Alabama Football: If Kirby Smart Spurns Eagles, His Future Is Clear

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterJanuary 18, 2013

Thanks to eight NFL head coach openings, the coaching silly season is lasting late into January and making a major impact in the college coaching game.

The headliner was of course Chip Kelly's departure from Oregon to the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday. That move has already made folks in Athens, Ga. nervous, as current Georgia Bulldog defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has been mentioned as a candidate to join Kelly in the City of Brotherly Love.

But what about Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart?

According to Sportsradio 94WIP's Howard Eskin, Smart is in the running to land a spot on Kelly's staff.

I'm told #eagles Chip kelly hired oregon Asst HC Jerry Azzinaro as eag DL coach. Todd grantham georia and kirby Smart alabama int 4 DC's

— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) January 17, 2013

Smart has been at the helm of Alabama's defense since 2008. The Crimson Tide have finished with the top defense in the country in each of the last two seasons. In fact, the Tide have finished with the top defense in the SEC in all five seasons since he was promoted to defensive coordinator.

If he turns down the Eagles, Smart's career path is pretty clear—he's waiting around to land "the big one."

Call it the "Will Muschamp method."

Muschamp waited patiently as Texas' coach-in-waiting behind Mack Brown for two seasons from 2008-10 before landing the job at Florida prior to the 2011 season.

Smart turned down the defensive coordinator role at his alma mater, Georgia, prior to the 2010 season. He has interviewed for head coaching jobs at Southern Miss, Arkansas and Auburn over the last two years, according to USA Today.

“It’s not like I wake up every day trying to leave Alabama,” he told USA Today. “I have the best non-head coaching job in the country. Period."

It's true, he does.

He gets to work behind the best defensive mind in college football in head coach Nick Saban, makes $950,000 per season, is always in the mix for the BCS National Championship and routinely gets the luxury of coaching the most talented defense in the country.

With a setup like that, he has the ability to pick and choose his eventual landing spot without jeopardizing his reputation.

So what's the destination job for Smart? That's impossible to say. Patience is thin in this day and age in college football, so you can bet there will be some attractive landing spots coming open in the next few years. 

Who knows, maybe he will even be in line to take over for current Alabama head coach Nick Saban if and when he decides to retire.