ALABAMA: WILL HIRE FOR FOOD. AND $12 MILLION.
The Alabama coaching search went from coup to disaster today when Coach Rich Rodriguez, apparently discovering his soul while checking the mailbox this morning, decided to stay with his alma mater and "never gonna leave as long as they'll have me" job at West Virginia.
So, just to review:
This doesn't include the four or five other coaches who, as soon as their name showed up on the same sports page as Alabama, almost immediately said, "I'm not interested."
It seems that, to honor the school's 12 national championships, Alabama is going to attempt to be rejected by an equal number of coaches.
Part of it, I honestly think, is the complete and total unwillingness of a vocal segment of the Crimson Tide fan base to tolerate anything other than 10 wins and SEC title contention every year. They don't seem to realize that, as good a coach as the Bear was, he had one crucial edge that current coaches don't have: As long as he had the money, he could offer the scholarships. Now, there are limits, which means fewer top-notch players for the Tide and more top-notch players for their opposition. Alabama will never enjoy the same success that the Bear enjoyed. No team in college football ever will.
But if your expectations for the coach's results are unreasonable, your expectations for a coach are also going to be unreasonable. So instead of trying to strike out and find a hidden coach at a mid-major or at the coordinator level, Alabama has tried to buy off other teams' coaches. They're not the only guilty party in this regard -- that would be you I'm talking about, N.C. State -- but they are the most brazen offenders, offering the most obscene amounts of money.
Miami, meanwhile, a program who might or might not have tried to lure either Spurrier or Rodriguez to the sidelines and did go after Greg Schiano, decided to give defensive coordinator Randy Shannon a shot. In addition to adding another African-American coach to the NCAA Division I-A ranks, with the total now standing at six, it gives the program some continuity. But how Miami passed up Bernie Kosar, I'll never know.
To an extent, as an Auburn and SEC fan, I want Bama to come back at least a little. It's no fun when the villian isn't any good; nobody hated the Yankees in 1980s because they were just bad.
At least they had Don Mattingly.
One intelligent suggestion I saw on Bama message boards, whom the Tide faithful would probably never accept, was Middle Tennessee State coach Rick Stockstill. The school could remove the Croom whispers by giving Florida DC Charlie Strong a look. Larry Coker's a decent guy that might be able to put something together in Tuscaloosa, as long as he wasn't allowed to recruit his own quarterbacks.
But there's also a current head coach with SEC experience who might be willing to leave his job up Nawth...
Alabama head coach; that has a nice ring to it.