Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart is the new Head Ball Coach in Athens, Ga. If I was a Georgia fan, and I am not just to clarify, I would be worried. Why do I say this? Several reasons.
1. Recent history tells us that guys who got their first college head coaching gig in the SEC soon found out they were in over their heads. Will Muschamp crashed and burned at Florida, Mike Shula did the same at Alabama. Lane Kiffin was a train wreck at Tennessee. Ron Zook was a dumpster fire at Florida. Are there exceptions to every rule? I’m sure there are. But I cannot think of any off the top of my head, except for of course…Mark Richt. And he wasn’t good enough for Dawg fans, many who have wanted him fired for nearly a decade now.
2. You fired you current coach because he could not beat Alabama. I know, you claim it was because he couldn’t beat Florida (even though he did three times in the last five seasons, but I digress). But we all know everything was on the line when Bama came to visit, and Richt’s team failed miserably. He was a dead man walking after that game.
So you hire one of Nick Saban’s assistant coaches to beat him? Ask yourselves how often the student beats the teacher in major college sports? Muschamp was a Saban assistant at LSU. How did he do? How many times did Billy Donovan beat Rick Pitino? How many times did John Pelphrey beat Donovan? OK, Dan Mullen did beat Urban Meyer once, but many claim Urban didn’t actually coach the team in his last season at Florida. Maybe if Saban pulls a “lame duck” year the next time UGA is on the schedule, you might have a shot?
3. Let’s say this hire turns out to be a great one. Let’s say Kirby beats Saban in the SEC Championship Game and gets to the playoffs. When Saban then decides to retire, guess who will be on the Tide’s short list? If you think he turns down Alabama to stay at Georgia, then you are sadly mistaken. And that’s not even taking into account he could possibly land an NFL job if he turns UGA into the beast you all think he will. Then, you’re back at the drawing board.
You had a coach that was a guaranteed 9-10 wins a year coach, to hire a guy with zero head coaching experience. Does nobody see the problem here? The myth that Richt can’t beat Saban is even a bit “iffy.” As I recall, Georgia was less than 10 yards away from doing just that with Richt on the sidelines in the SEC Championship Game not too long ago. That game could have gone either way.
If Georgia is using the “Can’t beat Alabama” excuse to fire the football coach, then why isn’t every team in the SEC firing their coach? And if that is a legit reason to fire the football coach, then why are you not firing the basketball coach because “he can’t beat Kentucky?” The basketball coach can’t beat John Calipari. So why isn’t he on the “hot seat?” Is it because nobody else in the SEC can beat him either? News flash, UGA…nobody else in the SEC can beat Nick Saban either. So why did you fire Richt?