Monday, November 27, 2006

SHULA FALLOUT

For those of you that have been on a foreign planet for the last 24 hours, it has happend. Mike Shula is out at the University of Alabama.


On his way to cry on daddy's shoulder.

And you know what that means? Statements!!! Because now reporters can ask actual questions, instead of "RTRrocksforever83 said you are definitely coming to Alabama. Your reaction?"

So Spurrier put out a statement:

"I have no intention of leaving South Carolina. It's always flattering when a South Carolina coach is rumored for these big time programs. This one will die down in two or three days, too." [Emphasis, of course, added]

Meanwhile, Ivan Maisel cites a friend of Spurrier who says he's going nowhere.

Listen to Bama fans, and I encourage you to check out the message boards at tidesports.com, and this means nothing. They have Spurrier -- along with everyone else -- coming to Alabama, apparently operating under the theory that if you take enough shots into the dark, you're going to hit something. Even if it is your neighbor's dead cat. Who, at this rate, could be a candidate if they could just get the right voltage ...


It's alive! And it plans to retain Joe Kines!

In any case, because Steve Spurrier did not say, "Alabama can drop onto its knees and lick my feet, and I will still turn them down" ... HE'S STILL A CANDIDATE. HE'LL BE IN TUSCALOOSA TOMORROW FOR SURE!!!!!!!1111

Really, it's getting bizarro world over there. Nurse Ratched needs to be called in. Spurrier has apparently been seen at Tuscaloosa golf clubs that aren't open on Mondays. (No word on whether Elvis was in his foursome.) All this, despite being in Florida on recruiting trip. There have also been flights by planes linked to Bama to Texas (obviously to get Mack Brown), Arkansas (Houston Nutt), Kentucky (Bobby Petrino) and reportedly India (Ghandi).


Alabama fans need her iron fist.

Coincidentally, Spurrier's supposedly non-denial denial is a far stronger denial than what West Virginia's Rich Rodriguez said: "No I haven't been contacted by anybody. Again, I've said before I'm very happy at West Virginia and my whole focus right now is trying to win this last ballgame and then get ready for the bowl game."

This has all the elements:
--"I haven't been contacted." But my agent has.
--"Again, I've said before..." A qualifier that means the rest of what you say can be a lie and yet the statement is true, because you've said it before.
--"I'm very happy at West Virginia..." Ah, the dreaded "very happy." Being "very happy" somewhere doesn't mean you're going to stay. I'm very happy at my job -- but if the New York Times called and asked me to write a weekly CFB column, I'm on the next plane to LaGuardia.
--"...my whole focus right now..." Except, of course, for that other part of my focus, which is being held in trust by my agent right now.

In a way, this is kind of sad. A proud program is banging their heads on a rock, trying to come up with a coach, any coach, after they just canned one with a winning record and a 10-2 season under his belt.

But I'm not going to get into talking smack about what's wrong with Alabama's prestige, because that's not the issue here. Getting into that argument ignores why Spurrier will, I'm beginning to believe, stay at South Carolina.

He doesn't want tradition. He doesn't want a clear path to the SEC or national championships. Because here, he can do something for the first time. With the exception of the Redskins -- arguably the biggest mistake of his professional life -- Spurrier has never taken a head coaching job at a program with a tradition of winning championships.

It's not entirely magnamious. In fact, there's a good deal of ego mixed in. At Alabama, he would always be second fiddle. Bear Bryant will always be -- and should always be -- the gold standard. Spurrier would always be in the shadow. And he wouldn't be able to tolerate it.

Here, he can become the hero, like he was at Duke and like he was at Florida. He can once again be the GREATEST COACH IN THE HISTORY OF...

And that, in the end, is what Spurrier wants.

So, I'll still keep an eye on the Alabama search, if nothing else because it's interesting to watch the crumbling royal family destroy each other. And out of the slim chance that Spurrier might leave. But I plan on ramping it down some until I see something else that worries me.

Besides, there are bowl games to be discussed.

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