Count Paul Finebaum among the people who saw the past week as another big win for the Georgia Bulldogs over the Florida Gators.
The Bulldogs landed a 5-star commitment in the form outside linebacker Mekhail Sherman. Florida meanwhile saw its top 2019 signee Chris Steele enter his name into the transfer portal. This comes after a string of arrests at Florida and after Mullen has taken repeated shots at Georgia through spring game attendance numbers and press conferences.
Things have only gotten worse for Florida as a bulk of its 2021 commits have backed off their pledges. Georgia meanwhile added another top-40 overall recruit as Tate Ratledge committed on Monday. The addition of Ratledge bumped Georgia ahead of Florida in the 2020 recruiting rankings.
Finebaum, appearing on WJOX 94.5 FM in Alabama, noted how quickly the tables have turned on Mullen this offseason when it pertains to Smart and the Georgia program.
“Losing recruits happens all the time, players get into trouble all the time but I think it’s a little bit of karma flying back at him,” Finebaum said. “I thought Kirby Smart won the day and maybe won the war by just shooing Dan Mullen away the other day like a fly on your sandwich at a Fourth of July picnic.”
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Smart brushed off Mullen’s jabs in an interview with Finebaum this past Friday.
“I just don’t think you need that. That is not going to make Georgia great. We are not going to move up in the rankings by what I say,” Smart said. “We are going to do it by how we play. We want to talk with our helmets. That is what we always talk about – we want to play a physical brand of football and not do it with our mouthpiece.”
Georgia has beaten Florida the last two times these two programs have met by a combined score of 78-24. Smart has also beaten Mullen in back-to-back seasons by a score of 67-20.
Finebaum went further in on the Florida program under Mullen and revealed that Mullen had been taking some further shots at Georgia when Finebaum went to visit the Florida program.
“He’s been running it for months, frankly, he’s been running it since he was born,” Finebaum joked during the interview. “I was in his office three and a half weeks ago, I heard him running his mouth about Georgia and it caught up to him and now all those people who have been sitting around going, ‘I wonder why he’s doing that?’ are turning on him.”
The Georgia-Florida rivalry is one of the best rivalries in all of college football for a reason. But it’s hard to remember an offseason like this one between the two schools with so much of the jockeying coming in the public eye.
Given Mullen’s history, he likely won’t slow down with the shots he takes at the Georgia program. But it is interesting to note how the public perception on these two from a national standpoint has shifted within the past week. And with what Smart and the Bulldogs have shown on the recruiting trail, it’s hard to see Georgia letting up any time soon.
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