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Report: Alabama fires Mike Shula after 6-6 season (College Football PING)
ESPN's Web Site ^ | 11/27/06 | AP New Story

Posted on 11/27/2006 6:26:55 AM PST by MplsSteve

Alabama fired coach Mike Shula less than a year after the Crimson Tide finished a 10-2 season, according to a newspaper report.

Shula told his assistant coaches late Sunday night that Alabama athletic director Mal Moore had dismissed him, The Tuscaloosa News reported on its Web site. An official announcement is expected Monday.

Reached at home, Moore declined comment Monday morning but said he would hold a news conference later in the day.

The Crimson Tide went 6-6 this season, finishing the season with three straight losses.

Shula, a former Alabama quarterback, was winless in four tries against Auburn, his team's biggest rival. The Tigers beat the Crimson Tide 22-15 on Nov. 18, leaving Shula to answer questions about his job security.

(Excerpt) Read more at sports.espn.go.com ...


TOPICS: Sports
KEYWORDS: alabama; collegefootball; crimsontide; mikeshula
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Wow, another vacancy in the ranks of college football coaching.

Hard to say exactly what the reason was - but I suspect that it was Alabama's inability to beat Auburn.

Comments or opinions - anyone?

1 posted on 11/27/2006 6:26:56 AM PST by MplsSteve
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To: MikefromOhio

College Football PING?


2 posted on 11/27/2006 6:27:45 AM PST by MplsSteve
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To: MplsSteve

You have to beat your big rival at least half of the time - just ask John Cooper, formerly of Ohio State, who had monster teams but couldn't beat Michigan.


3 posted on 11/27/2006 6:29:32 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: Give therapeutic violence a chance!)
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To: MplsSteve

He'll be joining Larry Coker at the unemployment office!

Seriously, these guys make over $1M a year - I think Coker's buyout for being 'dismissed' was $3M. No need to feel sorry for them.


4 posted on 11/27/2006 6:31:28 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: Give therapeutic violence a chance!)
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To: ABG(anybody but Gore); aft_lizard; Archie Bunker on steroids; Auntbee; Bad~Rodeo; Bat_Chemist; ...


College Football Ping.

Freepmail me to be added to this list.


And now Alabama fans are relegated to at least two more mediocre years as their new coach, whoever it is, builds HIS program....

5 posted on 11/27/2006 8:18:36 AM PST by MikefromOhio (Prayers for my cousin Jeff and his family.)
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To: Rummyfan

When all other coaches have turned down offers from Shalala and Co. down in Miami, Shula might look pretty good to them.


6 posted on 11/27/2006 8:20:03 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: MikefromOhio

Mediocre? If the new coach can manage to beat Auburn, the Bama nation will forgive a bad season. Gene Stallings lost his first three games at Bama. I remember going into an English lit class, and my professor wrote on the board 0-11. Then he turned his bald, commie head around and said, "Imagine that." He was a creep. Bama went on to win the rest of the games that season, including the Big One. It was my first Auburn game, and it was great!

I like Mike Shula, but he doesn't have a killer instinct. Hopefully, Bama will get back on track.


7 posted on 11/27/2006 8:25:04 AM PST by petitfour
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To: petitfour

yeah but Stallings nor Bear Bryant was going to do any better than 7-5 with the youth on this team this year.

Shula got the short end.

Sure not beating Auburn doesn't help as not beating Michigan didn't help John Cooper. But I don't think Alabama had the right team to beat Auburn this year anyway. Not enough offense, due primarily to the youth of your Quarterback.


8 posted on 11/27/2006 8:27:16 AM PST by MikefromOhio (Prayers for my cousin Jeff and his family.)
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To: petitfour

When your prof wrote "0-11", was he dissing Alabama football or just the coach?

Or both?


9 posted on 11/27/2006 8:33:28 AM PST by MplsSteve
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To: MikefromOhio

Losing Prothro last year and this year, really killed Bama.


