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Kirby Smart Sticking with Stetson Won him a Title

The Georgia Bulldogs were crowned national champions of the 2021 season and a big part as to why is because head coach Kirby Smart stuck with his guy Stetson Bennett.

Winning a national title requires a lot of factors to fall into place, but it also takes a head coach that is confident in his decisions and has the ability to make the tough call when needed. Kirby Smart was exactly that for Georgia this season. 

At the start of the season, JT Daniels was originally tabbed as the starting quarterback until an injury kept him on the sideline. Halfway through the season and a few weeks of Stetson being the starter it became evident that Georgia was headed in a direction where Bennett was the starting quarterback. 

For the remainder of the season, Kirby Smart, Todd Monken, and Stetson Bennett were bombarded with questions centered around why he was the starting quarterback and if JT Daniels would ever be the starter again. Those questions never fazed Kirby Smart though. From beginning to end Coach Smart stood by his guy, defended him, and believed in the abilities of his quarterback. 

A phrase consistently used by Coach Smart this season when talking about Bennett was "We believe he gives us the best chance to win." Now with a national championship in the trophy case, it appears there is a lot of truth to that statement. Even despite Georgia fans believing a variety of other conspiracy theories from QB trainers, to special doctors, to secret "beef" between Smart and Daniels. Smart told you time and time again, Stetson Bennett was the best chance for them to win and despite the animosity around the decision, Smart stood by his guns. 

Coach Smart often pinpointed Stetson's legs and speed were a major factor for him being the starting quarterback. Georgia's offensive line this season was by no means abysmal, but there were also glaring struggles and ones that would make life very hard on a non-mobile quarterback. 

Starting a former walk-on quarterback when you're trying to make a national title run is a gutsy and tough decision to make, especially when you're depth chart at the position is full of former five and four stars. Bennett was far from the popular choice, but it was the choice that not only Kirby Smart believed in, but the players on the team did as well. 

Having the support of the team is huge when talking about the position that is going to be calling the shots and distributing the ball around, and Stetson absolutely had the trust and belief from his teammates. It may seem like a minor detail from an outsider's perspective, but knowing your teammates have your back on the football field is always a major plus. 

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Had the season not ended with a national championship Kirby Smart would be facing some very tough questions about the decisions he made. At the end of the day though, Stetson Bennett was the man built for the job, and Kirby Smart's willingness to stand by him from start to finish undoubtedly was a reason why the Georgia Bulldogs brought home the national championship. 

Often times Kirby Smart can be criticized for his "stubbornness" or his "micromanagement" of the offense at Georgia. It's those same qualities that made him a national champion. 

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