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How Kirby Smart Killed 7 year's worth of Narratives in 365 Days

Throughout his 7 year career at UGA, Kirby Smart had faced a plethora of narratives about his coaching abilities. But it's only taken him 365 days to put them all to rest...

In a relatively short amount of time. Kirby Smart has become one of, if not the top dog in the college football coaching world. So much so that some experts have deemed Smart "The Next Nick Saban" or labeled his team "The Next Dynasty in College Football". Plus, with a freshly signed 10 year $112 million dollar contract, the Bulldogs head coach and Georgia program seem to have just scratched the surface of their continued greatness.

But it was not always smooth sailing for the SEC Coach of the year. In fact, this time in a year ago, the narrative around Smart was fairly negative. Many fans will remember the embarrassing loss that Georgia suffered at the hands of Alabama in last year's SEC Championship and the outpouring of familiar criticisms that were directed at Smart as a result of the game.

Leading up to the 2021 season, Smart had been given labels such as "Mark Richt 2.0", had been accused of not developing the talent that he recruited, and even was characterized as "incompetent" by the way that he managed his quarterback roster. In the past, fans and critics alike pointed to Smart's eerily similar record to Mark Richt, previous quarterback controversies (i.e Justin Fields and JT Daniels), Smart's record against Saban, and any other piece of data that could be weaponized to undermine his abilities. 

However, in just the last 365 days alone, Smart has...

  • Won a New Year's 6 Bowl and CFP Semi-final
  • Defeated Alabama and Nick Saban 
  • Delivered the first National Championship to the Georgia program since 1980
  • Had a record 15 players taken in the NFL draft (Included 5 first rounders)
  • Signed a top 3 recruiting class
  • Led his team to its 2nd straight undefeated regular season
  • Led his team to first ever 13-0 program start in history 
  • Won an SEC title 
  • Earned a 2nd straight playoff birth (3rd in career overall)
  • Coached his team's first Heisman Finalist since 1992
  • Earned SEC coach of the year for the 2022 season

With high hopes for a repeat at a National and numerous Bulldogs projected to be taken in the first round of this year's NFL draft as well, it's likely Smart won't have just "silenced" any of the previous narratives about him or his coaching abilities by the end of this season. Instead, he will have killed them, closed the casket, and buried them 6 feet deep underneath trophies and plaques. Never to be spoken of again.