The long-awaited head coaching opportunity for Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart appears to have arrived.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Smart will replace Mark Richt at Georgia. From the AJC report:

Barring a last-minute snag in negotiations, Alabama’s Kirby Smart will become Georgia’s new football coach. An announcement could come as soon as Sunday or Monday.

If the news is true, it doesn't come as a big surprise. Smart played defensive back for the Bulldogs from 1995 to 1998 and began his coaching career as an administrative assistant in Athens.

At Alabama, Nick Saban will have to replace his long-time coordinator and it won't be easy. Saban and Smart have built one of the nation's strongest defenses year in and year out. This year's Crimson Tide defense might be one of their best. This 2015 unit ranks first nationally in rushing defense, second in total defense, and third in scoring defense.

Alabama is preparing for its second-straight trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game, but the AJC reports that an official announcement could come as early as Sunday or Monday. It remains to be seen if Smart would continue to coach the Alabama defense in the playoffs or a bowl game.

UPDATE: ESPN is also reporting the news.