It was the safe decision, but was it the smart one?

Kirby Smart

Kirby Smart

Having spent most of my day off today (I’m now working Tuesday-Saturday) away from the computer, I checked back in to find that the rumor one of my brothers had called me about earlier today is true: Kirby Smart isn’t coming home.

It’s disappointing for Bulldogs fans, of course. Smart had been the sentimental favorite for the defensive coordinator job dating back to, well, actually long before Willie Martinez got fired.

But it’s not really all that surprising. When you consider to the move from Tuscaloosa to Athens, what was really in it for Smart? More money? Doubtful. If Alabama hasn’t already matched Georgia’s offer, it likely will.

A chance to make a name for himself away from the shadow of Nick Saban? Well, yes, that was the biggest selling point Mark Richt had going for him.

That cuts both ways, though. Smart wants to be a head coach one of these days. By going out on his own at Georgia, he might have been able to build a strong case for himself. But there was an element of risk in that scenario that probably made Smart gunshy. What if the Georgia job hadn’t worked out as well as what he already has at Bama? Where would that leave him?

Staying with the Crimson Tide, where most people assume Saban is the force behind the defense, probably won’t allow Smart to develop a reputation on his own the way running the defense at Georgia would have. But the safer, more conservative approach for Smart is to continue to ride on Saban’s coattails.

Only time will tell if Smart played the odds correctly or blew his big chance.

381 comments Add your comment

Jon

January 11th, 2010
7:39 pm

Nick Saban does not coach the defense, he coaches the team. Nick has said many times that he is Kirby’s Graduate Assistant and lets him run his own defense. I’ve watch them practice a few times and Saban basically throw passes to the Secondary while Kirby coaches the overall defense. Kirby Smart knows that with another NC ring and more All-Americans on defense his stock will go up each year. Kirby isn’t dumb, why would he go to another team and try to build a defense when he has one already built. No Head Coach in the SEC is a graduate of the school they are coaching at now. That “My school, I went to” is highly overated.

Gratefuldawghead

January 11th, 2010
7:42 pm

Aubietiger…At least one of our players didn’t TAPE phone calls were Money was sent to them…Ramsey

And another thing One for the Thumb this year over your Tigers!

up yours kirby

January 11th, 2010
7:43 pm

GO GET CHARLIE STRONG ALREADY

Bright Idea

January 11th, 2010
7:44 pm

Can’t blame Smart. It would have been more pressure at UGA and Saban holds a head job recommendation over his head. Saban has to be tired of assistants bolting on him too.

Herschel Talker

January 11th, 2010
7:45 pm

Mark Richt continues to be a clown. Just like he was a clown for not firing Martinez 3 years ago, now he has bungled the hiring process and is making us look like a joke. This loser needs to go. When we go 7-5 again next year, then you Mark Richt apologists will finally grow a brain. But it’s obvious that this moron needs to go now.

aubietiger

January 11th, 2010
7:45 pm

Gratefuldawghead …thats a good one. Puppies are in a meltdown!

savannah dawg

January 11th, 2010
7:46 pm

The next DC knows he was the dawgs fourth choice, so he will be coaching his a$$ off to prove to everybody that he should have been their first choice. Always remember, whoever we get will be a vast improvement over what we’ve had the last few years. GO DAWGS!!!!!

gator raid

January 11th, 2010
7:52 pm

LOLOLOLOLOL, even homeboys dont want to go home. What a worthless freaking program UGAg has! bwahahahahahaha

jesse james

January 11th, 2010
7:53 pm

Herschel Talker – What do you mean when we go 7 and 5 next year. You aren’t a fan of or supporter of UGA. You are showing you ignornace if you think Coach Richt should be fired. Oh yea you are probably that guy that your mommy and daddy wanted your high school coach fired for not playing you. Or did Coach Richt not play you or your son. You are the moron. It takes one to know one.

coachgb

January 11th, 2010
7:53 pm

I can’t believe it! If Richt went after a defensive ends coach from Podunk U, some of you guys would go on and on about settling for second best. When he goes after a big name, you guys raise the roof about that. Face it, nothing Mark Richt does will satisfy some of you. They guys a winner! Look at his record. It is one of the top for active coaches and you want to get rid of him. That’s just plain stupid! Richt will get us a good DC and will contiune to win. Go find another team to “support”.

Buzz

January 11th, 2010
7:53 pm

this reminds me of my junior prom

Joe the Plummer

January 11th, 2010
7:54 pm

Do yall smell that?

Sorry Dogs

January 11th, 2010
7:57 pm

Wow Dawgs2010. You’re everything a dawg fan should be!

Peggy Ledbetter

January 11th, 2010
7:58 pm

Spot on, Alpharetta Dawg. To me, it was inexcusable to string us along this long. Recruiting is in its crucial stage now. Chavis was never given an offer nor was Bud Foster. They were diversions to keep pressure off of Smart before the NC, because somebody at UGA was given reason to expect that Kirby was going to take the job. Nick Saban would not have “gone for the jugular” with his septic tank remark if he had not thought Kirby was coming to UGA.. Mark Richt is far and above a better man than Nick Saban will ever hope to be. Whoever takes over UGA’s DC job will have complete control over the defense and can make a big name for themselves. Kirby Smart lost out, not from staying at Bama, but from the way he handled this whole situation. And by the way, Bama has been beaten by UGA under Saban, and Bama almost got beaten by Auburn, TN, and others this year. Nick Saban is not infallible and the tide does change.

