Georgia Bulldog fans were in their feelings after I wrote about how the Florida Gators will dominate Georgia, again, in 2021. Well, let’s keep the trend going here by stating facts that get them upset. Dan Mullen is a better head coach than Kirby Smart.
CBS Sports can rank their coaches any way they want, but the fact is, on the field, Mullen is better than Smart. You can argue that Smart is a better recruiter, and the stats show that he is. There will be no argument from me on that end, as Smart is truly one of the best recruiters out there.
However, recruiting can only get you so far. What has Smart’s elite recruiting ability done for Georgia? Let me tell you what it has done.
It has shown that Smart is a better recruiter than head coach, which is the exact opposite for Mullen.
Mullen has been knocked in the past for not being a great recruiter. Although, the Gators and Mullen are finding their groove with the 2022 class. And though he is not the best recruiter, the Gators extended Mullen this offseason for a reason.
Dan Mullen is a great head coach, and he is a better head coach than Kirby Smart.
Mullen may not recruit all of the top players, but he gets the most out of the players he recruits. The Gators have shown they are building an excellent feeder program for the NFL. And while the Bulldogs will always have players drafted because of their own abilities before coming to Georgia, Mullen is able to groom players to get even better and get drafted higher than they were recruited.
We could go back and forth about specific recruits entering the NFL, but luckily 247 Sports’ Bob Redman had a fantastic article breaking down Mullen vs. Smart. He had a great little tidbit about the player’s high school ranking to where they were drafted in that piece.
Redman said, “If you assigned a point total for draftees where a team gets 3 points for a 3* drafted, 2 points for a 4* drafted, and 1 point for a 5-star drafted which would correlate to the development of the players, Georgia would have accrued 18 points and Florida 21 points with one less player drafted in 2021.” Redman also added, “It was more of the same in 2020 which doesn’t seem to make the 2021 draft a one-off.” He continued and said, “The Bulldogs had seven drafted, two 5-stars, three 4-stars, and two 3-stars. Florida also had seven players drafted, five 4-stars and two-3-stars. Computing the numbers… that is 14 points for Georgia and 16 points for Florida.”
Yes, it is only a two-year sample size, but this year will continue to show that Mullen can get the most out of his players, and his coaching ability will allow the player to thrive all the way to the NFL.
Smart may get the best players, but Mullen gets the best out of his players.
That is a significant factor in this discussion, but I am sure Georgia fans will start arguing overall records and head-to-head match-ups. Right now, Smart holds a 2-1 record against Mullen. However, it should be worth noting that Year 1 is an unfair season to count.
The record should be looked at like 1-1, with Smart beating Mullen by a touchdown in 2019 but losing by 16 to Mullen in 2020.
As Mullen gets more time to coach up his guys while getting even better recruits than he has been in the past, it is clear that the Gators are trending upward. And they are trending upward because Mullen is a fantastic head coach, and he is better than Kirby Smart.