10 posted on 11/27/2006 8:35:24 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

It did yes.

I still feel sorry for that guy.

He was going to be a good NFL WR I think.


11 posted on 11/27/2006 8:36:26 AM PST by MikefromOhio (Prayers for my cousin Jeff and his family.)
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To: MikefromOhio

That injury was against UF, and though he played for Bama, that injury made me sick to my stomach, he was such an exciting player to watch.


12 posted on 11/27/2006 8:37:34 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: MplsSteve
Bammer feared the Thumb...


13 posted on 11/27/2006 8:40:28 AM PST by DesScorp (.)
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To: MikefromOhio

Bama boosters tend to be rabid about some things, and beating Auburn is one of 'em. I don't understand why the AD doesn't have to take some responsibility for the revolving door.

I remember driving home from the Sugar Bowl after a Bill Curry-led Bama team lost to Miami, ending a 11-2 season. The two losses were to Auburn and Miami(national champions that year). I turned on the radio to hear that Curry was out. It was very depressing. There is a very dark side to Bama, and Bill Curry got to experience it the whole time he was there and even after he left.

There were several games that Bama should have won. Arkansas was one. Mississippi State was another. I think the Mississippi State loss was the clincher for Shula's demise.


14 posted on 11/27/2006 8:42:25 AM PST by petitfour
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To: MplsSteve; Alas Babylon!
I've only got one thing to say -

Waaaaar Eagle!!!


15 posted on 11/27/2006 8:42:40 AM PST by CholeraJoe (Spork weasels ain't afraid of nuthin' but running out of sardines.)
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To: petitfour

Folks in the know say that Paul Bryant Jr. pulls AD Mal Moore's strings. Moore doesnt do anything without an OK from Bryant.


16 posted on 11/27/2006 8:48:39 AM PST by TheBigB (Do you think "Lady in the Water" is in Ted Kennedy's NetFlix queue?)
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To: MplsSteve

He was dissing Coach Stallings. He was intimating that hiring the very conservative, low key, Bear Bryant anointed Stallings was a big mistake. It certainly looked like Bama was going to have a horrible year. One of the losses was to Southern Miss, and that was supposed to be one of those "given" wins. Southern Miss just happened to have one Brett Favre as their quarterback that year. I don't remember the other two losses.

That professor is still at Bama. I think he is a football fan. You don't last long around there if you are a vocal Bama football hater. (there are profs at Bama who don't care for Bama football, but they learn to keep their mouths shut.)


17 posted on 11/27/2006 8:49:45 AM PST by petitfour
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To: MplsSteve

Shula had my total support until the Arkansas game....the icing on the cake was Miss St. I truly believe we played a better game than Awburn but when you have no coaching (or in our case, a coach who thinks he's a great offensive caller)....well, nothing more needs to be said...you can only run darby up the middle so many times - and we rarely scored once we got into the red zone - which was often! He may be the best looking hunk in the ranks of college coaching but he was no coach! Time for him to open a steak house ala his dad!


18 posted on 11/27/2006 8:52:51 AM PST by BamaDi (Guess not enough of us voted !!!!)
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To: dfwgator
When all other coaches have turned down offers from Shalala and Co. down in Miami, Shula might look pretty good to them.

Yeah, I can't imagine who 'Bama thinks they are going to hire that is any better than Shula...

19 posted on 11/27/2006 8:55:27 AM PST by subterfuge (Tolerance has become the greatest virtue, and hypocrisy the worst character defect.)
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To: dfwgator

did you see him hobble out at the beginning of the Iron Bowl? broke my heart!


20 posted on 11/27/2006 8:55:49 AM PST by BamaDi (Guess not enough of us voted !!!!)
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To: petitfour

the Mobile P-R has had two editorials this month calling for Mal Moore's firing. Yesterday they wished Ozzie Newsome could come home and be the AD with TOTAL control over the Athletic department! I seconded that wholehardedly! As long as Moore (the Bear's drinking buddy) stays in the job, we will never get a good coach! and it doesn't help that Paul Bryant Jr. has such influence over this whole mess! It's time to get a coach and give him total control of the Tide!


21 posted on 11/27/2006 8:58:53 AM PST by BamaDi (Guess not enough of us voted !!!!)
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To: TheBigB

you beat me to it...the Mobile P-R hinted at that without naming names....


22 posted on 11/27/2006 9:00:16 AM PST by BamaDi (Shula's gone - now it's time to get a real coach and "play some football")
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To: BamaDi

Inside info says right now that Bobby Petrino might have the inside track as new coach..


23 posted on 11/27/2006 9:01:18 AM PST by TheBigB (Do you think "Lady in the Water" is in Ted Kennedy's NetFlix queue?)
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To: dfwgator

yeah....

That wasn't pretty.


24 posted on 11/27/2006 9:04:31 AM PST by MikefromOhio (Prayers for my cousin Jeff and his family.)
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To: petitfour

Yeah I think the Mississippi St. game was the straw that broke the camel's back too.

I think that in another year, especially with what Auburn will be graduating/losing to the NFL, Bama was going to compete with LSU for the SEC West next year.

I tell you what though, LSU this year looks a LOT like Ohio State of last year. And yes I think that means they will be close to a NC next year if everyone comes back.


25 posted on 11/27/2006 9:07:51 AM PST by MikefromOhio (Prayers for my cousin Jeff and his family.)
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To: TheBigB

that was my brother's wish this weekend! though neither he nor my dad thought they'd fire Shula....I heard this morning that (or at least the rumor is out there) they're offering visor boy 10 years/$24M....espn is claiming we'll not be able to get anybody worth a darn....hope they're wrong!


26 posted on 11/27/2006 9:10:32 AM PST by BamaDi (Shula's gone - now it's time to get a real coach and "play some football")
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To: MikefromOhio
"And yes I think that means they (LSU) will be close to a NC next year if everyone comes back."

Nice thought, but I think this was their year, I watched all of the games that I could get out here on the left coast and Auburn and Florida were available. LSU should have won both of those games.

Bowe is done and JaMarcus will probably go pro.

With all of these coaching vacancies, I afraid LSU's biggest loss will be Bo Pellini...I'm surprised Michigan State didn't get him.

27 posted on 11/27/2006 9:16:47 AM PST by Positive (Nothing is sadder than to see a beautiful theory murdered by a gang of brutal facts.)
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To: BamaDi
No way in hell they get Spurrier.

Sadly, I think Mal Moore will stay. He is just a puppet for Bryant, who has incredible influence.

Petrino, Saban (not likely), maybe Rich Rodriguez.

28 posted on 11/27/2006 9:17:31 AM PST by TheBigB (Do you think "Lady in the Water" is in Ted Kennedy's NetFlix queue?)
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To: Positive

I'm not surprised.

Michigan State needs a rebuild. LSU doesn't.

Just watch, I think LSU will be in the top 3 starting out next year.


29 posted on 11/27/2006 9:26:53 AM PST by MikefromOhio (Prayers for my cousin Jeff and his family.)
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To: MikefromOhio
"Just watch, I think LSU will be in the top 3 starting out next year."

A number of pundits said that after LSU pounded Miami in a bowl game in January.

But today is their highest ranking of the season, after two losses.

30 posted on 11/27/2006 9:33:50 AM PST by Positive (Nothing is sadder than to see a beautiful theory murdered by a gang of brutal facts.)
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To: TheBigB

espn is saying either the coach from WV or from Wake Forest. The one from WV "only" has a million dollar buyout!


31 posted on 11/27/2006 9:35:31 AM PST by BamaDi (Shula's gone - now it's time to get a real coach and "play some football")
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To: Positive

I know, but I wasn't one of them.

Add to that, Notre Dame and Ohio State will be breaking in new quarterbacks (both were top 5), Texas looks to be heading into a minor rebuilding phase and while USC will be there, the only other team I'd have ahead of LSU to begin next year would be possibly Michigan, depending on the bowl game.


