Kirby Smart Says Georgia Will Have to 'Reinvent Ourselves' to 3-Peat as CFP Champs

Erin WalshJanuary 10, 2023

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 09: head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs raises the College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy after defeating the TCU Horned Frogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship game at SoFi Stadium on January 09, 2023 in Inglewood, California. Georgia defeated TCU 65-7. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Georgia Bulldogs became the first back-to-back national champions since Alabama in 2011 and 2012 by defeating TCU 65-7 in the College Football Playoff title game on Monday.

But if the Dawgs want to three-peat next season, head coach Kirby Smart knows the team will need to evolve.

"Starting to think about the next one, I do think it's going to be much tougher," Smart said Tuesday, per ESPN's Dave Wilson. "And I do think we're going to have to reinvent ourselves next year because you can't just stay the same."

After winning the 2021 season's title game, Georgia lost a whopping 15 players to the NFL draft. That resulted in the team having to find a new identity entering the 2022 season, but it clearly wasn't difficult as the Bulldogs leaned on quarterback Stetson Bennett and went 15-0.

The team is expected to lose even more talent in the 2023 draft, though, including Bennett, running back Kenny McIntosh, tight end Darnell Washington, defensive tackle Jalen Carter and cornerback Kelee Ringo, among others.

Georgia will have to replenish its roster through the transfer portal and high school commitments. That said, the team's 2023 recruitment class currently ranks second in the nation behind Alabama, per 247Sports.

The Bulldogs have received commitments from 5-star edge Damon Wilson and 5-star cornerback AJ Harris. Joenel Aguero (safety), Samuel M'Pemba (edge), Jordan Hall (defensive line) and Monroe Freeling (offensive tackle) are all 4-stars and a part of Georgia's 2023 class.

Additionally, Mississippi State wide receiver RaRa Thomas and Mizzou wide receiver Dominic Lovett have transferred to Georgia.

However, it's unclear who Georgia will turn to at quarterback in 2023 following the departure of Bennett. The team has three scholarship quarterbacks projected to be on its roster next season, and it looks like a quarterback competition could be on tap.

That said, Carson Beck figures to be the favorite to take on the starting job. He sat behind Bennett in each of the last three seasons. Brock Vandagriff and Gunner Stockton are also on the roster.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers were the last team to win three straight titles when they did so in 1934, 1935, and 1936.

If Smart and the Bulldogs can find a way to win it all next season, they'll only solidify themselves atop the college football ladder.