As is always the case, the expectations in Athens and Baton Rouge will be very high in 2021.

There are plenty of reasons to like both teams to be legitimate contenders not just for their respective SEC divisions but the College Football Playoff but having preseason hype and living up to those massive expectations are two different things.

Taking that into consideration, which coach needs a big season more in 2021, Kirby Smart or Ed Orgeron?

That was a question asked of ESPN host Paul Finebaum on Monday during his latest appearance on Birmingham-based WJOX 94.5 FM radio show The Roundtable.

“I think it’s bigger for Ed Orgeron because in spite of this chatter out there about Kirby Smart, and I’ve heard it and you’ve heard it,” Finebaum said on the show. “Danny Sheridan was on our show the other day and he picked Georgia to make the final four but he said, ‘If they don’t make it this year, when will they make it?’ I still think the overall record there is exemplary.”

In case you were wondering, Smart is 52-14 overall at Georgia after five seasons which includes three SEC East titles, one SEC championship and an appearance in the College Football Playoff during that time.

“Where Orgeron, he has the national championship, which will buy you a lot of goodwill, but it won’t secure you forever,” Finebaum continued. “I know Gene Chizik somewhere is nodding his head. (Orgeron) has bigger issues off the field. And all these things that keep piling up I think are more of Orgeron’s problems than on the field.

“Kirby Smart just needs to quiet down that conversation out there that he’s not a great on the field coach. Whether he is or isn’t, I think it will continue to be debated. But I think his record is pretty good. Orgeron had those two good years, and he saved himself from a disastrous offseason by winning the last two games, and they were both pretty close calls against Florida and (Ole Miss) but I think if Orgeron has issues this time next year, it’s going to be more off the field than on the field.”

Read More

Louisiana online sports betting is officially live in much of the state. Louisiana joined the handful of other SEC football states with legalized sports betting in January 2022.