It would have been bad for Alabama to lose defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and his recruiting ties to neighboring Georgia. It could have been worse for him to end up at archrival Auburn.
The state of Alabama is known for football. Between the University of Alabama and Auburn University, the state has won the last three national championships and produced two of the last three Heisman-trophy winners.
2013 DT Dee Liner grew up an Auburn fan but is considering Alabama.