- Chris Low, ESPN Senior Staff Writer
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ESPN's Travis Haney has a list of coordinators in college football who are next in line to be head coaches.
Any guesses who's No. 1 on that list?
Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart is tied for the top spot along with Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris.
Smart has already had a few opportunities, but he's wisely been picky. He was a finalist for the Auburn head coaching job back in December and was also linked to the Arkansas opening. At some point, the right opportunity is going to come along.
Georgia would be the no-brainer for Smart when Mark Richt decides to step aside. Smart played at Georgia and still has strong ties to his alma mater.
For the time being, though, he's more than content in being a major part of Alabama's football machine and has his eyes set on winning a third straight national championship. Smart received a new three-year deal back in April making him the highest paid defensive coordinator in college football. He will earn $1.15 million in 2013 and $1.35 million in 2014 and 2015.
Other SEC coordinators on Haney's list were Arkansas defensive coordinator Chris Ash, Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee and Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown.
A few others on Haney's list were recent assistants in the SEC -- Washington defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and Florida State defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.
Who are some other current SEC assistants that warrant mention as potential head coaches down the road?
Among the names that come to mind: South Carolina co-offensive coordinator Shawn Elliott, Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, Vanderbilt defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward.