Kirby Smart considered himself in “rare air” when Georgia won its 28th straight game last Saturday, tying the SEC mark set by Alabama coaching legends Paul “Bear” Bryant and Gene Stallings.

Stallings, who retired after the 1996 season, said he’ll be pulling for Smart to break the record at Georgia Tech on Saturday night.

“Records are made to be broken,” Stallings told DawgNation after UGA beat Tennessee 38-10.

“I’m glad (Smart) was able to win 28 in a row. It doesn’t happen very often.”

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Stallings’ 1992 Alabama national championship team has long been regarded as the gold standard of SEC defenses, not allowing more than 21 points in any game that season leading up to a 34-13 Sugar Bowl win over a Miami team that had won 29 straight in what served as the de facto national championship game.

Georgia can set a new SEC record with a 29th consecutive win should it prevail at Georgia Tech on Saturday night.

The Bulldogs would match the CFP-era (2014-present) records of 29 wins in a row set by Clemson (2018-19) and Florida State (2012-14).

Smart and his players have downplayed the win streak, to the extent the head coach has twice noted the inevitability it will one day end.

“We’re not talking about the streak, they’re not worried about the streak, like I said, it’s going to end, and we’re going to start a new one,” Smart said after the 38-10 win over Tennessee last Saturday.

The 2023 Bulldogs, Smart said, are sold on “being the best version of ourselves,” as sophomore tight end Oscar Delp also noted.

“We do not compare ourselves to any of the previous teams here,” Delp said. “We are just trying to create our own legacy here, our own team and our own identity.”

It’s not a 28-game win streak to this Georgia team, so much as it’s an 11-0 season with an SEC Championship Game and possible CFP berth ahead.

Stallings, interestingly enough, remembered how it felt when his Alabama team finally lost a game after winning 28 in a row from

“To tell you the truth, when we lost a game, I didn’t really mind,” Stallings said. “It’s because that’s all they were talking about, was the streak.”

Smart can thank the sign-stealing scandal at Michigan and Deion Sanders’ eventful first-season at Colorado for distracting the national media from Georgia’s historical run at history.

The Bulldogs, in addition to their record-breaking win streak, just completed a third-consecutive 8-0 SEC mark — a first in the 32-year history of divisional play.

“That’s awfully impressive to me,” Stallings said. “I’m happy for Kirby.”

Stallings was and is very good friends with former Georgia SEC Offensive Player of the Year and head coach Ray Goff.

It was Stallings who helped Goff hire former Alabama staffer Ron Courson, who ranks as the SEC’s most respected and celebrated trainers.

All-time win streaks:

Oklahoma, 47, 1953-57

Modern-era (1966-current)

Miami, 34, 2000-02

Nebraska, 32, 1969-72

Texas, 30, 1968-70

Miami, 29, 1990-92

Florida State, 29, 2012-14

Clemson 29, 2018-19

Georgia 28, 2021-23