Dye admitted Tuesday what insiders have told us all along, that Smart was his first choice for the job. No surprise there. Like Smart, Dye grew up playing for Georgia and coaching at Alabama on the defensive side of the ball. Like Dye, Smart is hard-nosed and strong-willed.
Those characteristics may have helped Smart with Dye, but they hurt him with the Auburn search committee. Smart asked for things during his interview that Auburn wasn’t willing to give him, according to people close to the process.
His demands included full disclosure of the state of the NCAA’s current look-see at the Auburn program, full control of hiring and firing staffers and the opportunity to coordinate the Alabama defense in the BCS Championship Game against Notre Dame.
Smart’s demands are perfectly understandable. So is Auburn’s unwillingness to grant them, which is part of the reason Auburn didn’t offer Smart the job and turned toward Malzahn.