Much of my reasoning for Kirby being the guy stems from the arguments against him.
1) "Kirby Smart is Nick Saban's puppet". Whether you want to trust/believe me or not, I have firsthand knowledge that this is not true. If you honestly think Nick Saban is going to keep a guy on staff for nearly a decade just to dance around flapping his arms on the sideline and yell into a headset (while paying him over $1M a year), you're crazy. Also, if a candidate is going to be under someone, wouldn't you want that someone to be the most successful college football coach of our current era? Seems like a pretty good person to learn from and implement the philosophy that so many have seemed to envy over the past few years.
2) "Kirby Smart has never been a head coach". Well if head coaching experience is your key driver in who you want at the helm, you just fired the longest tenured one in the SEC. You had a "head coach" for a very long time and according to those merits the job wasn't done. Herman has one year of head coaching experience in a middle level conference. Does that one year of running a program (in which the groundwork was paved by another coach) really outshine Kirby's lack of a similar position?
3) "Kirby Smart has just had great talent". One major knock on Georgia is that we have been unable to go from good to great. I would also argue that our talent has not been lacking over Richt's second half of his career. What Kirby Smart did with the best defensive unit in the country was take great and keep it great. Georgia is a unique place abundant in resources and talent. That's the nature of the program and I don't think that should take a step back regardless of who the coach is. What I do know is that from what Kirby has shown, there is no semblance of under utilizing great talent which is something many have lamented over in Athens. A quick perusal of NFL rosters will confirm this.
Now on to why I think Kirby fits as the most seamless transition for UGA.
He knows the program landscape. I'm not merely talking about Athens, GA, I'm talking about being in the middle of a resource rich, strongly backed, big time SEC program. Navigating that world is a unique animal and he has seen firsthand how to be successful at it in a more similar style program than some other candidates.
He can continue to sustain and build on recruiting momentum. He has exhibited the ability to pluck key talent not only from Georgia and the Southeast, but nationally. His addition would have no ill effect on continuing the push to lockdown our border while reining in outside talent. Put best practices in recruiting from the best recruiting school in the country (Bama) with the common resources at UGA and I don't see any downside... with potential upside. It's a different style from Richt sure, but the talent pool should still be full. Can't say the same for coaches outside that current mold.
For those worried about staff continuity Kirby has been in the breeding ground of some of the most sought after coaches in the country for various roles. During that time of LSU, Miami, and Bama staffs with Saban he's built an incredible network of people to pull from.
Great defensive coach, knows the landscape, knows the program, knows how to recruit, knows the expectations, has a network, and knows what winning looks like. That should answer many of the questions the detractors have had over the years. To me there are fewer unknowns with Kirby than any other candidate that is being discussed. It doesn't mean those candidates couldn't get the job done, but I feel the pieces in place with Kirby could get the job done the quickest.