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

Alphare

January 12th, 2010
9:05 am

CMR made an offer just to satisfy the fantasy of UGA fans. CMR worked with the guy, he knows Smart is not that good a coach, otherwise, he would not let him go a few years ago. Since all the UGA fans ask for it, CMR said to him just get the guy, if anything goes wrong with the decision, CMR cannot be blamed, but the fans.

Bob

January 12th, 2010
9:05 am

If he came to athens he could be looking for a job if richt is gone at the end of next year.

CrimsomPride

January 12th, 2010
9:07 am

WE RUN……THIS CONFERENCE

DogGoneGaDawg

January 12th, 2010
9:10 am

Crimson Pride: During the past decade how many times did Bama beat UGA? Shut up and go talk to someone you have dominated for the past ten years.

DogGoneGaDawg

January 12th, 2010
9:13 am

Well Kirby, you have just trashed any hope of ever becoming the head coach at UGA. We do not forget when someone kicks us in the teeth. And for all you naysayers out there who thinks the program in Athens in on the slide, well, we will remind you this fall that you are all full of it.

DogGoneGaDawg

January 12th, 2010
9:16 am

Pride: And you are prepping all your alums to be greeters at Wal Mart. So apropos of a redneck state. That’s what’s wrong with SW Georgia. It’s too close to Alabama!

Rebel Fan

January 12th, 2010
9:19 am

I have seen it all now. Two weeks ago, you guys said Kirby Smart was coming. “Bank on it!” Someone said. Now, just because he decides to stay, the Georgia “faithful” turn on Smart and talk about him like he has some fatal desease. I just dont understand it.

DogGoneGaDawg

January 12th, 2010
9:22 am

One thing is for sure. UGA does not need, nor should it want anyone who does not absolute want to be in Athens. Are you kidding? This is not a chump job. Remember what Richt said: “I want a coach who will championship football.” He has, after all, won two of them and made the championship game three times.

WALMART STORE MGR.

January 12th, 2010
9:22 am

PLEASE BAMA FANS USE THE BATHROOMS INSIDE THE STORE

DogGoneGaDawg

January 12th, 2010
9:25 am

Rebel Fan: It is not something for you to understand. Those thought processes are beyond you. We do not understand what idiot would not want this job! Put it in context. When is the last time Ole Miss beat UGA? Or, when has Ole Miss last played for the SEC Championship? Enough said.

Hmmmm

January 12th, 2010
9:29 am

Was it the smart one???? Let’s see, stay at Bama (a team that just won the NC and will probably dominate the SEC and college football for the next 5 to 10 years. Then get a great head coaching job somewhere else). OR, Leave and go to UGA (a team that will be mediocre at best over the next five years, with a head coach that will not be there in 2 years. Then, end up having to become an assistant (downgrade) due to the fact that talent stops coming into the program). I wonder which one is the SMART move. What an idiot!! Oh yeah, almost forgot. UGA is a black hole right now. No GOOD coach in their right mind would touch it.

McDawg

January 12th, 2010
9:30 am

aside from the alumni factor-i was not convinced that he was the best choice to begin with and if he isn’t ready to step out on his own then i’m gald he turned it down

DogGoneGaDawg

January 12th, 2010
9:35 am

Hmmmm: Our recruiting base going away? We have about 10 million people living in Georgia. We have more people living in one town that Alabama practically has in the whole state. When Alabama has won at least 8 games for 13 straight years (UGA tops in the Div.1) then you come talk to me. Where were you three or four years ago when Bama was 6-6? Talking about long term mediocrity. It is little wonder that you guys think Wal Mart is the most appropriate place to display your trophy. The Bear is doing somersaults in his grave!

