Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Smart(er) Era

Watching the program in transition got old quick. I don’t think I’m the only one of us that felt that. And it wasn’t just the feeling of not having a head coach while the interim head coach readies to head to a divisional rival, the old head coach starts recruiting for his new gig, and the newly appointed head guy coaches out his days towards another championship.

No, it was just the feeling of being stuck in neutral. Some fans are clinging on to olden days, some are already at February 3rd on the calendar, while others are somehow and in some way already criticizing the new guy for this and for that.

Neutral sucks. Even if you’re going in reverse, at least you’re moving somewhere.
Welcome home Coach! (VIA)

But now we’re heading down a new road. Hell, it’s a whole new map! I’ve long ago sworn off the recruiting minutiae that burdens so many people, but it’s impossible not to realize the buzz that Kirby Smart and his staff have generated. It’s truly exciting. No, not from a newly updated team recruiting rankings that in essence mean very little. It’s exciting that so many talented players are going to be lining up for offers and spots in these next couple classes.

With one offensive lineman already enrolled and two more committed, if Kirby adds a couple three more to that I may just have to set up a tailgate for Signing Day!

But I do digress. It is an exciting time. Part of that is the deep exhale from the 2015 season (and subsequent transitional December) being over and done. But mostly it’s just the wind in your hair from moving forward. What a nice feeling!

All of that being said, I’ve heard more than a few start to wonder how quickly Kirby Smart’s staff can turn things around build on what was given to him. Even national guys are already putting out their early 2016 rankings, (as if August wasn’t too early for that already). Answering the question of how good we can expect the 2016 Georgia Bulldogs to be begs the follow up question of how long Smart will be given to get this program to the national stage we just watched play out on all of ESPN's network channels.

So hear this Reader, whenever you get in a conversation that arrives at that question, remember that the answer is an easy one - not long. Smart will surely get more than a season to get there, but he must win greater than ten games or else. Again, Smart isn’t building this program up. His task is to stand on the foundation and take it to new plateaus...soon. Very soon.

Yes, the Smart Era brings with it a seat at the big boy table. Georgia Football is no longer a casual poker game with occasional highs and sustained stacks of chips. You either play out your hand and add to those stacks or the House will find someone else who will.

Now, how long 'til GDay? Go Dawgs!