Tag Archives: Kirby Smart


I figured eventually someone in the national punditry would rank Kirby Smart ahead of Nick Saban.  I just didn’t think it would be this soon and that it would come from Matt Hayes.

1. Kirby Smart ($7 million per season; expected extension this month): His team is the defending national champion, and he has proven he can recruit and develop better than any other coach in the game.

Think about this: In the age of quarterback means everything, Smart won a national title — and is a favorite to win it again this season — with a game manager at the most important position in football.

He was a blown coverage in the secondary from winning the 2017 national championship, and Georgia is a recruiting machine — with or without NIL. He’s locked in at No. 1 until he’s knocked off the mountain.

Which brings us to …

2. Nick Saban, Alabama ($9.1 million): He is the mountain. The gold standard for college football coaches, and other than Bill Belichick, all football coaches.

But it’s hard to ignore what his No. 1 student has accomplished at Georgia — and how it has been to the detriment of Saban and Alabama. All of those elite Georgia defenders are the same players Smart was recruiting and developing at Alabama as the Tide’s defensive coordinator.

There’s a reason Alabama’s defense has declined (from its own elite standard) over the past 5 seasons. It’s not the DC or the scheme; it’s the players.

It’s close, but in the SEC, it’s not about what you’ve done. It’s about what you just did. Right now, Smart has the edge.

I guess that means Nick will be back on top of himself if ‘Bama wins the natty this season.  Or something like that.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Nick Saban Rules

It’s an honor to be recognized.

At least they spelled his name correctly.


Filed under SEC Football

A “feud between two guys”

As expected, one topic has dominated the early proceedings at the SEC Spring Meetings.  I think Andy Staples framed it perfectly in this tweet.

This is almost amusing:

You don’t write, you don’t call…


Filed under SEC Football

If you come at the GOAT, you’d best not miss.

Come for the tweet, but stay for the comments, which burn with the righteous indignation of a thousand suns.

I guess I didn’t grasp how much that natty loss steams ‘Bama fans.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.


Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules

Of all the quarterbacks in the world, three of them are backing up JT Daniels.

There was nothing earthshattering that came out of yesterday’s après scrimmage presser (not that I expected anything like that).  But, I gotta admit this exchange made me chuckle a wee bit:

QB competition behind JT Daniels…
“All three of those guys are getting reps and all three of them are really good players.”

Elaborate more on that?
“Uh, yeah, all three of them are getting reps and all three are going to be really good players. They continue to work hard. They all got reps today…”

I think we found some shit Kirby doesn’t have time for.


Filed under Georgia Football

“I gotta go.”

What did your head coach do during the offseason?


Filed under Social Media Is The Devil's Playground

Don’t cry for me, Tuscaloosa.

Jeez, I hope your butt never hurts as much as Roll Bama Roll’s Josh Chatham’s does.

You can also forgive the rest of the country for perpetually laughing at Georgia fans, Brandon. Besides the items listed, Kirby took Alabama’s recruiting board with him to use against Alabama when he left, took Glenn Schumann and Mel Tucker to run Saban’s defense, implemented the Fourth Quarter program, started a public spat over Maurice Smith, and has done his level best to recreate Alabama’s fan experience in Athens. He also stole Jake Fromm and then Carson Beck, and for both we are thankful.

His first mistake was assuming that a guy working at a site called Dawgnation was actually speaking for Georgia fans as a collective group.

Man, that “Kirby took Alabama’s recruiting board” still gets a work out, doesn’t it?  I guess they think he’s too dumb to remember what he worked on continuously for like three years without a written reminder.


Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football

What’s the third option?

Here’s a point/counterpoint for your morning:

Aside from Jim Harbaugh, Kirby Smart gets the most scrutiny from the media.

Farrell’s take: FACT. Between the infamous fake punt against Alabama in the 2018 SEC title game, losing to the Crimson Tide earlier that year in the national title game where many felt he was outcoached, his handling of Justin Fields and the regression of Jake Fromm, Smart has been the subject of near constant media criticism. He has been recruiting off the hook, but his coaching ability is routinely questioned and that puts him second to Jim Harbaugh on my list.