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

January 12th, 2010
9:35 am

I have no problem with Smart turning down the job , I do have a problem with him not standing up and talking , you have to admit its pretty lame to let Saban talk for you , this actually might hurt his chance at landing a big time head job if he is seen as only a puppet, and I hope it doesn’t because he is still a dawg and always will be one but i am wondering what this does for his image with potential schools . It probably won’t matter unless his defense has a bad year he will get the blame if the defense has another good year Saban will get the credit. In the championship game the announcers were always praising nick sabans defense , and I think thats the perception especially now.
GO DAWGS !!!!!!!!!!

Kiffinator

January 12th, 2010
9:38 am

Nothing is more fun than watching the dawg nation get slapped in the face by three straight potential defensive co-ordinators.
Last week when dawgs thought Smart might be coming he was the reincarnation of Erk Russell. Now that he turned you down he is the dumbest thing since … Well Willie Martinez.
Too bad the rest of the country doesn’t hold the UGA program in as high of regard as you dawgs. Don’t worry, it is not long till signing day and you can all gather in Athens and pat each other on the back and bark and proclaim that with these recruits ” this is the year”.

shankit

January 12th, 2010
9:39 am

Censored
I am impressed with the fact that you have a masters degree from Bama
and the fact that you make 6 figures.
You must have graduated a long time ago to advance this far in Montgomery
to this type of position.
Ever had to make a payroll?
Didn’t think so.

CrimsomPride

January 12th, 2010
9:40 am

Last time Bama played UGA, it was a “funeral” in Athens for teh pre-season #1.

ROTFLMAO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

31-0…at half !? ROTFLMAO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With Stafford, NoShow, and NoMass !? ROTFLMAO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dawg Fud

January 12th, 2010
9:41 am

TheTideHasRisen

great post re: 12:40 am. totally agree with everything you said.

DogGoneGaDawg

January 12th, 2010
9:42 am

What are you guys in Alabama going to do when someone like Jerry Jones comes knocking on Saban’s door after he cans Wade Phillips? Do not think that this is beyond the realm of possibility. Saban has not stayed anywhere more than five years. And then where will you be?

CrimsomPride

January 12th, 2010
9:44 am

Still go that 1980 NC Trophy over the fireplace dog fans !?

Bet the finish is starting to dull.

WE RUN……THIS CONFERENCE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dawg Fud

January 12th, 2010
9:47 am

DayGone,

i think Alabama is Saban’s last stop. he has tasted the NFL and knows he does not like it. he has every resource available to him in Tuscaloosa. he will have his statue outside the stadium.

however, i agree with you that his presence at Bama gives an unsettling feeling. i have always thought of Saban as the LSU coach. it has been so weird for me to see him on that Alabama sideline. it’s like he does not quite fit but in reality he does.

helluva coach, motivator and perfectionist. i admire his efforts and certainly tip my cap to him.

DogGoneGaDawg

January 12th, 2010
9:54 am

Dawg Fud: Yeah, I hear you. But Saban is a headstrong prima donna who does not take failure lightly. When you talk about resources who is better equipped than Jerry Jones? I can just hear him now: ” Come let me show you how to do it Texas style!!” And the rigors of the college scene with all the monotony of petty issues will wear on a man like Saban.

True Dawg Fan.

January 12th, 2010
9:55 am

Dawgs2010

Grow up.

Dawg Fud

January 12th, 2010
9:58 am

DogGone,

grew up in Virginia and I am skins fan so i hate everything dallas…unless we are talking our next DC – HA!

Otto

January 12th, 2010
9:58 am

CMR’s offense put FSU in the National title 5 times?

How much of that was Andrew’s defense? How many FSU fans weren’t happy with CMR’s red zone play calling? Did CMR take responsibity for the last loss in a National Title game? Just as Bobo has for ‘07 and UT?

Smart made the correct call, CMR has to fix problems in all 3 phases of the game but it is blamed on the defense.

What is CMR’s record since taking on the CEO roll and handing the keys to Bobo and CWM? It is night and day from the CMR and BVG teams. If things don’t change Smart has an outside chance at being UGA HC in a few years as DC he has ZERO chance.

