Though it’s far too early to decide whether or not Kirby Smart was a good hire for the Georgia Bulldogs, USA Today’s Dan Wolken offers his take on the situation and doesn’t hold back in saying a different coach might’ve been better.
That’s easy to say after the fact, but Wolken argues Houston’s Tom Herman should have been contacted at the very least:
If there’s anything that SEC schools should have learned the last decade, it’s that Saban’s greatness does not transfer by osmosis to his staff members. Until they actually occupy the head coach’s chair, each of them is a roll of the dice.
Georgia was not only willing to make that gamble, it did so aggressively and with great enthusiasm despite the reality that more experienced coaches were quite intrigued by the potential of the Georgia job. Georgia didn’t even so much as bother to pick up the phone and call Houston’s Tom Herman, for instance, even though his representatives had made it abundantly clear that there was interest.
But Georgia only had eyes for Smart, and now halfway into the season fans are wondering whether the Bulldogs have really made a change for the better. Because it's not just that Georgia is 4-3, it’s that Georgia is a bad 4-3 with a home loss to Vanderbilt already on Smart’s ledger.
Wolken at least concedes that Smart is recruiting well, but doesn’t hesitate to add there is “only one Saban.” While there are definitely positives to be had, some better performances the second half of the season will go a long way toward easing concerns in Athens.