The media loves nothing more than reminding Georgia football of its past.
Kirby Smart is going into just his sixth season as head coach of Georgia football. He has taken Georgia to three SEC Championships, one College Football Playoff appearance, one College Football Playoff National Championship Game, and three straight New Year’s Six Bowls. However, there are those that don’t care about any of those accolades. Instead, they focus on everything Smart has done wrong since coming to Athens and they don’t want him or the fans to forget them.
There is no denying that there have been some growing pains with Smart. However, he is not a finished product by far. Proof of this was the changes he made between the 2019 and the 2020 seasons. Smart brought in a new OC, Todd Monken, to completely transform his offense. He has been recruiting wide receiver talent at an all-time high for Georgia. Yet, some continue to ignore this and instead focus on Smart’s past.
One such media member that is guilty of this is CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli. The co-host on the Cover 3 Podcast ripped Smart on their latest episode. He claimed that as long as Smart is the head coach at Georgia Football, “there’s always room for a mistake.” Why was this said? Was it something that was seen in practice? Was it something that showed up during the G Day scrimmage? Nope, again, this take was pulled from Smart’s past.
Here is what Fornelli had to say about how Smart affects Georgia football’s season:
I have to factor in the Kirby Smart Factor. In that I just feel like they’re going to screw up somewhere. Like I have to put that in play. I feel like they could beat Clemson and still lose twice. Know what I mean? It’s just one of those things for me. There’s room for a mistake or some late-game questionable decisions here.
Here is Fornelli talking about the games that he believes Georgia football can lose this season:
Looking at this schedule, with road games at Auburn, with that Florida game on a neutral site, and with that Clemson game there’s a very realistic chance for 2 losses.
Now, why would he pick Florida and Auburn? Well, one could make the case that in 2017 before Smart lead Georgia football to the National Championship Game, he got blown out in Jordan-Hare. Of course, you could also bring up how since then, Smart took Georgia into Jordan-Hare in 2019 and beat the Tigers. Not to mention that this go around, the Tigers are in the middle of a regime change. However, again, you see the media ignoring all this and concentrating on Georgia’s past.
It’s the same thing with Florida. Smart lost to Mullen last year. Again this shows Fornelli living in the past. It also shows another media member who has more faith in Dan Mullen, who has done absolutely nothing to earn it. Mullen is 1-4 against Smart, yet a large number of the media predict him to defeat Smart each season. It seems like wishful thinking, but you can’t get them to stop hoping for Florida’s past success over Georgia.
Sports media has got to stop living in the past when it comes to teams. Reporters even said Legendary Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden couldn’t win the Big One before winning his first National Championship. The difference between can’t and haven’t are worlds apart and something every journalist should know. Instead of locking a coach or team into its past, how about focusing on their future potential. That would be a much more accurate report.