BG

January 11th, 2010
7:59 pm

Smart is Sabans little boy.

Grim Reaper

January 11th, 2010
7:59 pm

I can’t wait to get Saban and company into Athens again!!!!

Dominated Dawg

January 11th, 2010
8:00 pm

Maybe we could get Monte Kiffin.

Waterboy

January 11th, 2010
8:00 pm

Kirbster knew what was going on, “Smart” move…………….you will be a head coach in a year or two, maybe at UGA.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/recruiting/football/news/story?id=4811710

jesse james

January 11th, 2010
8:00 pm

Georgia will be fine whoever Coach Richt gets and the Dawgs will continue to be the one team that other teams want to beat badly. Beating UGA carries alot of weight. It is called being respected. If you don’t believe it you ask players and coaches who they would rather beat besides their big rivalry and they will say the DAWGS. RESPECT and UGA has it.

mike on lake hartwell

January 11th, 2010
8:01 pm

well, at least we have aimed high. it will be fine.
whoever we get will be a good one.

GO DAWGS!

Will Dawg

January 11th, 2010
8:03 pm

1st of all NEVER interview Smart again. I mean NEVER. The truest statement is that Saban will leave in 2 years. Take the Bama job in time to coach under probation, Kirby and watch how fast the elephants turn on you. Just remember you could have come home.
For those who want to fire Richt in a year or two you better get Bill Cowher or a HOMERUN coach who will help us kick UF and UT yearly. If not why bother.

George

January 11th, 2010
8:04 pm

Hate that we’re still looking for DC, but as a UGA grad I’m still proud of the success that Smart and Muschamp have earned at ‘Bama and Texas. I have no doubt that they both love UGA. Having said that, Ray Goff was dead-on last week when he said “If you ever get fired from your alma mater – you NO LONGER HAVE AND ALMA MATER!”

Dawgs will be fine… let Richt do his job.

Neutral Observor

January 11th, 2010
8:06 pm

What does it mean when one of Georgia’s own won’t come home for twice the pay. It speaks volumes about the status of Georgia football. This is a sinking ship. Kirby knows it and wants no part of it.

Will Dawg

January 11th, 2010
8:06 pm

We don’t play Bama till 2012 season. Saban will be gone to Tampa Bay or USC whoever will shell out the most $$$. If Kirby loved UGA he’d come home and fix this mess not stay in the Shadow of Satan ….er Saban (Anyone else notice the one letter difference?)

Kirby is Smart

January 11th, 2010
8:07 pm

Why would I leave a national championship team that has the chance to repeat next year at a school where I can be head coach in a few years to come to a middle of the pack declining program? Not to mention the most delusional low rent fans in the country. Remember, I went to school there, I know you people. Oh, and Mark Richt can’t make a decision to save his life. Get a clue clowns. The only way you see me at the SEC championship is on our little screen TVs if you pay your cable bill.

Eaasssyy

January 11th, 2010
8:07 pm

Time to stop getting other coaches hefty raises. Lets get someone qualified and passionate about defense. It doesn’t have to be a huge name. Just someone who will not only interject their upbeat personality in the D, but also teach discipline. It’s time for plan B Mark.

Besides, one more rejection and I will start to feel like a Tech student out in Buckhead trying to bring a girl home for the night. Strike four nerd!!! hahaha.

Censored

January 11th, 2010
8:09 pm

It’s sad that you have to create an alternate identity for the censors. Will Dawg, you’re stupid. Enough said. Second, Smart is a great coach. Great coaches deserve great opportunities. UGA is not a great opportunity or we wouldn’t even be having this debate, would we? You can keep your delusions of grandeur, but your program sucks. Fourth best in the east is sad. Bama is not anywhere near probation at the moment. The staff is full of class and winners. What about thug GA? Care to dance in the endzone some more? I’d love it if you did it with your funeral jerseys on. UGA is sad and pitiful. Realize it. Embrace it. Your program is lackluster and Richt let it become what it has become. Mediocrity.

Eaasssyy

January 11th, 2010
8:09 pm

You really sound like a neutral observer when you use terms like “sinking ship” when describing the state of UGA football. Why not just man up observer and say you hate UGA because you’re a Tech fan? D bag

Eaasssyy

January 11th, 2010
8:12 pm

“Your program sucks”
“Being the DC at UGA and making a truckload of money is terrible opportunity”

blahblahblah,care to back any of your statements with facts censored? Dont think so. Time for bed little one

Will Dawg

January 11th, 2010
8:14 pm

Where’s your degree from Censored? You tool box. You will be on probation and your coach will be gone. Go buy another houndstooth hat and call us stupid. Class and winners. SABAN will use you too!
You were less than mediocre and an afterthought. Go back to dating your sister.

