Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Tide Rolling Out of Control

Well, here we are. Where you ask? Right smack in the middle of the post football depression that seems to set in every year about this time for me. Sure, we’ve got a slew of bowl games, the NFL playoffs, and the Super Bowl. And, sure, those games will provide a lot of excitement and a lot of reasons to watch, but for me the “real” football season is over. Tech embarrassed themselves in Athens and against Wake, and now the Falcons have managed to turn a 5-2 start into an MLK Weekend ski vacation. Not to mention, the Jets stand on the verge of a playoff birth, and the Giants are probably the most underachieving team outside of the Nation’s Capital. In other words, yet another football season has turned into a personal disaster for me. Yes, I’m begging for sympathy here! Fine, enough of my pity party, as promised, let’s start a three day marathon of college football talk. Today’s topic? What the hell is going on at the University of Alabama?

When we were kids, did you ever think you’d see the day that the coach at Alabama would bolt the Tide after a 10-3 season to take the job at Texas A&M? Or, how about the day that West Virginia would turn down more money from Alabama because he already had a better job? How about the day the coach at South Carolina would leverage the Alabama job for more money? How about the day the folks at Alabama would actually delude themselves into thinking Nick Saban would walk away from $5 million/year from the Miami Dolphins to be the next guy not named Bear? Or, how about the day that Don Shula would publicly ridicule the University of Alabama on Monday Night Football? Well, me neither. Honestly, I’m fascinated by what is happening at Alabama, and what happened just last month at Miami. We are talking about two of the traditional giants in college football. I mean, between them they have 17 national championships, but for some reason, Miami couldn’t lure away the Rutgers coach, and now, Alabama can’t seem to lure anybody! What gives?

Well, off the top of my head I can come up with several reasons why nobody in their right mind would take the Alabama job. For example, here’s four:

1) Mike Dubose;

2) Dennis Franchione;

3) Mike Price; and

4) Mike Shula

In other words, it will be ten years this Monday since Gene Stallings coached his last game at Alabama, and in that time four men have held the title of Head Coach at Alabama. For those of you that went to an SEC school, that’s an average of 2.5 years per coach. Granted, Price never actually coached a game and Franchione left on his own accord, but the fact remains that over the past decade taking the job as head coach at Alabama has turned into a suicide mission. Couple that with the fact that Tommy Tuberville has put a strangle hold on in state recruiting in Alabama, and the fact that the influx of talent to Baton Rouge that started under Saban is continuing under Les Miles, and when nobody was looking Houston Nutt assembled an absurd amount of talent in Fayetteville, and it is clear that Alabama is, at best, the fourth best program in the SEC West. Yes, that’s right, only Ole Miss and Mississippi State are worse jobs in the SEC West than Alabama! This is the harsh reality facing the Crimson Tide right now. Can this reality change? Of course. I mean, they have over a century’s worth of tradition, they have 12 national titles, they have facilities on par with any program in America, including a 92,000 seat stadium, they have a state full of rich high school talent, and they have a ridiculous number of hot chicks to help with the recruiting effort. So, yes, it can change, but before it can, they have to hire the right coach to lead the way.

So, of course, the question becomes, who is the right coach? Who is the man that can come in and restore Alabama to its past glory? Well, Butch Davis would have been a good choice, but UNC beat them to the punch. I don’t think Pete Carroll or Bob Stoops are going any where. And, let’s not kid each other, Nick Saban would be crazy to walk away from the money he is making. So, in short, I have NO IDEA who the right man for the Alabama job is. Sure, I think Chan Gailey would look great in crimson, but I don’t have that good of luck! Honestly, I’ve racked my brain and I just can’t come up with anybody. Yup, that’s right, I’m all out of ideas. So, I’m turning to the WAD Nation, and I’m asking, who should the University of Alabama hire to bring back the glory?