Five in a Row for Tuberville (image: AP)
I grew up a Bama fan. I want the Tide to do well. Plus, they hate everyone that Georgia hates. Success in the SEC is a zero sum game. There's only so many wins to go around. Their losses and Shula's ineptitude strengthen the programs of Tennessee and Auburn. Strong AU and UT teams cause UGA more problems.
Shula is making their lives very easy. I don't call for UGA coaches to be fired, but I've got no deep emotional ties to Bama anymore. I can stand back and say, "Hey, this guy stinks. Why should they keep him?" And I don't feel bad about asking that.
So, what has Shula really accomplished? He beat Florida 31-0 last year, and he beat Texas Tech. Otherwise, he beat the worst Tennessee team in 25 years. Is that all he really has to show for his tenure?
From an ESPN.com article written before tonight's loss to Auburn we learn the following about Shula (stats updated to reflect AU loss):
- 0-4 vs. Auburn
2-17 vs. AU, ARK, LSU, UT, UF and UGA
3-16 vs. SEC teams with winning records
4-14 vs. Ranked teams
8-20 vs. All Teams with Winning Records
18-2 vs. Teams with losing records
0-19 when trailing in the fourth quarter
Based on the stats above....how can they not? This year Bama is 6-6 against possibly the easiest schedule in the university's history. What is their signature win this year? Hawai'i? Sadly, yes.
Many people look at the difficult time that Bama had in hiring a coach last two times. But those were different times. When they replaced Coach Fran, they were facing probation. Yet, they still landed a coach (Mike Price) who had been to two Rose Bowl games, and he had won in a place no coach in history had won (WSU). Despite his lack of SEC ties and his alleged affection for ugly strippers, he was a good hire at the time.
When they replaced Price, it was a debacle. But who would want to coach at any school entering a brutal probation AND replacing the head coach AFTER Spring Practice? Shula was the best they could do then.
Bama isn't on probation now. They have some talented players; although, not enough. Bama isn't a bad job. It still has the resources and reputation to be very successful.
A $3 million buyout isn't a good reason to keep a guy that's producing these kinds of results. Just because he had one 10 win season isn't enough of a reason to keep him either.
We just gotta get butter
Basically, Mike Shula is Ray Goff...with a better vocabulary. Bama can do better.
Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa Paper weighs in with a similar opinion.