The speculation surrounding who will become the new defensive coordinator at Georgia will likely be a never-ending story until one is actually hired.
Athletic Director, Damon Evans, has already stated that he is willing to go the distance to get coach Mark Richt the type of guy who will get the Dawgs back on track. So, what remains to be seen is who exactly will be "that" guy.
Fans and wishing well visitors have their eyes set on big names like Kirby Smart of Alabama, Dick Bumpas of TCU, and Tommy Tubberville—formerly of Auburn.
But, here's the thing; Smart is not going to leave Bama to come to Georgia. Period. It would be nice to see it,but it's a longshot at best.
Dick Bumpas might have been a possibility, but it's likely that the recent extension of TCU's head coach, Gary Patterson, will almost assuredly mean that Bumpas stays with the Horned Frogs a bit longer.
Tubberville's name should never have been tossed around in the first place. He's not angling for a defensive coordinator spot and won't return to the college game in anything less than a head coaching slot.
That could come sooner enough for Tommy, because at least one report has him heading to the University of Central Florida in 2010. Their current coach, George O'Leary, has lost favor with the fans despite his success and it may just be a matter of time before he is given his walking papers or resigns.
Either way, Tommy won't be coming to Georgia in the near future.
So, that leaves a plethora of names to sift and kick through. A few more have risen to the surface and please, keep in mind that these are just the latest "rumors" to hit the airwaves and there is no proof that any of these guys is actually heading to Georgia.
Mike MacIntyre: Defensive Coordinator, Duke Blue Devils
Macintyre was recently named National Assistant Coach of the Year by the AFCA and has been on the staff at Duke since 2007.
MacIntyre has some University of Georgia football ties as he was a grad assistant here in 1991.
In his first season as Duke's defensive coordinator, the Blue Devils saw significant improvement in their overall defense.
They allowed 67.4 fewer yards and 9.8 few points per game than the previous year and they also forced eight more turnovers and allowed 13 fewer touchdowns than the season prior.
In 2009, so far, the Devils are ranked 65th in total defense (allowing 368.58 ypg), 87th in scoring defense (28.8 ppg), and 54th in pass defense (allowing 215.75 ypg).
Those stats really aren't that impressive, but keep in mind this is Duke and they have hardly been known as a powerhouse football team.
MacIntyre also has NFL experience.
He was with the Dallas Cowboys for four-years as an assistant (2003-06) under Bill Parcells and he specifically worked with the safeties—coaching two to Pro Bowl caliber levels in Roy Williams and Terrence Newman.
Vic Koenning (pictured above, left): Defensive Coordinator, Kansas State Wildcats
Prior to his current stint with Kansas State, Koenning was the defensive coordinator at Clemson from 2005-2008.
During his tenure, his defenses finished in the top 25 in scoring, rushing, total, and pass efficiency defense each season and that has never been done before at Clemson.
He has also had successful stints at Troy University where, in 2004, he led the defense to a top 10 ranking nationally in scoring, rushing, yards per play, and pass efficiency defense. His defense also had a NCAA leading 25 interceptions and ranked second in turnover margin with a +32.
This season at Kansas State, the defense is ranked 38th overall and 18th in rush defense.
Koenning also has the ability to coach up a young, inexperienced, defense.
In 2007, the Clemson Tigers started nine underclassmen that year, but went on to lead the ACC in pass defense and turnover margin. They were ranked ninth in the nation in total defense allowing 307 yards per game and only allowed 18.7 points per contest.
He resigned his position at Clemson after the team fired Tommy Bowden. The reason is believed to be due to his being passed over for the head coaching job in favor of Dabo Swinney.
Koenning is only in his first season at K-State, but he is not thought to be tied to the program by any loyalties should an offer come along that peaks his interest.
John Thompson: Defensive Coordinator, Georgia State
John Thompson is the current defensive coordinator at Georgia State University in Atlanta, but he does have an SEC pedigree. He was the defensive coordinator at Arkansas (2000-01), Florida (2002), South Carolina (2005), and Ole Miss (2007).
He has had success at all the schools named above as well as a few others.
At Florida in 2002, he led the Gator defense to an overall rank of seventh in total defense, as his squad gave up just 162.4 yards per game.
In 2000, serving as co-defensive coordinator for the Razorbacks, Arkansas finished second in the nation in pass defense. In 2001, as the defensive coordinator, the team would play in the Cotton Bowl.
Thompson has the experience, no doubt, but the fact that he hasn't spent more than a year at any one school since his brief stint at Arkansas, does raise somewhat of a red flag.
I doubt that this is much more than a far-flung story, but at this point, who can tell what's going to happen?
No question we will be seeing more names surface as time presses onward.