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Georgia Expected To Hire Kirby Smart To Replace Mark Richt As Head Coach

Alabama is finally losing their coveted defensive coordinator.

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The Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart will be named Georgia's next head coach, "barring a last minute snag in negotiations."

Arkansas isn't scheduled to play Georgia again until 2021, so it could be a while until we see him up close, but it is much more impactful for the Hogs because Smart was Nick Saban's highly-coveted defensive coordinator. He's been the DC in Tuscaloosa since 2008, so he's been a key figure there throughout the Saban dynasty. How well Alabama survives without him will be a key storyline in the SEC going into next season.

Smart won the Broyles Award in 2009 as the nation's top assistant coach and has been rumored as a potential candidate for several jobs over the last few years, but some he turned down and some were never offered. Many suspected he could be Saban's heir apparent in Tuscaloosa, but many also thought he'd jump to Georgia if given the opportunity because he's a former Bulldog player. Personally, I'm just fine with him leaving the SEC West.

Georgia had been highly consistent under Mark Richt but never got over the hump to win a national title and it had been 10 years since they last won an SEC title. This is a gamble for Georgia, though, as no coach is guaranteed to bring Saban-like success to a program.

One other thing several Arkansas fans are likely paying attention to is whether 4-star running back Devwah Whaley will stick with the commitment to Georgia. He went public with it just a few days ago on Thanksgiving even though he declared Arkansas his top school days earlier. That's a story we'll definitely be following.