Dan Lanning’s departure to Oregon is not ideal for Georgia entering the College Football Playoff, though he’ll still set to coach in the Michigan game. But in the grand scheme of things, the Bulldogs are more than stable enough to withstand the changes.

However, the immediate move by Kirby Smart to replace Lanning as defensive coordinator speaks to the depth Georgia has on its coaching staff, and options Smart will have entering next season. While Lanning will coach with the Bulldogs during the Playoff, a similar move Smart did coming from Alabama, Will Muschamp and Glenn Schumann will work as co-defensive coordinators. The one major difference between Smart’s move to Georgia, and Lanning’s to Oregon is the Early Signing Period wasn’t around when Smart became a head coach. Georgia has the No. 2 class in the country entering the Early Signing Period, which starts Wednesday.

Lanning’s story is an inspiring one because he went to a Division II school in William Jewell College in Missouri, and has coached and talked his way into bigger jobs along the way. He has been a high school coach, and then went on to Pittsburgh and Arizona State as a graduate assistant and later on-campus recruiting coordinator, Sam Houston State, Alabama as a graduate assistant, and finally Memphis and Georgia in the biggest jobs of his career.

As far as Xs and Os, Lanning primarily gets credit for bringing simulated pressure to Georgia’s defense, meaning that the Bulldogs rush a linebacker, but simultaneously drop a defensive lineman into coverage to confuse the offense.

Lanning’s role at Georgia left something to be desired, even with the defensive-minded Smart heavily involved with building and coaching the defense. Remember, Lanning was a Memphis assistant when Georgia went to the national championship game. This speaks to the machine quality of the Georgia program that it ultimately lost 3 head coaches off that staff and is back in the Playoff. Four former Smart assistants have become Power 5 head coaches.

One bonus element to Lanning’s new destination is it will have a minimal effect on the recruiting class, or the recruiting footprint. Of course, seeing Lanning on the other sideline in the season opener next season will be an interesting distraction for some of the Georgia players.

Smart’s track record as the head of a program that has produced head coaching candidates could be a selling point for an external candidate. After all, the Georgia coach has an impressive coaching tree and one that makes the 2016 coaching staff seem awfully good.

Former defensive coordinator Mel Tucker just received a contract extension at Michigan State, and former assistants Sam Pittman (Arkansas) and Shane Beamer (South Carolina) are exceeding expectations.

The question facing Smart is whether to go with another up-and-coming coach in Schumann, who is 31 and largely only has experience working with Smart. Schumann is currently ranked No. 13 on the 247Sports recruiter rankings. And he has served as the lead recruiter for numerous top targets, namely Nolan Smith, Richard LeCounte III, Xavian Sorey, Smael Mondon, Quay Walker, Lewis Cine and Rian Davis.

Schumann has been with Smart for roughly 10 years, so he would be best suited to run the system, however, Muschamp has experience matching the system with personnel and vice-versa. Plus the added experience of being a coordinator with multiple programs, and Muschamp was much more successful as a defensive coordinator than a head coach.

This is a much more seamless transition than if offensive coordinator Todd Monken had left for another job. While Lanning has proven to be a high quality recruiter, and added wrinkles to the defense, Georgia has several options to replace him, and the program enjoyed success defensively before he arrived.

Smart has replaced a coordinator before, as well as multiple assistants, so this should be as minor a distraction as Georgia could experience, even though it is one of the top assistants.