The college football world was shocked by the news of Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs agreeing to a massive 10-year, $112.5 million contract extension last week. The deal makes him one of the highest paid coaches in the NCAA football.
Although that number may seem very excessive, Smart has proven he is one of the best in the business, leading the Bulldogs to the New Year’s Six Bowls in all but one season since 2016. Most importantly, last season, he led the team to its first national title since 1980, defeating Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide, 33-18.
However, the Buldogs lost multiple key players in the 2022 NFL Draft, including defensive end Travon Walker, who was picked first overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team had 15 players selected, the most from one school in a single draft in the seven-round era.
Because of that, it is still up in the air whether Smart can command a team full of new players to immediate greatness. With this new huge deal, pressure will be on him 24/7.
Here are some bold predictions for Smart and the Georgia program for the 2022 season.
2. The Bulldogs will have the best regular season record once again
Last season, Georgia had a perfect regular season record of 12-0 and 8-0 in SEC play. However, following a big shake-up in the locker room due to the draft, will there be a difference in the team’s performance on the field?
Losing key players like Walker can make a difference in big games but the team was still able to retain other important players such as quarterback Stetson Bennett, tight end Brock Bowers, as well as Jalen Carter, who will lead the defensive line.