Otto

January 12th, 2010
10:02 am

DawgFud, Your 1st paragraph is correct. The 2nd I disagree with, he did not fit at LSU but Les does. Saban does fit at Bama like the Bear he rules the school, strict on his players, and has control of the program. He can build a monster, get very rich, and retire a legend.

DogGoneGaDawg

January 12th, 2010
10:03 am

Dawg Fud: I used to hate both the Cowboys and the Skins. I have grown to like the Skins but I still hate Dallas.

Dawg Fud

January 12th, 2010
10:04 am

Otto,

all valid points to consider.

when oklahoma beat FSU 11-2 in that title game, i remember thinking “hmmmm. not the performance i expected to see from the FSU OC/new UGA HC.”

Gatorzone

January 12th, 2010
10:05 am

Rxdawg, you hit the nail on the head. You are the most realistic Dawg fan I have seen here…

Dawg Fud

January 12th, 2010
10:05 am

atta boy DogGone, attaboy.

Dawg Fud

January 12th, 2010
10:08 am

Gatorzone,

are you guys going to leave any recruits for the rest fo to sign. this is one of the most unbelievable things i have ever seen.

to me it proves that Urban is not bigger than UF which so many claim. Urban’s future still rather uncertain and he is putting together what ESPN is calling the “greatest class of all time.” simply unbelievable.

Will

January 12th, 2010
10:09 am

I applaud CMR for going after the “big dogs”. Now lets take a shot at a NFL guy. No, not Todd Grantham but Brian Van Gordor. Offer him $700k and he will pack his bags for Athens asap! He was my original chioce and I think he would give the program the biggest shot in the arm at this point. Plus the guy gives us that fire and desire I’m not sure Kirby could have brought.

DogGoneGaDawg

January 12th, 2010
10:09 am

All you guys hitting on Richt for the loss in FSU’s loss in the title game need to go back and look at the film. Richt cannot overcome dropped balls by receivers wide open for touchdowns which would have changed the outcome. Also, Florida State’s top receiver was suspended for that game. Stupidity cannot, likewise, be overcome.

Gatorzone

January 12th, 2010
10:20 am

Dawg Fud, I am just as befuddled about this year’s recruits as anyone. I was bothered by the timing of Meyer’s announcement due to recruiting. However, the only thing that I can figure is that lots of these guys expect and will get immediate playing time. I just hope they all stick come signing day. apparently 11 have already enrolled at UF.

No dawg in this fight

January 12th, 2010
10:26 am

I am not a fan of either team, but it was (no pun intended) a smart move for KS to stay in Alabama. Georgia will get a good DC. I understand the dislike for KS, due to his ties to the program. But think about it from this aspect. KS just went 14-0 and won a NC. They have their starting QB, great WR and Heisman trophy RB coming back on offense and lots of starters returning on defense. UGA has to break in a BRAND NEW QB. Who do you think has more job stability CNS (who just went 14-0 and won a NC) or CMR (who just went 8-5 and lost to Kentucky at home and played a bowl game in Shrevport, LA.) What happens if UGA struggles again this year on offense and KS is not able to turn the defense around in one year (it usually takes 2 yrs. at minimum)to impliment your system and turn around an offense or defense. If UGA struggles again next year and the UGA fan base starts rumblings, CMR may be out of a job. Do you think that Damon Evans will turn the team over to KS (especially if his defense does not play lights out)? The answer is no? What happens then, KS is shown the door just like CMR. A new coach will more than likely want to bring in his own staff. KS made the smart move for today and for his future. If UGA and Alabama had the roles reversed (UGA just winning the NC and Bama going 8-5)you all would think that KS would be crazy for wanting to leave, even though it was his alma mater. Just a thought from someone who is not wearing crimson and white or red and black.

