That thud you heard at roughly 3 p.m. EST Monday was of Bulldog Nation’s chin plopping into its doggy dish. Kirby Smart isn’t coming. First Bud Foster, then John Chavis. Now a born-and-bred Bulldog has turned down Georgia. And here’s where the backlash sets in.
Georgia has been searching for more than a month and is still without a defensive coordinator. It has approached the absolute right guys but has been left with nobody to announce as its new man. And once you’ve offered Kirby Smart the moon and the stars and he has said, “No, thanks,” where is there to turn?
Speculation is rampant within the industry that Georgia’s backup — guess he’s not a backup any more — is Todd Grantham, the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive line coach. But Grantham doesn’t carry one-tenth of the collegiate cachet that Foster, Chavis or Smart does. He’s a pro guy, has been for more than a decade, and he got fired from the only coordinating job he held.
At this point, almost anyone will be seen as a fairly tepid consolation prize. Can’t blame the Bulldogs for aiming high. But when you aim that high, you have to close the deal or you’ll be seen as having failed. And that, sorry to say, is how folks are viewing Georgia today.
This isn’t to say Todd Grantham (or whoever) won’t do a first-rate job. But if Georgia was ever going to dazzle its constituency, the chance was extinguished when Kirby Smart said no.