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.