32 posted on 11/27/2006 9:51:36 AM PST by MikefromOhio (Prayers for my cousin Jeff and his family.)
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To: Positive

I think USC and Florida will be 1 and 2, respectively in next year's starting poll.


33 posted on 11/27/2006 9:53:46 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: MikefromOhio

Several sports reporting media are saying it will Michigan/LSU in the Roses.


34 posted on 11/27/2006 10:01:24 AM PST by Positive (Nothing is sadder than to see a beautiful theory murdered by a gang of brutal facts.)
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To: MplsSteve
Word around Montgomery Boosters is that Moore gave Shula an ultimatum yesterday -- Fire all his assistants but Kines and he gets another year. Shula Refused, and Moore said "fine, clear out your desk".

Joe Kines will coach the team in the Toilet Bowl (or whatever one Bama gets), and is probably in the mix for next year. Word hear is that Moore is also asking Miss St for permission to speak to Crooms (if that is true I hope Crooms gives Mal a big FU for overlooking him last time around)

35 posted on 11/27/2006 10:29:44 AM PST by commish (Freedom tastes sweetest to those who have fought to protect it.)
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To: MikefromOhio

LSU may be breaking in a new quarterback, too. Russell may not be back. Personally, I think he could use another year before going pro.


36 posted on 11/27/2006 10:55:26 AM PST by half-cajun
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To: Positive

Yep :)

Which is going to be a pretty good barometer to judge both teams by...


37 posted on 11/27/2006 11:01:33 AM PST by MikefromOhio (Prayers for my cousin Jeff and his family.)
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To: half-cajun

Russell would be stupid to declare this year.

He won't go anywhere near the 1st round.

If he goes next year he'll be the 1st or 2nd QB selected.


38 posted on 11/27/2006 11:02:12 AM PST by MikefromOhio (Prayers for my cousin Jeff and his family.)
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To: commish
Croom has taken a weak Mississppi State team to 3 consecutive 3 win seasons, 2004 3-8, 2005 3-8 and 2006 3-9.

Alabama sure must be drooling at the chance to get him.

39 posted on 11/27/2006 11:10:01 AM PST by Positive (Nothing is sadder than to see a beautiful theory murdered by a gang of brutal facts.)
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To: MikefromOhio

They're dropping like flies.


40 posted on 11/27/2006 11:56:58 AM PST by mainepatsfan
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To: mainepatsfan

No crap...

it's looking like a 8 train pileup right now....


41 posted on 11/27/2006 2:29:56 PM PST by MikefromOhio (Prayers for my cousin Jeff and his family.)
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To: MikefromOhio

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Spurrier


42 posted on 11/27/2006 2:31:32 PM PST by petitfour
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To: petitfour

Now that is an interesting development....


43 posted on 11/27/2006 2:33:21 PM PST by MikefromOhio (Prayers for my cousin Jeff and his family.)
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To: All

Let me preface this by saying that CFN NEVER takes this strong a stand on something as a rule.....



Mike Shula Fired: The Hammer is Yellow

By Matt Zemek
Staff Columnist
Posted Nov 27, 2006

Down where the Capstone stands, Alabama football fans love to belt out the cheer, "Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, Give 'em hell, Alabama!"

Well, that hammer is definitely yellow, all right... as in cowardly.

The Alabama administration is a bunch of gutless moral midgets after kicking Mike Shula into the hell of unemployment today (talk about "Give 'em hell--they take their cheers literally in Tuscaloosa), officially proclaiming to all the world that their loyal son--a Bama player and the man who cleaned up the university's image after the Mike Price mess--is nothing but an expensive piece of meat. This rates as one of the most disgusting and morally repugnant coach firings in recent college football memory.

