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Monday, Aug 20, 2018
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SEC media days: Kirby Smart, Georgia have moved on from title game loss

ATLANTA — Georgia coach Kirby Smart can't seem to get away from last year's national title loss.

Even on Tuesday before taking the podium at SEC media days, he saw highlights of it on ESPN.

But half a mile away from the site of that defeat to Alabama (Mercedes-Benz Stadium), Smart said his Bulldogs moved on from it a long time ago.

"I think it's something you guys think about a lot, but not really us," Smart said at the College Football Hall of Fame. "We're on to the next year. We're on to the next recruit. We're on to the next strategy."

One thing that remains, of course, is the expectation: Georgia should be very good again this year. I haven't done my predicted order of finish yet but — spoiler alert! — I'll be picking the Bulldogs to win the SEC East again. So will, I'm guessing, almost all of my colleagues here.

Georgia is ready for it.

"We had great standards set last year — standards set by a group of players that did a tremendous job," Smart said. "Embracing those standards will be the challenge for this group."

One other thing of note: Smart didn't dampen the hype of five-star freshman quarterback Justin Fields. He said the dynamic athlete will have a role like Jake Fromm last year; Fromm pushed and eventually passed Jacob Eason for the starting job as a true freshman.

"I'm excited about the things he's done," Smart said. "He gives us an element in our offense that we don't have. I'm excited to see what he can do."

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