Another season…gone

Another season is gone. Another missed opportunity for excellence. This season should have been substantially better, but the malaise hanging over the Alabama program is more substantial than the malaise days of Jimmy Carter. This Alabama team underachieved not just because of lack of talent, but because a lack of character.

Given time it will change. But patience isn’t always easy when season after season after season after season are squandered. Years and years gone—over a decade that the locust hath eaten.

But there is little choice other than patience. The problems around the athletic department and in the football program were profound—perhaps even more profound than even Mike Shula’s most vociferous critics imagined.

For the first time since Gene Stallings walked the sidelines, Alabama has a competent head coach. A coach worthy of the program. A coach competent on and off the field. A coach not likely to shock us with tales of strippers or sexretaries.

He will shock and awe us with his hard work, and success in recruiting.

The focus now switches from the gridiron to the recruiting lists. Everyone will eagerly watch the recruiting rankings, because it is there where a new hope resides.

There are other areas of interest to fans during the long stretch into post season, national signing day and spring practice. One major area is the national coaching searches, and the disgraceful manner in which Tommy Tuberville is treating Auburn.

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Tuberville is a mediocre coach who has developed into an above average coach over the last nine years (largely helped by Alabama’s NCAA troubles.) He is despised by Auburn’s inner circle for a host of reasons. But simply put, Tuberville is more about Tuberville than Auburn. Nothing proves it more than the manner in which Tuberville and his camp have promoted the rumors of his possible exodus from the Plains. Even in the world of self-centered coaches, Tuberville seems excessively narcissistic.

First Tuberville was promoting himself as A&M’s first choice, but as that bargaining chip came undone over the weekend, the Tuberville camp began floating this story about Arkansas being interested in the Auburn coach.

I find it laughable, and will enjoy the fighting between factions around the Auburn program. It couldn’t happen at a more fortuitous time. Auburn is poised for continued power struggles as Alabama’s base is unified.

Tuberville will remain at Auburn. He’s not the first choice of any of the major job openings—despite the Tuberville press assertions. A stalemate has developed on the Plains. Tuberville is strong enough to prevent a coup, but how long that lasts remains to be seen. Next season Tuberville will lose his third straight to Georgia, and face a more substantial challenge from Alabama. His days are numbered, but it is unlikely he would escape this year despite the substantial number of coaching jobs open this season. Why? Good question, but none of the major powers seem to have serious interest. That could change, but I find it doubtful.

Les Miles may stay at LSU as rumors are heavy around Michigan and Iowa that Kirk Ferentz is a possibility for the Wolverines. That seems a bizarre choice. However, Miles is a buffoon at LSU. He’s done less with more than any other coach in the nation. He has managed to lose games he should win. I’ll be happy if he stays at LSU. I’d hate to see Michigan take a step down like that. Plus, I’d like to beat him several times after his stupid remarks following the Saban hire.