Heading into his second season as Georgia’s head coach, the expectations have increased for Kirby Smart.
The Bulldogs were pegged by the media to win the SEC East this season, a year after going 8-5. The Bulldogs did bring in the No. 3 recruiting class for the 2017 cycle to mix with a number of talented returning starters.
Sophomore QB Jacob Eason was named the starter at media days by Smart and eight total Bulldogs made the various All-SEC teams.
With RBs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel back, Georgia could have a potent offense with seven returning starters. Defensively, Georgia returns one of the most experienced units in the country while also welcoming highly rated recruits, including 5-star safety Richard LeCounte. Ten starters from last year’s team are back, with safety Maurice Smith the only departure.
As for the 2018 recruiting class, the Bulldogs are 11th among SEC teams. But Georgia did get a commitment from the No. 1 running back in the 2018 class, Zamir White, and continue to sit well with 5-star quarterbacks Justin Fields and Matt Corral. The Bulldogs are poised for a strong recruiting run in the coming month.
Georgia opens its 2017 season against Appalachian State before traveling to Notre Dame in Week 2. But the Bulldogs won’t want to overlook the Mountaineers, who won 10 games last season and nearly upset Tennessee to open the season.
Smart reportedly earned more than $3.7 million last season, his first as a head coach, after spending nearly a decade as Nick Saban’s defensive coordinator at Alabama.
In the previous edition of the SEC Country approval ratings poll, Smart came in at 74.1 percent, good for eighth place.
Vote on Kirby Smart’s approval rating
The SEC Country approval rating poll is designed to give an indication of fan happiness over a period of time.
Our formula is based on the percentage of respondents who select each answer. We multiply that percentage by the following factors: 1 (strongly approve), 0.67 (approve), 0.33 (disapprove) and 0.0 (strongly disapprove). In other words, if 50 percent of respondents select “strongly approve” and 50 percent select “approve,” the formula would be (50 x 1) + (50 x 0.67) = 83.5 percent approval rating.