Georgia has a lot of hype coming into the 2017 season with its No. 3 recruiting class and returning stars in Jacob Eason, Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. Much like every Bulldog fan, USA Today college football analyst Dan Wolken has some pretty strong feelings on what should be the expectations for coach Kirby Smart in his second year.
“Let’s not give Georgia that much of a pass. If Kirby Smart doesn’t win the East next year, he’s a clown. I’m sorry. Point blank. They are so far above the rest of that division in terms of talent right now with the players that they’ve got coming back. Give me a break. The expectation for Georgia next year should be winning the East, point blank. Period. If they don’t get that done, then I have to seriously question whether Kirby can coach.”
That hot take came from a Thursday appearance on CBS Radio show Dukes & Bell. He didn’t finish up there though as he decided to trash the rest of the division. Here’s the rest of what he said:
“We’re talking about winning a terrible division where we’ve got teams like Vandy, Missouri — South Carolina is definitely improving, but they’re not ready for primetime. Tennessee’s a joke. Florida’s not very good right now. Look at the teams they’re competing against. They [UGA] have no excuse not to win this division next year when you’ve got Nick Chubb coming back, you’ve got Sony Michel, Jacob Eason has got to take a step forward, you’ve got guys defensively — I think they’re pretty loaded on that side of the ball. I’m sorry, they are so much more talented than the rest of that division right now, I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to hear any excuses.”
Florida might not have the same kind of talent Georgia does, but coach Jim McElwain has found ways for his teams to win. He’s the only coach in SEC history to take his teams to two consecutive conference championships in his first two seasons at the helm. Not even the great Nick Saban pulled that off so let’s not pretend like the division doesn’t have some decent coaches in it too.
Georgia finished the 2016 season with an 8-5 overall record, including a 4-4 mark in SEC play. That was only good for third place in the East, behind Florida and Tennessee. Another season like that and people will really start to wonder if Smart is a “clown” or not.
[h/t Saturday Down South]