Gorney’s take: FICTION. Smart has actually gotten a pass from the media on some bad decisions – many of them mentioned above – including when Georgia inexplicably lost to South Carolina at home last season. It’s almost universally accepted that Smart is recruiting so well and he has such a good staff that a national championship at some point is inevitable. I don’t think he gets much scrutiny at all. It’s a different story for Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn and USC’s Clay Helton, so I’d say those three trail Harbaugh in this category.

Not sure I buy either take, to be honest.  I don’t think Smart’s gotten a pass from the media, but I don’t see him being the subject of ongoing media criticism, either.

Just like most coaches, he’s made his mistakes.  But almost every media ranking of coaches I’ve seen has him at least in the top ten, and usually the top five, nationally.

What’s your feeling?


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Risk assessment

Maybe it takes a former player to say something like this.

In any event, well said, sir.


UPDATE:  Weiszer has more here.

Team physician Fred Reifsteck, director of sports medicine Ron Courson and Smart have provided answers to players and theif families about returning to football workouts during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“There won’t be pressure to work out, to go do this extra,” Smart said during a Zoom video session with reporters. “Kids got to voluntarily do it. If a guy doesn’t feel comfortable or if a guy has a fever or a guy feels sick, we don’t want him to come in. We don’t want him to put himself in jeopardy and we’ve got to convey that.”

… If a player tests positive, he will have the option of returning home or can be quarantined in Athens for an unspecified period of time.

“We’ve also got the ability if it happens during the workout period, then we’ll have contact tracing,” Smart said. “Guys that have worked out together, those groups will stay the same, and we’ll be aware of those guys. So Ron and his guys have a lot of things in place.”

“I know from a Georgia perspective, every decision we’re making on the return to sport is the safety and health and well-being. There won’t be pressure to work out, to go do this extra. Kids got to voluntarily do it. If a guy doesn’t feel comfortable or if a guy has a fever or a guy feels sick, we don’t want him to come in. We don’t want him to put himself in jeopardy and we’ve got to convey that.”

Smart said some of his players — many who will go on to play in the NFL and were rated among the top rated recruits out of high school— “feel like they’re not vulnerable because of what they’ve heard, because they think they have superpowers.”


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, The Body Is A Temple

“But for us, we’ve had to change some things as offenses have changed, you adapt.”

If you’ve got some time to kill today, you could do a lot worse than to spend an hour listening to Kirby Smart talk about the way his defensive philosophy has evolved over time, with Alabama’s shocking loss to Ohio State in the 2014 title game being the real catalyst.  Interestingly enough, while the common wisdom is that it was sitting down with Tom Herman in the offseason that made Saban and Smart rethink their approach, Kirby chalks it up to Todd Orlando, who used to be Herman’s DC at Houston and Texas.

The conversations and off-season studies resulted in Smart modifying his 3-4 philosophy with lighter (faster) players and shifting to a 3-man front Georgia still runs and calls “Mint.”

It’s not news that uptempo offenses present problems for defenses, which often struggle to get lined up properly before the ball can be snapped.

“I don’t believe in backing down from what you do because a team goes fast, I believe in getting lined up and doing it faster,” Smart said.

The challenge for Smart and his staff was coming up with a defense that could remain multiple and handle spread offenses playing uptempo while in the  3-man front.

“We came up with things that were automatic, but would give them trouble,” Smart said. “The beauty of Mint … is you have more depth in your defense. Todd Orlando taught us that. We’ve got more people standing up that can fire (blitz) from different places.

“When you got three guys down, you now have the multiple of eight that can come from anywhere and anyplace, and we felt like that defensively made us better and gave us more multiples.”

If that kind of stuff piques your interest, here’s Smart’s whole talk (along with something from Glenn Schumann).


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics