Auburn and Alabama should do something to make basketball fun again
By Hunter Ford
Why wait until the season is over to fire the incompetent basketball coaches at Alabama and Auburn? Fire them now. Football coaches often get fired before the season is over, just ask Lane Kiffin.
The Crimson Tide and the Tigers are among the worst teams in the SEC. Alabama is one of only two SEC teams with an overall losing record (8-9) and Auburn is one of only two SEC teams still winless (0-4) in conference play.
Besides losing, the teams have some other similarities. Each has a head coach who has ties to a successful program and a decent record as a head coach at a mid-major program. Alabama’s Anthony Grant coached in Florida’s successful program under Billy Donovan and then took Virginia Commonwealth to a couple of NCAA tournaments before coming to Alabama.
Tony Barbee was a player and assistant for John Calipari at UMass and Memphis respectively. Barbee had a couple of good teams at UTEP before taking over on the Plains.
Neither coach has come close to the success of their mentors in big-time basketball. Grant has had much more success than Barbee, though. Four years into his tenure, Barbee hasn’t had a winning season and is 12-42 in SEC games.
Grant has made deep runs in the NIT with the Tide, he has one NCAA appearance, and this season he was coming off of three consecutive 20-plus win seasons. But the lack of talent and the inconsistency of his teams’ play, makes Grant’s future look bleak.
So fire them both…now. The Tide and Tigers are scheduled to play each other in Auburn on January 29. Alabama has to play Florida and LSU before then, and Auburn has to play Mississippi State and Arkansas. It will be a long shot for either team to win more than one of those games combined.
Interim coaches sometimes get players motivated. Again, ask Lane Kiffin. We could make basketball fun this year by having rotating interim coaches. Maybe Kiffin could coach the Tide on the hardwood for a week, and then Wimp Sanderson for a week (heck he could coach the rest of the season) and Charles Barkley and Bo Jackson could take turns coaching Auburn. Maybe Cam Newton could coach the Tigers for a week.
Let’s do something to make the basketball season fun and interesting. The “Iron Bowl” on the hardwood is shaping up to be a real stinker. Shoot, they don’t even need coaches. They can just play three-on-three, half-court style. Just remember to check the ball after rebounds. Anything would be better than what’s going on now at both schools.
On a different subject, I finally watched a football game and thoroughly enjoyed it for the first time since Alabama’s loss in the Iron Bowl. Watching the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers was a real treat. I haven’t seen that much neck-twisting and eye-poking since the last time I watched The Longest Yard, or maybe a Three Stooges short.
After seeing my beloved Crimson Tide blow the Iron Bowl and the Sugar Bowl, watching football was like listening to love songs on the radio after breaking up with a girlfriend. I just wasn’t ready. But the Niners and the Seahawks got me out of my funk with a great game. Good luck to the Seahawks in the Super Bowl.