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Kirby Smart is worried about a ‘monster’ but it’s not Alabama
Everyone wants to make the comparison all the time. Is Kirby Smart building the next Alabama? He’s recruiting as well as Alabama. He’s winning as much as Alabama. Georgia is playing a lot like the Alabama of old. The real answer is yes and no, Smart is building a program that can win like Alabama but it will a different feel to it. A more Georgia feel.
ESPN asked the very question, as ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg went into detail about what the Georgia program is like and how it, and Smart, differs from Alabama. There was a lot to sift through in the piece and it’s well worth reading but the most interesting anecdote came from talking about what the biggest thing Georgia has to overcome in the future.
And it’s not Alabama.
“The hub of the SEC, near Atlanta, the Georgia Bulldog nation creating a monster of telling you how good you are,” Smart told Rittenberg. “Letting that become a distraction is the biggest thing to overcome. Our football site has the most followers in the whole country. They’re on social media 24/7. They see themselves. They even have their own TV channel, their own, on the phone, and I don’t think you can control that or manipulate it. I just think you’ve got to manage it and educate them.”
There’s a lot to unpack there. This isn’t Smart telling the fan base to tone it back. In fact it’s the opposite, he wants his team to continue to live up the standard that the fan base desires. Part of that standard is why Georgia moved on from Mark Richt. But it’s also what makes Georgia one of the best jobs in the country.
The other reason that the monster Smart refers to is bigger than Alabama is because at some point Georgia might/will surpass Alabama. And then what? Is Smart going to weep like Alexander the Great because there are no more worlds to conquer (ha, the benefits of a classical education) ? No. Smart is going to continue to push Georgia to continue to reach an unattainable perfection.
That’s why Smart isn’t happy when his team trounces Vanderbilt 41-13. He knows that if lets up for a second and look at how quickly he’s put together a near perfect program, some team will be there to ruin his expertly laid plan.
Ok, I can no longer deny Todd Gurley this honor. I’ll get to why in a minute but let’s recognize some of the other mentionable candidates for the Top Dawg, which goes to the top former Georgia player in the NFL that week.
Sony Michel just missed back-to-back 100-yard games, as he rushed for 98 yards and a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts. The last couple of weeks have proved, that when Michel plays a good game, the New England Patriots have a really good chance of winning. While some in the Boston Sports Media were down with him after a loss to the Detroit Lions, Michel continues to prove he’s a darn good football player.
As for the defensive side of the ball, Geno Atkins of the Cincinnati Bengals swallowed the Dolphins offense whole, as he finished with 2.0 sacks. The Bengals offense didn’t have the best day, but the defense, led by Atkins, was more than good enough to carry Cincinnati to a 27-17 win and a 4-1 record.
But back to Gurley. His rushing totals weren’t outstanding, as he finished with 77 yards on 22 carries. But he found the the endzone three times and the Rams needed all three of them as they eeked out a 33-31 road win over Seattle. In the course of the game, the Rams lost their top two receivers as well, putting an even bigger burden on Gurley.
But the real reason Gurley is the Top Dawg is because of what he did on the final drive of the game. The Rams held a two-point lead and needed to ice the game away. Everyone in the stadium knew he was getting the ball. And yet he churned out the needed yardage to get the Rams the wins. He had four carries for 21 yards, picking one first down and putting the Rams in position to pick up a fourth and incredibly short to lock up the win. It was akin to what Gurley did against Tennessee in 2014, when he refused to let Georgia give the ball back to Tennessee. And like that game in 2014, Gurley carried his team to a win.
Past Top Dawg winners:
Week 1: ReShad Jones DB, Miami Dolphins
Week 2: Shawn Williams DB, Cincinnati Bengals
Week 3: Matthew Stafford QB, Detroit Lions
Week 4: AJ Green WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Come out to Marlow’s to chat Georgia football with Brandon Adams and Jeff Sentell
Want to talk some Georgia football with the DawgNation experts ahead of Georgia’s big game against LSU? Well DawgNation has you covered.
On Tuesday, DawgNation’s Brandon Adams and Jeff Sentell will be at the Marlow’s Tavern Northlake (4156 La Vista Rd, Tucker, GA 30084) to take your questions and talk about Georgia football and recruiting.
The festivities start at 6 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. so come on by, have a bite to eat and talk some Georgia football with us.
If you get there at 6, you’ll also be able to take part in a Q&A with Jeff and Brandon where they’ll provide some intel that you regularly wouldn’t be able to hear and find. With everything going on in Georgia recruiting, this is definitely something you’ll want to be there for. And let’s not forget about Georgia’s huge game against LSU.
Wear your Red & Black and get a FREE appetizer with your entree purchase. These events are always a great time and this one will be as well. So make sure you’re there.
Best stories from around DawgNation
- DawgNation Invasion: UGA commit Makiya Tongue is a big 4-star pull from Louisiana
- LSU coach Ed Orgeron’s scouting report on Georgia football schemes, personnel
- That coach Kirby Smart has ‘been there, done that’ matters to Georgia players
- Georgia football podcast: We’re ‘about to find out’ how good UGA really is
- WATCH: Georgia football coach Kirby Smart raves about LSU’s ‘incredible environment’
- Georgia coach Kirby Smart: Bulldogs ‘better knuckle up’ for physical LSU
- Winners and Losers from Georgia’s big win over Vanderbilt
Dawgs on Twitter
— Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) October 9, 2018
Keep. Moving. Forward.
— Brian Herrien (@brianherrienn) October 9, 2018
— Tom Crean (@TomCrean) October 9, 2018
— Sam Franco (@samjfranco) October 8, 2018
Good Dog of the Day
This is Ziggy. He sneaks into the fridge sometimes. Enjoys being cool and in close proximity to snacks at the same time. 12/10 extremely relatable pic.twitter.com/ylzpJ9eSnl
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) October 9, 2018