By John Michaels

Kirby Smart rolled into town with as much bravado as ever seen in Athens. Gone are the days of “ah shucks” with Mark Richt, gone are the days where 10-3 was considered a good season, and also gone (hopefully) are fall’s full of what could have been. The question now is what’s fair for the University of Georgia moving forward.

Saturday will be the 1st glimpse of the Georgia football team under Kirby Smart. Coach Smart has instilled his own brand of coaching. He’s not allowing nearly as much access to the players throughout practice, and he has basically said the one voice that will be heard is his only. It’s very Saban like of Coach Smart to do this, but the problem is he has yet to have any of the success that Saban has had.

Mark Richt was a good coach, heck he was a very good coach, but the problem was the program had gotten stale. The last SEC title was in 2005, and DJ Shockley was still the QB. The team no longer was a legit title contender even though the talent was in Athens. Richt was fired and in comes Kirby Smart.

What is fair? Is a college football playoff berth in year one fair? How about the SEC Title, or even just the SEC East?

The problem is, this Georgia team is flawed. Nick Chubb is coming off a knee injury and although we think he will be great, and healthy, he’s still an unknown until proven otherwise. If healthy, Chubb and Sony Michel form the best one-two combo in college football, but if not there will be a lot of pressure on Sony. If Chubb is healthy, it will be much easier to insert Jacob Eason as the starter at QB from day 1. If Chubb is healthy, suddenly the defense won’t be on the field as long, and the offense will be better than 83rd in the country like they were a year ago.

The other issue is how much is expected out of true freshman Jacob Eason. Is it fair to think he will lead Georgia to Atlanta in his 1st year as a starter? Will he feel the same growing pains as other freshmen? If he does, do you really want Grayson Lambert as the starter for any length of time, because I don’t.

What I think is fair, is patience. Georgia will be really good in the future, but to expect greatness in year 1 is completely unfair. Kirby Smart should be applauded if he can get #93K to Saturdays spring game. So UGA fans, sit back and enjoy the ride this upcoming season, but don’t be upset if a National Title Trophy isn’t in Athens this year.

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