Many members of the CFB community have continued to criticize and/or undermine all that Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart has brought to the table.
This is because they question his chances of ever leading the esteemed program to their first national title in over four decades. The prime reason for such doubt? He has, not once, managed to push past the might of Nick Saban‘s Alabama Crimson Tide. However, why is this such a legacy-crushing fact?
Should Kirby Smart Be Ashamed of This?
The thought of Smart forever playing second fiddle to Saban might be upsetting, but that doesn’t mean that it’s inexcusable. After all, the Bama legend is the greatest HC of all time.
Kirby Smart is one of many branches that stem from Saban’s admired coaching tree, and the latter is not exactly known for looking back whenever said branches break away.
Other coaching products that Saban has held his own against include names such as Jimbo Fisher, Jim McElwain, and Lane Kiffin. That is certainly not any mediocre company for Smart to have his face tied to.
Following this admission, the most passionate of Smart-haters might actually try to take jabs at who all he has beaten.
Has He Done Enough?
Since his tenure with the Bulldogs began back in 2016, Kirby Smart has beaten three especially big names. In order of national relevance as of late, those three are Oklahoma, Notre Dame, and Florida. The Sooners, led by Heisman-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield, fell to the Dawgs after two grueling overtime periods. Outside of that, UGA has skated by the Fighting Irish twice, along with managing a 3-2 lead over the Gators.
Only one of the aforementioned instances (the double-overtime win over OU) was against what looked like a true title contender. With that being said, the Dawgs have left something to be desired in the Smart era so far.
Can 2021 Change That?
Sure, if Georgia makes the SEC Championship Game this season, Alabama will most likely be their foe. If they were to win that game, 2021 would surely be looked back upon as a year of improvement for the Bulldogs. But what about a matchup that we know will be happening, such as the one this upcoming Saturday?
On September 4th, Kirby Smart and his squad will be traveling to Clemson, SC to battle the Tigers. Unless anyone has lived under a rock since 2014, most people should know that Clemson is for sure a title contender.
If UGA were to win, they would not only control their own destiny but also hold a strong chance at successfully doing so.
The Tigers are a top-notch team, and Dabo Swinney is a top-notch coach. In other words, it’s a small step between toppling them and stunning the Tide. If Clemson were to lose, they would easily be one of the toughest teams to have ever fallen to Smart. With a win of that volume, this year would be one that he could hang his hat on, regardless of anything that Nick Saban could possibly do.