South Bend, Ind.—It is something every new coach knows he must have. He also knows that he will not be validated until he gets it.

It is a signature victory. It is the victory in the life of a young coach where the fan base says “Ah, hah! This guy knows what he is doing. He is going to be okay.”

One year and one game into his first head coaching job at Georgia, Kirby Smart was still in search of his signature victory. Last season his team lost to Tennessee on a Hail Mary pass at the final horn, pretty much got kicked around against Florida in Jacksonville, and lost to Georgia Tech by blowing a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Yeah, there were close road wins at Missouri and Kentucky but those don’t get it done.  Those are games you’re supposed to win at a place like Georgia.  The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.