Kirby Smart asserts his dominance over former Georgia assistant Dan Lanning’s Oregon team.

Georgia football head coach Kirby Smart offered the ultimate power flex by saying how it really is when it comes to Dan Lanning and the Oregon football program he took over this past offseason.

Lanning is the latest former Smart assistant to get a Power Five job, joining the likes of Mel Tucker at Michigan State and Sam Pittman at Arkansas. Even though the Ducks have a great chance to maintain their excellence under Lanning, they were Dawg food to Georgia in Atlanta, losing 49-3 on Labor Day Weekend. As far as what Smart thinks about Oregon, he offered this absolute gem.

“He knows we have better players … he’ll never say it, but we do,” said Smart in the postgame press conference to Zach Klein of WSB. “Dan’s relentless and he’ll do great things at Oregon.”

Lanning was an elite recruiter at Georgia, but these sort of things will take some time, alright.

Georgia football: Kirby Smart puts Dan Lanning, Oregon football in their place

Although you can argue for Smart being cocky at the podium postgame, he is not wrong, and it is not an indictment of the Oregon program Lanning just took over. The Ducks found their level under Lanning’s predecessor Mario Cristobal after essentially treading water under Willie Taggart and Mark Helfrich to some degree before that. Unlike Chip Kelly, Lanning will prioritize recruitment.

Even if Oregon does not have anywhere close to the amount of blue-chip prospects in-state as Georgia, the Ducks are a national brand because of Nike founder and distinguished alum Phil Knight. Impressionable four and even five-star recruits want to play at Autzen in the Liquid Sunshine and look super fly doing so. Lanning will recruit, but will he be able to be a head coach?

That is really the big question surrounding Lanning. People had their doubts about Smart coming back to his alma mater in 2016 after being arguably Nick Saban’s greatest protege. His first year back in Athens was rocky, but by year two, Smart had his Dawgs playing in the national title bout. Oregon’s ceiling may not be that of Georgia, but the Ducks can be a perennial playoff contender.

Ultimately, the only thing that matters for Lanning and the rest of his staff, especially offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham, is relating to top-tier recruits across the country. Once Oregon has more good players than the rest of the Pac-12 and most of the Power Five, the Ducks can compete for titles, maybe before Lanning and Dillingham find their footing in these newer roles?

Oregon may have been crushed by Georgia, but most teams would have suffered the same fate.

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