March 4, 2021 –
BY MATT EDGAR
680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – Spring Football is fast approaching, which means we’re in the midst of all the off-season lists and early prognostications. You know the drill. “College football’s most intriguing newcomer for each Way-Too-Early Top 25 team”, or “The 10 college football teams that can crack the Top 25 and make some noise in 2021.”
Regarding the Fall forecasts, one prediction that seems to be almost unanimous is that the Georgia Bulldogs will win the SEC East and face the Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship. No surprise with that hot take, and I don’t know how anyone could actually argue against it. Last season we saw many an expert pick the Gators to win the East, but not this go around. Another seemingly united thought is that UGA once again is a top five team. I’ve seen three different Way-Too-Early Top 25 rankings and all three….ESPN.com, Athlon, and Bleacher Report…have the Dawgs at No. 4. This will be the fourth consecutive year that Georgia begins the season in the top five of the Coaches Poll. In 2018 & ’19 they were preseason ranked No. 3 and in 2020 they slotted in at No. 4. With Kirby at the helm I can say with almost absolute certainty that the Bulldogs will not be leaving the preseason top five anytime in the next decade plus. What I actually mean is as long as Kirby is in Athens, which I predict is going to be a long, long time.
We often talk about championship windows for our teams and how big they are, how small they are, when they might close, etc. In my last column, I wrote about the appreciation us Atlanta sports fans should have with the fact we at least have two teams on the cusp of winning it all with the Braves & Bulldogs. One thing I also love about these two teams is that not only does this season have the potential to be spectacular but their futures are so dang bright! In Athens we’re looking at an unprecedented run of success, the likes Atlanta sports has never seen! I’m serious! The Braves fourteen straight division titles, an MLB record that will probably never fall, will sit clearly in the rearview mirror after Kirby Smart’s reign is complete. Kirby is only 45 years old, is a Georgia man through and through which means he isn’t going anywhere, and the power G is becoming a national college football brand only rivaled by Bama, Clemson, Ohio State & Oklahoma. I know the Dawgs don’t have that elusive National Championship yet but you can’t win it if you’re not in it! With Kirby only being 45, we are talking about the possibility of twenty more years of UGA being “in it”. By “in it” I mean being in the mix, winning the SEC East, hovering around the playoff into late November, being what UGA was always meant to be!
I am not a Georgia football fan, so there is no bias influencing any of this, but I could not feel stronger about it, sorry Tech fans. If I was a UGA man I would be through the roof about the present & future of the young men in red & black. And let me end things with one more hot take. Why can’t Kirby Smart be the next Nick Saban? Little Nicky didn’t win his first of seven titles until the age of 52….Kirby still has seven years before reaching that age. Look out!
680 The Fan Assistant Program Director