstrattonrushchairmandamngladtomeetyou

    Clickbait. Nothing more.


  18. armydawg

    Which conference refs are calling the game and how much is the alliance paying them? Remember, refs have cost us more than injuries.


  19. MGW

    Can you break your neck doing mental gymnastics?


  20. The next time Matt Hayes makes an insightful, relevant point will be the first. There isn’t a soul south of Knoxville or east of College Station who seriously gives a shit about “the Alliance.”