Imagine if Auburn got Smart when it had the chance
Imagine the last nine years on the Plains with Kirby Smart in charge, his aggressive recruiting attack unleashed for the Tigers and not against them in the all-important Peach State. Sure, he might've been tempted to return to his alma mater if Georgia had called, which was one of Auburn's concerns. But as new Florida coach Billy Napier, another former Saban apprentice, likes to say, "Scared money don't make money."
The smart money for the long haul is on Georgia. Smart, not Nick Saban, is the coach of the defending national champions. Smart, thanks to his new contract of $112.5 million over 10 years, now makes more money than Saban. Which means, 10 years ago, Auburn didn't just pass on the chance to hire a former Georgia player and Alabama assistant who looked like the next Pat Dye. Auburn said thanks but no thanks to the heir apparent to Saban as the best coach in college football.
After he spent four days in Atlanta at SEC Football Media Days, read more from Kevin on three SEC programs that exist on two different planes, with Alabama and Georgia towering above everyone else and Auburn trying to get its own house in order. Only in The Lede.