After Miami canned Larry Coker on Friday, the topic of coach handling (and firing) became a hot item at the college football discussion table. (Today's Monday Morning Quarterback column addresses the issue at length.) And when all is said and done, there are two fundamental types of approaches to coaches: the patient one, and the impatient one. Bama clearly chose the latter approach, and it stinks to high heaven.

Some schools realize that their football pedigree and resources aren't great enough to merit a quick trigger with a coach, and they stick with their man. That's one form of patience, but it doesn't apply here. This was a situation in which a brand-name college football power was plagued by scandal and bad publicity in the wake of the Mike Price debacle in early 2003. Given the scenario facing Alabama at the time, a lot of extra rope needed to be given to Shula, the person who was willing to step into the fire, enter his first season without adequate preparation time, take some hits in his first two years, and restore the university's good name. Mike Shula comported himself as an exemplary citizen who ran a clean program. Moreover, he put together a big-time 2005 season when blessed with a reasonably healthy Brodie Croyle, whose injuries prevented Shula's first three years from collecting even more victories. After putting together a season that should have earned him SEC Coach of the Year honors (Steve Spurrier picked off the award), Shula then lost two years at the quarterback position, as sophomore quarterback John Parker Wilson replaced Croyle, the senior. Should it be surprising that wins were harder to come by? Apparently, athletic director Mal Moore and other decision makers thought it was.

Never mind the fact that, much like 2004, Bama never quit on Shula and competed vigorously to the very end of each ballgame, losing hard-fought battles at Tennessee and Arkansas and even at LSU. Shula didn't win enough--especially against Auburn--to suit the tastes of the administration: losing four out of four Iron Bowls is clearly the sin that Mike Shula couldn't overcome. Nevertheless, this intolerance for winning reveals the ugly nature of this decision and the Bama administration's treatment of Don Shula's son.

In the SEC, folks love to tout the toughness of the conference. It's why Shula's rival over the past four years, Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville, has been so adamant in public about the need for a playoff in college football. SEC fans all agree on a few things, amidst their internal rivalries: the conference is getting screwed, and Big East teams wouldn't stand a chance in hell if they played an SEC regular-season schedule. SEC fans will be the first to tout great defense instead of ignoring the limitations of offense. When Alabama and Shula beat Tennessee last year by a 6-3 score, all you could hear from the Capstone was how awesome the Tide's defense was, led by DeMeco Ryans and Roman Harper.

But oh, when the wins didn't come quite so quickly, Shula's conservative, old-time, smashmouth-oriented, SEC play calling--which relied on his defense to win games--suddenly became unacceptable. Being competitive in the "really tough and demanding SEC" didn't seem to matter anymore. Apparently, Shula had to win at Arkansas and Florida and Tennessee to save his job.

That, folks, is a plainly delusional worldview on the part of the Bama administration. Mal Moore must think that the earth is still flat.

The firing of Mike Shula represents the worst of human behavior in an administrative hierarchy, and it mirrors the way Notre Dame treated Tyrone Willingham a few years ago: when the Bama and Notre Dame programs had fallen into deep, dark ditches due to the stain of sorry scandals (at Notre Dame, it was the black mark of the George O'Leary resume fudging episode), the schools turned to two somewhat limited but very ethical coaches to give them positive publicity. Shula and Willingham did Bama and Notre Dame two humongous favors, and both of them managed to pull off one incredible season of football in their respective tenures, while struggling in all their other seasons in Tuscaloosa and South Bend, respectively. Yet, those great seasons (2002 for Willingham, 2005 for Shula) bought them zero leverage with the administration, and apparently with their fan bases as well. Saving the school from scandal became a gesture quickly forgotten, a good deed that would not go unpunished. As soon as on-field fortunes plummeted, these two upstanding men--desperately turned to when Bama and Notre Dame were drowning in negative publicity--got kicked to the curb, thrown into the trash can like a fading supermodel or an older factory worker who was shown no kindness by the corporate giant when an injury created a physical limitation that hampered his working ability.

