SEC football legend Tim Tebow loves his Florida Gators, but he has been quick to give Kirby Smart credit for immediate success at Georgia.
Tebow, playing for the Syracuse Mets Triple-A baseball club when he’s not providing commentary for ESPN, met with media during the weekend series in Gwinnett.
Atlanta’s 11Alive TV caught up with Tebow in a dugout interview and talked about Georgia football and its fourth-year head coach.
“I think they were ahead of schedule and they did some incredible things, and honestly, probably should have won a national championship two years ago,” Tebow said. “And, really, had such a great chance to close out the SEC Championship Game last year and go to the playoffs.
“So I think this is a big year, I think probably anything less is going to be a little bit disappointing if you’re a Georgia fan.”
Tebow says this needs to be the year for Georgia football, and that another loss to Alabama could create a mental hurdle.
“It’s been a building process for Georgia, (and) if you looked a few years ago, you would say right now would be that time,” Tebow said. “I think this needs to be Georgia’s year, I really do. I think just the way it’s gone against Alabama the last couple of years, to not be able to get there again.
“It’s not just that it hurts you in that year. It becomes a big brother-little brother type of thing, where you have to eventually be able to get over that hurdle, and get over that hump, and this is kind of that year.”
Tebow’s take has become a popular narrative in the SEC, with league analyst Paul Finebaum leading the charge.
Finebaum peppered Smart with questions about the Bulldogs’ heartbreaking losses to Alabama — 26-23 in overtime in the College Football Playoff Championship Game after the 2017 season, and 35-28 in last season’s SEC Championship Game.
Georgia led by two touchdowns in both games before the Tide rallied for the wins.
“I’m not going to make it about one team,” Smart stated calmly, but firmly, when Finebaum pressed with the Alabama question in May. “I think everybody else wants to make it about one team.”
Smart knows Georgia can beat Alabama: UGA has led or been tied with the Tide 118 minutes and 54 seconds of 120 minutes and 281 of 290 plays of the past two meetings in the CFP title game and SEC title game.
SEC Legend Tim Tebow
— 11Alive Sports (@11AliveSports) June 22, 2019