Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart is the No. 1 choice of the Bulldogs according to multiple insiders at Georgia as well as slew of non-Georgia folks in the coaching world. Getting Smart to leave Alabama for the head coaching position at Georgia is seen as a slam dunk by many, but there could be two potential hold ups to the deal getting completely done after the SEC Championship Game on Saturday.
First, Smart would demand full autonomy on football decisions - including the ability to either retain current defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, or hire former Florida coach and current Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.
Insiders are concerned that Georgia AD Greg McGarity does not want to retain Pruitt, who spoke passionately about McGarity keeping him off the road from recruiting on Sunday. Pruitt told players to “read between the lines” as to why McGarity kept him off the road: “He doesn’t want me here any more.”
At the same time McGarity, according to a number of insiders, is hesitant to pay Muschamp a hefty sum of money to come be the defensive coordinator at Georgia.
The second potential hurdle to Smart taking over in Athens is that Alabama boosters may view him rather than Clemson coach Dabo Swinney or others as the heir apparent to take over when agin Nick Saban retires or leaves for the NFL.
Smart has once before told Georgia that he was headed their way for employment before turning and going back to Alabama. But that occurred at a different time with a different set of circumstances including a different AD and president at Georgia.