Censored

January 11th, 2010
8:16 pm

D’bag this. I’m an Alabama fan. The home of Champions. The only d’bags are your thug recruits that rob, murder, and loot. Jeremy Elder was a GA recruit. Armed robbery. That’s all UGA is good for. Thug recruits from a pathetic ghetto. When you actually become second in the east, talk to me. Right now, I have exponentially more respect for GA Tech. At least they graduate their athletes and are a respected academic institution. You should feel lucky to play them. That’s as close to graduation as your athletes will ever get.

Ponte Vedra Dawg

January 11th, 2010
8:16 pm

So what’s the word on Grantham and is there anyone else in the mix?

The Real SugarHillDawg

January 11th, 2010
8:17 pm

Somebody tell me (preferably a Bama fan) how you guys are losing your ENTIRE defense and still think you are gonna win it all next year.Get off the cool aid RUBES!!!

Censored

January 11th, 2010
8:17 pm

I have a Master’s from Alabama. You? I turned down Goff because I didn’t want to be a pharmacist tool working at a CVS for the rest of my life. I make six figures. You?

Censored

January 11th, 2010
8:18 pm

Sugard’bag. Tell me how you’re going to even win 6th in the East. Please. I’d love to hear it.

UGA.Winner

January 11th, 2010
8:19 pm

Let’s get a DC who wants to take UGA to the top. BAMA is not #1 because of their DC. They just had better players this year. The Tide will turn. UGA has the recruits coming in. Remember, we did finish #2 in the nation 3 years ago because we had the talent. Keep the faith and get a winner who wants to be part of the UGA family. GO DAWGS

Will Dawg

January 11th, 2010
8:19 pm

Fan but no degree… thought so…Plus look up the numbers…we outgraduated GT in the last report .
You’ve had thugs at alabama, too. So censor yourself go back to alabama and get off our boards.

Censored

January 11th, 2010
8:20 pm

Masters, sorry. The spell check took over.

Jack in Macon

January 11th, 2010
8:20 pm

To “The Red and Black”, you have the mind of a child.

Censored

January 11th, 2010
8:21 pm

Will, talk to me about your school. Seriously. Alabama has more graduates than every school but Vandy. Still want to talk. You don’t have a degree so shut up.

YellowJacket

January 11th, 2010
8:21 pm

UGA is as significant as Athens, GA. It isn’t. Get used to the rejection.

jesse james

January 11th, 2010
8:21 pm

Censored – Who won the last time UGA and Bama played?

gadawgs

January 11th, 2010
8:21 pm

BamaCLT…Fourth best in the East. I know you don’t actually believe that. I will give you guys props on being National Champions this year (I was actually pulling for you guys) and I agree that AL is back and will be the best team in the West (and one of the best in the conference and nation) as long as Saban is there. But to say that we are fourth best in the East is comical and you lose all credibility on this blog with statements like that. The only team you can put ahead of us in reality is FL (as much as that pains me). But they will not be as dominant as they have been after losing Meyer (he’s done), Mullen, Strong and not to mention Tebow, Spikes, Dunlap & Pouncey. Yes they are still recruiting like mad but they still have to be coached up. Look at all of our four and five star players on D and see what Willie did with them (not much). I am still not buying what Kiffin is selling in Knoxville and they will be lucky to win seven/eight games next year with what they have coming back. That leaves SC, Ky, Vandy and you cannot with a straight face say they are better programs than ours. Enjoy the fact that AL is doing so well and I am truly happy they are but don’t be suprised to see us in Atlanta sooner than later. And as you have pointed out in an earlier post you were a D1 football recruit/prospect and therefore that must make you an authority on the subject. Well, so was I a few years before you (based on your comment of Coach Goff being in your living room) so I guess that makes me one as well. I wish Coach Smart the best. As I mentioned in a earlier post I will never begrudge a man for doing what he thinks is best for him and his family but for him to “play” his alma mater the way he did was not cool.

YellowJacket

January 11th, 2010
8:22 pm

Don’t burn the fries hillbilly.

kfurter

January 11th, 2010
8:23 pm

In the end, (1) Smart turned his back on UGA when his alma mater needed him the most. He would have come home to a hero’s welcome. And,(2) I’m a huge fan of CMR, but he has never looked as inept as he does right now.

Eaasssyy

January 11th, 2010
8:24 pm

censored, we all know you’re a techie. dbag

YellowJacket

January 11th, 2010
8:24 pm

Richts dream is to coach at Florida State, it’s that simple.

jesse james

January 11th, 2010
8:25 pm

Censored – I will answer that, Bama did and who won the year before UGA did. Saban and Richt are one and one. We are even.

YellowJacket

January 11th, 2010
8:26 pm

Jesse Jeams,
You’re dead and gone.

New Name

January 11th, 2010
8:26 pm

Censored aka BamaCLT: Bama won Jesse James. It was the funeral. Yes, UGA is fourth best in the EAST. UT is taking over and there’s no rest in site for UF, with or without Meyer. I’ll give you a guess at the team who is also beating you in recruiting and on your schedule. If you follow football, you know who I’m talking about. UGA is mediocre and middle of the pack. Get used to it.