3 burning questions 2022 SEC Media Days: Is Georgia football losing momentum?

Georgia coach Kirby Smart was the best coach in the country last season, and the results proved it.
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ATHENS — Has Georgia football lost its championship momentum?

It’s one of a handful of burning questions this week with the SEC Media Days arriving at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said last spring he felt championships meant less than before in recruiting.

RELATED: Newly crowned CFB ‘King’ Kirby built championship squad after heartbreaking loss

That has seemingly played out with UGA losing Arch Manning to Texas, and on Sunday, in-state legacy star tailback Justice Haynes to Alabama.

RELATED: Shocking decision by in-state star Georgia tailback

Indeed, things change fast in this 24-7 era of electronic and digital immediacy.

The world no longer asks “what have you done for me lately” as much as “what will you do for me next?”

The NIL and one-time transfer legislation is barely a year old, but already, it has become a tired and frustrating topic for coaches and administrators.

Pay for play has arrived, and now it’s up to coaches and programs to figure out how best to navigate these new, choppy waters of player negotiations.

Many questions related to that topic will be asked in different ways, whether it’s a closer examination of Nick Saban raiding Georgia and Georgia Tech of two explosive players, or Smart standing pat with no incoming transfers to ensure future stars like Amarius Mims.

RELATED: Expect Alabama to be the SEC championship pick -- again

Here are three other burning questions that will be asked at SEC Media Days:

Who can unseat Georgia and Alabama in the East and West?

The quick and most likely answer is “nobody this year,” but stranger things have happened.

The Bulldogs and Tide have key players like any other programs and could be one or two key injuries away from slippage.

Bryce Young is the most irreplaceable player in the Alabama lineup, an elusive and unshakable leader with NFL arm talent and a Heisman Trophy to his name.

This reloading Georgia team, meanwhile, can’t afford to lose dynamic defensive tackle Jalen Carter or experienced safety Christopher Smith from the middle of its defense. Middle linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson is another force in the making UGA needs to stay healthy.

Texas A&M and Arkansas appear to be the Tide’s biggest threats in the West, this season, though both lack the offensive firepower Saban teams have become known for, producing several first-round skill position picks of late.

Tennessee and Kentucky look to be the top challengers to Georgia in the East, but neither has the depth of talent that Smart has stacked up on the Bulldogs’ roster.

How soon will Texas and Oklahoma join the SEC?

Georgia has a game scheduled in Norman, Okla., next season that it’s desperately “working on,” per AD Josh Brooks.

The previous administration scheduled a home-and-home with the Sooners, but the return game to Athens isn’t until 2031, well after Oklahoma will be in the league.

RELATED: Georgia football schedules in question, Oklahoma road game poses issue

The Longhorns and Sooners will most certainly be in the SEC by 2025, but it’s possible it could be sooner.

“There is no doubt the Big 12 is open for business,” new Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark said last week, per USA Today.

In one sense the Big 12 is looking for a new partner — perhaps the Pac-12 or ACC — and in another, it might be open to financial incentives to ditch Texas and Oklahoma sooner if it proves in the best interest of the conference.

The SEC Media Days Moment?

Lane Kiffin, Brian Kelly and Eli Drinkwitz open the SEC Media Days show, each capable of providing a memorable quote or moment.

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