coachdawg 2000

January 12th, 2010
10:43 am

Look we really wanted Kirby but he has a better gig right now. We need to go get someone who is qualified and is fired up to be our DC. We would not want somebody who has doubts. As well as Kirby is on the path to a HC job and we would be perpetually wondering about his leaving. If we get a guy that is motivated to be here then maybe we can get our defense to pay to their potential. As far his not speaking to the matter maybe it was difficult for him. alot yall are the same idiots who trash 18 year old kids for signing with another school. Who wants somebody who doesn’t want to be here. I trust OUR coach and yall seem to forget he just had to fire a friend. Alot of you wouldn’t have the nards to do that. So he does care about us taking the next step to elite status. Congrats to Bama( i did not pull for them i could care less about another SEC team getting a championship). You people who are gnashing teeth and griping about the 5th winningest coach since 2000. He’ll find a good one and we need to be patient and allow the process to work out. You are feeding the stereotypical lunatic fringe with your panicking. Go Dawgs!

No dawg in this fight

January 12th, 2010
10:48 am

Also, don’t throw mud on the guys name now because he is not going to UGA. KS IMHO is a very good DC and is getting better by the day due to working with CNS. Just put your nose back to the grind stone and make a smart, wise choice. They are numerous other coaches who can run UGA’s defense. Evans and CMR need to do some homework and I am sure they will find one. Pete Carroll was not USC’s first choice when they hired him. I am sure they are countless examples of coaches and coordinators who ended up being great for thier programs and were their teams 3rd, 4th or 5th option.

Rebel Fan

January 12th, 2010
10:50 am

DogGoneGaDawg,

You dont have to trash me just because your bullpuppies can’t find a decent defenseive coordinator. If there are any fans that can be considered Jekyll and Hyde, it’s you guys. Ga. fans were singing Kirby Smart’s praises two weeks ago. Now you want to talk crap about him just because he decided to stay at Bama.

You fair-weatherd fans are unbelievable. When times are good, you guys talk more smack than anyone. However, when times are bad and things arent going your way, you cant accept it. Smart made the right choice. You may not agree with it but that’s college football. We all know Saban will cut out of Bama real soon. It’s in his blood to do that. Smart will be the new HC at Bama in about 2 or 3 years. Why would he screw that up just to “come home” and coach a team that lacked discipline on and off the field.

And before you spew more crap, if you don’t like Ole Miss much, why was it reported a few weeks ago that Richt talked to Tyrone Nix, the DC at Ole Miss?

DogGoneGaDawg

January 12th, 2010
10:53 am

Lunatic fringe? I resemble that remark! Not panicked though. And that’s just what we need: a DC with a crazy streak. Careful! You don’t want to look into his eyes! How many of you remember Erk Russell with blood streaming down his forehead after being one of the bulls in the ring during pregame? No helmet? No problem. Resurrect the Junkyard Dawgs!

DogGoneGaDawg

January 12th, 2010
10:56 am

Rebel Fan: No second tier bloggers here. Can you not remember the Dawgs tearing Eli Manning a new one and Archie crying in the stands? Get serious.

Rebel Fan

January 12th, 2010
10:57 am

Then you belong here, fellow second tier blogger!

just me

January 12th, 2010
10:59 am

I call on the spirit of Erk Russell to bring the Junkyard back to the Dawgs.

coachdawg 2000

January 12th, 2010
10:59 am

Some of these folks are gas station alumni. I just think that it is strange that Kevin Steele bolted to Clem-p-son if Bammer and Saban was the end-all be-all of college football. We need a guy that sees Georgia as destination not a lay-over. That is not to say that I wouldn’t been fired up to have Kirby but it wasn’t to be.

DirtyDawg

January 12th, 2010
11:00 am

coachdawg2000 is about as right as right can get. Calm down people…and whatever you do don’t let the sports-scribes from ‘those lyin’ Atlanta newspapers’ (if you’re as old as I am, you know where that came from) get you all riled up. There were only two reasons why Kirby would have considered coming ‘Home to Momma’. The first was money – reportedly double what he was making – but he was assured early-on that Brother Saban and the Tide would ‘do what it took’…the other was what I said earlier – Momma’s calling. If we had been truly hurting…if we didn’t have one of the best coaches, and the finest man, and one of the top, overall, programs in the Conference, and, for that matter, the Country, maybe he woulda’ come for that reason alone. But he didn’t and who can blame him? Why disrupt your family and your comfort level when you don’t have to?

