The world of Georgia Football nation was turned on its ear yesterday when Alabama Coach Nick Saban told the assembled members of the press that Defensive Coordinator and Georgia prodigal son Kirby Smart would be staying with the Crimson Tide for the 2010 college football season.
Despite the protests of most people here in Atlanta and in Athens, Coach Smart has made the correct choice. Here are the reasons why:
1. Alabama is a better football program and team at this time. Much like Florida in 2009, the Crimson Tide will be the prohibitive favorite to win the BCS next season. They probably will be the pre-season number one team in the country and run the table. With the upheaval at Florida, Tennessee actually shapes up as the best team in the SEC East.
2. Taking the Georgia Defensive Coordinator position was a lateral move at best and a step back at worst. Last year, did Florida's Dan Mullen leave for another offensive coordinator position? No, he left for a head coaching position. Kirby Smart is next in line for a head coaching position in the SEC. His next job has to be a head coaching job.
3. Georgia's star is fading nationally. Most college football fans think the Georgia program is a solid top 25 program, but nationally they are not in the conversation. The Georgia program is a regional powerhouse and nothing more. Other college fans talk about Florida, Alabama, LSU, and even Tennessee now before Georgia.
For the Georgia football program, Bulldog fans, and Coach Mark Richt, the fall from pre-season number one in 2008 to the current defensive coordinator search has been precipitous. That means steep.
The Bulldogs wanted to make a big splash and they have been turned down by every big name! They are making the kind of splash that got your father's beer wet by the pool and you got your butt kicked.
Mark Richt is a great person and great man, but there is something going on in Athens and it does not feel good for Bulldog fans. Another weak defensive unit and another eight win season are on the horizon.