Commentary

Smart Stays Put

As Auburn hires Malzahn, Alabama keeps Smart -- and his Ga. connections

Updated: December 5, 2012, 12:28 PM ET
By Greg Ostendorf | TideNation
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The unthinkable nearly happened on Tuesday. Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was this close to becoming the next head coach at archrival Auburn University.

What if it had become a reality? For one, the state would've turned upside down, and the Iron Bowl rivalry would have been taken to a level it has never been to & which is saying something.

[+] EnlargeKirby Smart
Matthew Emmons/US PresswireAlabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart interviewed for the Auburn head coaching job before the Tigers chose their former offensive coordinator, Gus Malzahn.
But the biggest impact would've been felt on the recruiting trail. Smart is not only the Crimson Tide's top assistant but also their top recruiter. His strong ties to Georgia are the reason that UA has been so successful landing talent from the Peach State during the last couple of years.

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