There's no shortage of buzz going around about Kirby Smart being on Ole Miss' short list to replace Houston Dale Nutt. Some reports say he hasn't even spoken with Ole Miss, while our friends over at Red Cup Rebellion said via Twitter that it's a done deal. Needless to say, Smart is an essential cog in the Alabama machine and has become a fan favorite given that his defenses have been uber-nasty. Our own beloved Nick Saban has stated that Smart is ready to be a head coach. We know we aren't going to hang onto someone like him forever as a coordinator and that part of the challenge of having a super successful program is having to constantly rebuild a coaching staff because other programs want to poach successful assistants and assistants want to try their hand at being in charge.
We're all pretty much agreed upon the fact that Smart will leave at some point, but where should he leave to? I contend that Ole Miss is a bad move for someone of Smart's stature. Ole Miss seems to be a coaching graveyard at present. Nutt's career as a big time coach is over, Ed Orgeron was an unmitigated disaster and is back in the coordinator ranks and even David Cutcliffe (one of Ole Miss' most successful coaches since John Vaught) went back to the coordinator ranks at Notre Dame and Tennessee before picking the head coaching reigns up at Duke. Our old pal Tommy Tuberville is the only person of recent vintage that's parlayed a tenure in Oxford into a better job (must.not.make.auburn.joke.)
Some Ole Miss defenders have said it's a great start for Smart since it's an SEC program, but I disagree. I think he would be better served grabbing a job at a better program in another conference or holding on as an assistant until something better opens up in the SEC. I'm sure some will say I just don't want a great coach heading up a rival program, but that's not it. It'd be quite some time before Smart could rehab Ole Miss into a force to be reckoned with if it can be done at all given the state of things over there. My concern is that I like Smart and would love to see one of our guys go on to a lengthy, successful career as a head coach. I just don't think Ole Miss is the place to do it.
This week's question is simple: If Smart is offered the Ole Miss job, should he take it?