So Mark Richt will have to continue to look – and disrupt his time and efforts during a critical recruiting period – for ‘his guy’. He’ll get him – of course we’ll have to put up with the Bradley’s, et. al., of this town dissin’ on the Dawgs, but it’ll all come out in the wash – and we’ll actually field a football team come next September.

By the way Kirby, Momma only calls once. Hope you continue to enjoy life with ‘Brother’ and we’ll see you along the sidelines.

Rebel Fan

January 12th, 2010
11:01 am

I’m sorry. I don’t remember one game. I have more important things to do than talk crap about a “homer” that decided to stay at a place where he just won the National Championship rather than come home to coach a bunch of crybabies and whiners. U.S. Army Soldier here. Defending this country is a 24/7 job. All I’ll say is You’re Welcome! Me doing my job ensures that you get to sit at your home, office or wherever the hell you are and say the crap you say. HOOAH!!!!!

Double your pleasure

January 12th, 2010
11:02 am

The decision by KS is based on this very simple calculation. He stays at Bama, NS leaves at the end of 010 and then, KS is offered the HC job there. Scenario II is that Richt bails within two or three years ( hopefully, after two really great years out of the three ) and again KS will be offered the HC job at his alma mater. Win win scenario.

If you have ever been offered a great job, while you had a great job, it is called the “rocking chair”. NO, things do not last forever, but right now for KS he is in the so called “rocking chair” and by being there, he could DOUBLE HIS PLEASURE at either UGA or Bama or another SEC school. It is a smart calculation by a still very young ( experience too ) coach.

This is the logical explanation and Richt is just part of it and it is the way things are. Richt was not the issue ………….. MULTI job options in the immediate KS future were the reasons.

Plenty of great firebrand D coaches are around, we must find one soon. Big deal. Besides we won w.o. CMW did we not win vs the 5th BEST offense in the nation? HAHAHAHAHA

Anyone is better than those three clowns. Any one is.

coachdawg 2000

January 12th, 2010
11:02 am

10-11 years ago Phillip Fulmer and UT(as was USC 5 years ago) were the “unstoppable machine” in recruiting and perfomance and now where is he/thye? College football is cyclical it will come back around.

DogGoneGaDawg

January 12th, 2010
11:03 am

Rebel Fan: I will say this. Archie Manning was the greatest college QB that I have ever seen live with my own two eyes. He broke our hearts in ‘70 with a long one over the middle to Vernon Studdard. UGA intercepted him twice that day. But in the end . . . He was unjustly robbed of the Heisman his junior year (At the time they said it was a senior award, that is until Archie Griffin–who could not carry Mannings jockstrap).

DogGoneGaDawg

January 12th, 2010
11:08 am

Rebel Fan: Thank you for your service to our country! Son of an Airborne Ranger Special Forces here. I guess that explains the little tick I now live with. I have two kids in the Navy serving at the NSA installation in Hawaii. Its a tough job but somebody’s got to listen to chatter in paradise!

Rebel Fan

January 12th, 2010
11:09 am

Archie was good. Had he not broken his hand his senior year, he might have won it. we will never know.

Everything happens for a reason. You think Richt may have realized that Smart is just a puppet for Saban. Richt is smart (no pun intended). He knows Saban runs that Defense with an iron fist and Smart is just managing it. You will find a guy (Bumpas, Grantham, the guy from Air Force). he may even have an NFL guy in mind.

Coachdawg, i agree. There was a time when Tennessee was the “dream destination” just like Florida and Alabama are now. Even then, Georgia found talent and competed with everyone (David Greene, Garrison Hearst, Hines Ward) every Saturday.

Im not saying that to suck up.