By Jarvis Davis

ATLANTA — Dan Wolken, national college football writer for USA Today, joined Dukes and Bell Thursday to talk about the top stories in college football. The conversation turned from Ole Miss to Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs and then got very interesting.

When the  guys asked if the SEC East would be wide open in 2017 in terms of anyone being able to win it, Wolken got real with the ‘Dawgs and UGA fans.

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“Let’s not give Georgia that much of a pass,” said Wolken. “If Kirby Smart doesn’t win the East next year, he’s a clown. I’m sorry. Point blank. They are so far above the rest of that division in terms of talent right now with the players that they’ve got coming back. Give me a break. The expectation for Georgia next year should be winning the East, point blank… period. If they don’t get that done, then I have to seriously question whether Kirby can coach.”

Wolken then described the situation SMart inherited when he took over at Georgia, but then compared that to the rest of the SEC East.

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“He [Smart] did not come into a situation where they were loaded to bear at every position,” Wolken said. “They definitely knew they had some holes to fill and I understand that. It’s going to take some recruiting over a couple of years to get strong enough and deep enough at certain positions that they can really compete on the national level. But that’s not what we’re talking about here.

“We’re talking about winning a terrible division where we’ve got teams like Vandy, Missouri, South Carolina is definitely improving, but they’re not ready for prime time. Tennessee’s a joke, Florida’s not very good right now. Look at the teams they’re competing against. They [UGA] have no excuse not to win this division next year when you’ve got Nick Chubb coming back, you’ve got Sony Michele, Jacob Eason has got to take a step forward, you’ve got guys defensively; I think they’re pretty loaded on that side of the ball. I’m sorry, they are so much more talented than the rest of that division right now, I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to hear any excuses.”

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