There are a few premier college football head coaching jobs already available, and one of the most sought after is the Auburn job.
After a 3-9 season, including an 0-8 mark in the SEC, the Tigers let go of former head coach Gene Chizik and are now searching for an adequate replacement.
While there are a number of names on the short list, none are more intriguing than Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart.
Among the names rumored to be possible candidates are Louisville head coach Charlie Strong, former Arkansas head man Bobby Petrino and even Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher.
While those are a big names, for Auburn, the best possible candidate is Smart.
He is the highest paid defensive coordinator in the country and his credentials speak for themselves.
Among the many reasons Smart would be a good fit at Auburn would be where the Tigers are plucking him from.
There is no question that the biggest rival for the Tigers is the Crimson Tide, and stealing one of their own would be a huge get.
What Smart also has going for him is youth. He is only 36 years old with five years experience as a defensive coordinator.
He is a southern guy, born in Montgomery, Alabama. Recruiting would come natural for him.
Smart spent his college days as a defensive back for Georgia and had been an assistant coach with Georgia, Valdosta State, Florida State, LSU and the Miami Dolphins before Alabama.
Not too many coaches have a resume as extensive as Kirby at such a young age.
He would not only have the ability to recruit predominantly in an area he is very familiar with, but he would also be able to steal some players from Alabama. That is something that would make Tiger fans smile.
Another thing going for Smart is the fact that he is a disciple of Saban. Just a few of the names Saban has produced over the years include Jimbo Fisher, Mark Dantonio and Will Muschamp.
While all this is great, what sets Kirby apart from other possible candidates and makes up for the fact that he has never been a head coach is big game experience.
Kirby orchestrated a defense last season that was the best in the country and led the Crimson Tide to a national championship. That came just two years after defeating Texas in the national championship.
He also is in prime position to repeat this season with a defense that nobody thought would be as good as it has been.
If the Crimson Tide win this year, that will be three championships in four years. That is certainly no fluke. What has been the constant those four years is defense.
The man behind the defense during that entire time span is Kirby Smart.
Auburn would be well advised to make him the leader of its program and get it headed in the right direction once again.
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