Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Kirby Smart is the most popular man in the state of Alabama today.

I’m guessing he’s much further down the list back in his home state of Georgia.

Smart turned down his alma mater’s job offer yesterday, rejecting a salary that would have made him one of the nation’s highest paid assistants. In fact, the offer (which was reported to be in the neighborhood of $750,000) would have doubled his salary at Bama last year.

Don’t feel too sorry for Smart. He’ll be getting a substantial pay boost (possibly doubling his salary after all) for his flirtations with the Bulldogs.

“I think it was pretty well known that there was an opportunity to return to my alma mater as defensive coordinator,” Smart said in a press release. “I wouldn’t even have considered discussing the position with any other school, but when it is a place I’ve spent some of my best years and had some great memories, I thought it was something I should discuss with my family and figure out what was best.

“After thinking about all the factors over the last couple of day, we are going to stay at the University of Alabama. We love it in Tuscaloosa, have made some great friends here and I think we are building something special here at Alabama with Coach (Nick) Saban. I have learned so much in the time I’ve spent with Coach Saban, and every year I feel like I become a better coach.”