Crimson Tide on Upswing of the Post-Bear Cycle
While looking for an update on estranged Bama Skipper Mike Shula (position coach at yet another Florida, NFL team), I came upon this 4 year old Gary Shelton article from the St. Pete Times, and it really made me think.
Even though we all knew that Shula was a fifth choice, stop-gap solution for the Tide, nobody should have expected to pay for the Mike Price mistake for four seasons. This pre-Shula article now makes one thing painfully obvious: Everyone who was was associated with Mike Shula (except for Daddy Don) had the diagnosis correct from day 1: He couldn't coordinate 11 professionals, much less the hopes and dreams of an entire state. But nobody in this neck of the woods wanted to hear it.
It further explores Bama's primal need to "promote from within." Basically, after Alabama gets scorned by an outsider, they come crying back to The Family, for solace and yet another unqualified coach. A safe solution, right?
Well, now Bama is back on the upswing of the cycle: Hiring the competent, and experienced outsider, who, unless he's secretly changed his stripes, will eventually tell the yokel fans and self-important administration to "go to hell," while fleeing the scene for less-tumultuous waters. The signs of this outcome already appear far more obvious than the incompetencies of Mike Shula. Its very possibly that the Saban hire will end up being one of the most entertaining SEC train-wrecks these parts have ever seen.
And that's saying something.
After reading this article, what should we take from the people previously associated with Nick Saban? What has Alabama learned from it's mistakes? To borrow from Schrutebag, people and places earn their reputations. What is Saban's reputation?
Below is a foresight view of The Tide's previous coaching choice, and the damning evidence in the case against Mal Moore. Mike Shula made Gary Shelton look like a genius...or maybe it was that obvious.
A few relevant clippings:
"Mama is calling, again, and it appears a favorite son is coming home, again. Mike Shula, yes, that Mike Shula, the guy who spearheaded the Bucs to literally dozens of yards from 1996-99, has emerged as the front-runner for the Alabama coaching job."
"Three times in four years, the Bucs ranked 28th or lower in the NFL on offense. They were a predictable, plodding lot, and much of the blame was placed at the feet of Shula."
"In many ways, Alabama is a closed fort, and it doesn't trust outsiders easily. If you aren't an Alabama man, or at least a Bear Bryant man, preferably both, it's going to take a lot of winning before you're completely accepted."
In the Tide's recent experience, good guys finish last, and assholes leave you at the alter. But has Alabama found an elusive third option this time around?
Doubt it. Its gonna be a fun ride.