What would it take for Kirby Smart to leave Alabama?
Not that long ago, the answer would have been simple: Georgia. But with Mark Richt again on firmer footing, that isn't necessarily the case for the former Bulldogs safety and current Bama defensive coordinator.
After a flirtation with Auburn in the past month or so, something that induced heartburn for some Crimson Tide fans, Smart seems to be more and more open to possibilities other than his alma mater.
For that reason and others, Smart heads a group of coaches to watch in 2013 -- a list potential employers might want to bookmark or print. You're going to hear these names again, and again.
In the meantime, Smart can continue making seven figures and winning a whole bunch of games on Nick Saban's staff. There are worse things, even if friends in the business tell me that some of the unpleasant stories about working with Saban aren't that far off.
As I've written before, Smart and Florida coach Will Muschamp have had extremely similar career tracks, so Muschamp's success with the Gators is something of an endorsement for Smart. Then again, their sideline decorum is a bit disparate -- maybe another point for Smart, the more reserved of the two. Smart is landing somewhere. This could be the year.
Here are nine other coaches who could be high on wish lists, if not on the move, around this time next year.
To read Travis Haney's full listing of the hottest head-coaching candidates, you must be an ESPN Insider.