Let us take a visit to Narrative-ville, the college football version, where the most interesting house may just belong to the Georgia football program.
The view from outside the house: Georgia and its five-star-hoarding coach Kirby Smart need to win a championship soon. Preferably this year. Because if not this year — when so many players are returning, the coaching staff is stable and the schedule is set up perfectly — then when? And the longer Smart goes without accomplishing what he was especially hired to do — win the whole thing — the more restless and downright unhappy Georgia’s fan base will become.
The view from inside Georgia’s house, however, is decidedly less urgent.
Yes, everything is set up for Georgia this year, but also for 2022 and beyond. There is no imminent championship window that is closing anytime soon. The recruiting has been elite every year, including at quarterback. Talent in, talent out, more talent in. As long as Smart has Georgia in contention for the College Football Playoff, the vast majority of Georgia fans will be content, banking on a breakthrough at some point.
OK, public opinion does not deal with absolutes, so there are at least some Georgia people who fall in the 2021-or-bust camp, but also some non-Georgia people who recognize that Smart is under very little pressure. The state of the Georgia football program, in the short and long term, appears to be very, very good.
That doesn’t mean this year isn’t important.
Georgia needs to get better, or else the critics will start to have a point. Every year since 2017 — when Smart took the Bulldogs within a busted coverage of winning a national title, with a team mostly recruited by Mark Richt — the team has gone ever so slightly backward, despite having better talent bases every year. (At least judging by Smart’s stupendous recruiting classes.) A close loss in the 2018 SEC championship. Then a blowout loss in the 2019 SEC championship. Then not even making last year’s SEC championship.