To lump every swirling rumor together, Tommy Tuberville, Kirby Smart, Brian VanGorder, Rodney Garner and Bud Foster will be sharing the role of Georgia's next defensive coordinator.

The man actually in charge of the hiring, Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt, said there will be no timetable and no speculating.

"I'm not getting into who may or may not be considered," Richt said Wednesday after announcing the dismissals of defensive coordinator Willie Martinez, defensive ends coach Jon Fabris and linebackers coach John Jancek.

Tuberville, the former Auburn head coach, has been a subject of speculation ever since he spoke last month to the Athens Touchdown Club, even though he told an Athens reporter he was "too old" to be a coordinator. Smart is a former Bulldogs safety who has substantial stability as Nick Saban's defensive coordinator at Alabama, while Foster repeatedly gets linked with defensive openings even though he's aided Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer for nearly 30 years.

VanGorder is the defensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons and had the same role at Georgia from 2001 to '04. His closest companions from that staff, Martinez and Fabris, just got fired.

Asked by an Atlanta reporter Thursday about the Georgia vacancy, VanGorder said he was not interested in that or any other jobs.

As for Garner, Richt said Wednesday he had not talked to the longtime defensive line coach about the opening. Such a conversation could take place, but such a hire is unlikely considering Garner has no experience as a coordinator.

Is it already time for the next round of rumors?

Christmas in Shreveport

Though the announcement won't come until Sunday, Georgia has been selected to play in the Independence Bowl on Dec. 28.

Independence Bowl media relations director Patrick Meehan said the SEC and Big 12 representatives are scheduled to report Christmas Eve. That would mean waking up on Christmas away from home, something the Bulldogs haven't done since the 2001 Music City Bowl.

"There are no formal events scheduled on Christmas that the bowl would put on," Meehan said. "Teams are on their own."

Georgia athletic department officials may ask the bowl if the team could arrive Christmas night instead.

Odds and ends

Georgia has not suffered any recruiting defections since Wednesday's coaching dismissals. The Bulldogs have 18 commitments, including five-star Calhoun receiver Da'Rick Rogers and four-star Dalton defensive end Jalen Fields, and the No. 9 class according to ... Sophomore punter Drew Butler has been named to the American Football Coaches' Association All-America Team. ... Georgia rushed for 1,008 yards in its final four games after rushing for 877 in its first eight.

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