Mike Shula saved Alabama's hide in 2003. No one could have expected him to do much of anything in his first two seasons. Then, in year three, he excelled. Then, after a difficult 2006, he's gone? It boggles the mind, but much worse than that, it offends every tenet of basic human decency in the world of executive decision making.

If I'm looking at the Alabama job today, I'm definitely thinking, "those are some bloodsucking opportunists over there in Tuscaloosa. Thanks but no thanks." Here's hoping that football karma runs over the dogma of a clearly inflexible and ruthless Alabama administration.

When Mike Price allegedly got a lap dance in Pensacola, Fla., the outrage at an affront to solid moral values (ah, how much that term is bandied about in red states and the Bible Belt at large--ever heard of Mark Foley, folks?) created a firestorm that pushed Price out of the Bama job. But now, after four years of solid moral values, Mike Shula--as a reward for his loyalty and integrity (and a damn fine season in 2005)--has a pink slip just before Christmas, and his growing family has to consider relocation.

The hypocrisy--and the moral cowardice--are overwhelming. I smell football politics in Tuscaloosa, and boy, does it stink. Bama brought the hammer to Mike Shula, and that smelly hammer is definitely yellow. Each time the Crimson Tide gets nailed onthe football field in future seasons, poetic justice will be served.


44 posted on 11/27/2006 2:35:11 PM PST by MikefromOhio (Prayers for my cousin Jeff and his family.)
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To: MikefromOhio

It sure is. He just issued a statement a few hours ago or so that said he has no intention of going to Bama. But he's said similar in the past regarding going the Redskins, and then he announced hours later that he was going to the Redskins.

Not sure that I like it when someone parses words so much. But we shall see.


45 posted on 11/27/2006 2:36:24 PM PST by petitfour
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To: petitfour

well let's remember that last week it was Spurrier to Miami, which he shot down pretty quickly.


46 posted on 11/27/2006 2:37:41 PM PST by MikefromOhio (Prayers for my cousin Jeff and his family.)
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To: petitfour
I love it when nationall syndicated columnists say the same things I did 5 hours earlier.....

SI.com's Stewart Mandel on the Coach Shula firing
47 posted on 11/27/2006 2:42:59 PM PST by MikefromOhio (Prayers for my cousin Jeff and his family.)
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To: MikefromOhio; petitfour

Seeing as how it is Wikipedia with the Spurrier annoucement - I would take it with a huge grain of salt. I will check the local Tide boards and see if anything is flowing on that rumor mill (The forums had the Price Firing/Shula hiring a full day before anyone else.)


48 posted on 11/27/2006 3:09:53 PM PST by commish (Freedom tastes sweetest to those who have fought to protect it.)
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To: commish; petitfour

I think that it comes down to three things...

1) will Alabama pay him enough? Probably not...

2) does he think that he'll get a free hand to get the program back on its feet? Probably he would...

3) does he think that Alabama will be ahead of South Carolina next year? I would have to say no to that one. South Carolina looks to be pretty good next year.


49 posted on 11/27/2006 3:11:59 PM PST by MikefromOhio (Prayers for my cousin Jeff and his family.)
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To: MikefromOhio

If Bama manages to grab a coach like Spurrier and goes on to WIN in the way Bama boosters expect, then all this will be forgotten. Shula is coming away from this with $4 million or $60K/month for a few years. He knew what he was getting into when he took the job. He knew how fickle the jerks are who control the purse strings are. He is a nice, good-looking guy. I'll bet he's even friends with his players. But he doesn't have the bleed until you win kind of attitude that some think is necessary to WIN.

Hubby was telling our boys about Bear Bryant over the weekend. I was too young to know all the things that Coach Bryant did in order to win. He installed barbed wire fencing around the practice field in order to KEEP PLAYERS IN. I guess he was brutal. Probably excessively so if the rule changes that hubby mentioned are any indication. But Shula did not seem to have even a quarter of the drive to win that folks at Bama expect.


50 posted on 11/27/2006 3:17:32 PM PST by petitfour
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