Would you like to receive DawgNation news alerts? Excellent! News alerts will be displayed in your browser.
Curtis Compton/AJC
Georgia football has beaten Florida in back to back years.

Thursday shows just how big a difference there is between the Georgia and Florida programs

Welcome to Good Day, UGA, your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes. Check us out every weekday morning for everything you need to know about Georgia football, recruiting, basketball and more.

 Why Kirby Smart and Georgia ‘keep the main thing the main thing’

Thursday was truly a great day to be a Georgia football fan and terrible day if you root for the Florida Gators. The Bulldogs landed a commitment from 5-star outside linebacker Mekhail Sherman. Florida meanwhile saw its top 2019 signee enter the transfer portal.

It’s just another example of how big a gap there is between the two bitter rivals and how it might actually be getting bigger. Georgia is continuing to add 5-star prospect after 5-star prospect. Florida meanwhile is seeing its top recruit leave before the rest of the 2019 recruiting class arrives.

Related: Georgia lands commitment from 5-star linebacker Mekhail Sherman

Across all recruiting services, Georgia has 22 5-star recruits on its 2019 roster. Florida will now have zero.

Dan Mullen has taken a number of taunts and jabs this offseason, with many aimed at the Georgia football program. Kirby Smart continues to say nothing about the Gators. No mention of past scores or Mullen’s record against Smart. To use one of Smart’s popular phrases, he’s kept the main thing  — Georgia football  — the main thing this offseason.

And days like Thursday are an important reminder as to why Smart doesn’t try and troll in the media or take shots at a rival. Because running and maintaining college football is a 365-day job. You have to focus on your own program at all times because troubling times could always be on the horizon. Florida found itself in some of that trouble on Thursday, when its top-rated 2019 signee, cornerback Chris Steele, put his name into the transfer portal.

According to a report from Zach Abolverdi of the Gainesville Sun, Steele’s decision to transfer stems from Florida not handling his request to have a different roommate, as Steele had reportedly asked to not room with quarterback Jalon Jones as early as January. In April, Jones was accused of sexual battery and Steele was named in the police report as a witness.

This is a truly terrible look for the Florida program. And it goes beyond losing your top 2019 signee before the rest of your 2019 signees arrive on campus. Abolverdi added that Florida’s handling of Steele’s initial request upset Steele and his family.

Conversely, Sherman cited the importance of how well Georgia recruited his family during the process.

“It is [just] the simple fact that they recruited my family as well just the same way they recruited me,” Sherman said earlier this year. “They realize how important my family is in my decision making.”

Georgia fans had a field day with the Steele situation, as rival fan bases usually do. At some point on Thursday you probably saw a Georgia fan tweeting Mullen’s now infamous quote on the handling of players transferring out of a program early.

“I’d think we did a poor job recruiting if guys were coming in and then immediately walking out the door because it was something different than what they thought it would be and we lied to them during recruiting or we sold them on a dream that wasn’t true,” Mullen said back in March.

The quote has become a new sort of troll for Georgia fans. You can bet you’re probably going to see it a lot between now and Nov. 2. That’s when Georgia and Florida meet on the field again.

But you likely won’t hear Smart say anything of that nature regarding Mullen. When asked about Mullen’s comments in April, Smart sidestepped the comments completely. When asked about Alabama this week, Smart once again didn’t really talk about the potential Georgia opponent.

Smart has so much to focus on with his own program that he doesn’t need to be creating beef with opposing fan bases. He knows the Georgia fan base will take care of that. Georgia has had its own share of issues to deal with this offseason, such as the string of arrests in March. Commenting on Florida’s recruiting efforts won’t make things any better for the Bulldogs.

As we’ve written before, it’s clear Smart isn’t all that fond of Mullen. But instead of trying to pump up the fan base through trolling, Smart has continued to focus on adding talent and improving Georgia. I’m sure part of him would love to take an all-too-easy swipe at Florida. But he’s got more important things to focus on.

And that’s part of the reason why there is such a wide gap between Georgia and Florida right now. Because while Mullen is cracking jokes and trying to figure out to deal with the Steele situation, Smart is continuing to make Georgia better in the present and the future.

Georgia baseball getting healthy heading into pivotal Auburn series

No. 7 Georgia baseball(37-13, 16-8) will be getting its ace back on the mound this weekend. Georgia pitcher Emerson Hancock will be getting the start on Saturday against the Auburn Tigers. The sophomore standout has missed his last two starts due to soreness.

In his last outing, which came against Missouri back on April 18, Hancock struck out 11 batters while giving up only 3 hits in 8.0 shutout innings. The Bulldogs will need him to pitch like that against Auburn on Friday if the Bulldogs are going to pick up a key road win.

Related: Why Georgia baseball has look, sound of national championship contender

The Bulldogs have lost their last two road series, including getting swept by the Mississippi State Bulldogs two weekends ago. The Bulldogs did drop their midweek game on Wednesday, as they lost to Jacksonville State 9-8 in extra innings. Georgia did sweep Florida last weekend.

Georgia will also have star third baseman Aaron Schunk back as well. He missed the previous six games prior to Wednesday with a sore heel. Georgia enters the weekend two games back of Vanderbilt in the SEC East standings. The Bulldogs are 16-8 in conference play while Auburn is 12-12.

Winning this series would go a long way in helping the Bulldogs earn a top-8 national seed. If the Bulldogs are able to do that, it would mean they would get to host a regional and Super Regional in Athens. First pitch against Auburn is set for 7 p.m. on Friday. The three-game series will wrap up on Sunday.

Best Georgia football stories from around DawgNation

Dawgs on Twitter

Good Dawg of the Day