The news has been breaking tonight that the expected has happened and Kirby Smart will be named head coach at the University of Georgia sometime after the SEC Championship game. The other part of that? Well, there's this...
Just checked w another source re Muschamp…Kirby definitely wants him; but "ole Muschamp" might have other things… https://t.co/sNnVtycOD5— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) December 2, 2015
Smart is said to be targeting Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp to be his defensive coordinator. Let's examine that thought...
Why He Would
1) Alma Mater. Will Muschamp played football at UGA. It's his alma mater, and there's always the allure when momma calls you home. Just look at Smart himself (another UGA grad).
2) Maybe he's anxious at the staff's future at Auburn. There are people saying Gus & Company will be on the hot seat next season. Maybe they will be, maybe they won't. That remains to be seen.
That's really about it, though. Maybe he doesn't want to work with a tempo-offense, although it's not like Auburn's offense had much in the way of tempo this season.
Why He Wouldn't
1) Lateral Move. After just moving from Florida, and wanting to be a head coach again, this move doesn't do anything for him. UGA already has a great defense. At Auburn he's been in the process of showing that he can turn an awful defense around. Which is better for his credibility?
2) Money. UGA is going to be hiring a defensive-minded head coach. At $1.6 million right now, Muschamp would command quite the salary himself if he made that move. Would the UGA administration be willing to pay that much for two defensive coaches?
3) His Family. Will is a Georgia boy, but his wife is an Auburn woman. His family have reportedly all been happy to be back in Auburn this season. Does he want to move them again so soon to a place they may not want to go to?
4) Auburn is just as much home, now. Will started his coaching career on the Plains. He spent two years as a grad assistant, then two years as defensive coordinator, before returning for this stint.
5) Control of the defense. This is one of the biggest reasons. At Auburn he has total control over the defense. You have to think Smart would want somewhat of a hand in that side of the ball given his history.
6) There are still head coaching jobs out there. His name has been mentioned a lot for the South Carolina job. If Muschamp leaves, it seems much more likely that it'll be for a head coaching job than just to go to Georgia.
Who Would Replace Him If He Leaves?
It would be near devastating for Auburn should Muschamp leave. If he does, though, who are some quick thoughts to replace him? Let's throw out some legitimate names and some crazy ones.
1) Travaris Robinson. This would be a decent one for continuity
2) Tracy Rocker. Is it time to let the Rock run a defense on his own?
3) Joe Whitt, Jr. A name on the list every time there's a DC opening at Auburn
4) Phillip Lolley. Yep. I went there. He just won the Grey Cup on the defensive staff of Edminton in Canada. He's a great defensive mind, but he's never run a defense on his own.
Update: One very big name I forgot about that Joshua Black reminded me of. Charles Kelly at FSU. He's a former Auburn letterman and would likely be target #1.
Don Brown, Boston College. BC has the #1 defense in the nation. Could the Tigers lure him to the SEC?
Brent Venables, Clemson. Doubtful we could lure him away, but I'll name him, anyway.
Bob Shoop, Penn State. Another long shot, but he's worked in the SEC when he was at Vanderbilt and had good defenses, there.
Brent Pry, Penn State, Co-DC, Assistant HC. Similar to the next one, I've seen what this guy can do on defense when he had the reins himself at Georgia Southern, and I've been surprised he hasn't gotten a gig on his own since he joined Shoop as the assistant DC.
Jack Curtis, Georgia Southern. This one is nuts and I mention it only because of my Georgia Southern connections, but the Eagles have one of the better defenses in the nation this season, and I've loved watching the style they play. I was not thrilled with Willie Fritz retaining him when Fritz took over, but now I dread him being lured away.
There are a ton more names, and the odds are extremely high the person Auburn would target wouldn't even be on this list at all since I just pulled these names from my fourth point of contact, but I wanted to throw names out there as speculation, anyway.
Hopefully Will stays at least one more season. I don't believe he'll leave for anything short of a head coaching job, but you never really know what leads people to make the decisions that they do.