Five People That Brought Down Shula

Since the hiring of Nick Saban, it seems a lot has transpired. Recently, I’ve been wondering who really played the biggest roles in removing Mike Shula as coach, leading to the hiring of Nick Saban. Today, I will provide you with my not so professional list of the people who played the biggest roles in Shula’s demise in countdown form. I do this to take up some time until football season starts. Here we go:

5. Juwan Simpson– While the Simpson situation could’ve been a strong moment for Mike Shula, it turned out being one of his worst. Allowing Juwan to play after being pulled over with a gun and marijuana in his possesion, Mike Shula left Simpson in suspension limbo for over a month. Allowing Simpson to make that infamous ice cream comment frustrated certain Bama fans so much that they could hardly contain themselves. When Simpson played against Hawaii, the final pieces of the puzzle regarding Shula’s departure were beginning to fall into place. Mike Shula attempted to rectify the situation by keeping Simpson from playing later in the season, but it was too late.

4. Tyrone Prothro– Had Tyrone been able to stay healthy, you have to wonder how many close games Alabama could’ve won under Mike Shula. He was the SEC’s best answer to Reggie Bush. Without Prothro, the Alabama offense looked down right embarrassing at times, even with record setting players (Croyle, Hall, & Darby). Opposing defenses did not have to worry about the threat of #4, allowing them to knock around Brodie Croyle and John Parker Wilson like a rag dolls.

3. Tommy Tuberville– Yes, we have to give the Auburn coach credit somehow. For me, the biggest blow from Tuberville wasn’t running around with 4 to 5 fingers, or winning 5 in a row. It was that 2005 Iron Bowl where Auburn completely buried Alabama. That game exposed Mike Shula’s Alabama program worse than any other game during his 4 year span. Mix that with an off season of thumbs and you have yourself a perturbed fan base.

2. Paul Finebaum– He is an influential man in the SEC, and this is just another example of him flexing his muscles. After the Juwan “I like vanilla” Simpson debacle, Finebaum started a long tactical assault on Mike Shula. Of course, it never hurt Finebaum’s argument when Shula and Alabama suffered embarrassment after embarrassment during the 2006 season. The PFRN reaches across the entire state (and parts of the souteast), allowing many Bama fans to engage in an open debate about Mike Shula.

1. Mike Shula– As Nathaniel Branden once said, “The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” Had Shula been willing to just fire one assistant coach, I imagine he would still be here for at least one more year. But, he refused to change his ways and was let go. Many fans remember the horrors of the offensive play calling, his coaching staff, the Simpson saga, 0-4 against Auburn, and that dreadful jumbo package. He also allowed two of his better players to be injured because they stayed in too long during blowouts. He may have lost the majority of the fans after the MSU loss, but there were those who could see problems long before that dreadful day. So, he was fired, and Saban was hired.

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9 Responses to “Five People That Brought Down Shula”

  1. Dave(not that one, the other one) Says:

    Would you put Croom at Number 6?

  2. TonyOrlando Says:

    Excellent, excellent post.

    Shula developed decisiveness at exactly the wrong time; when the time came to stand up to someone, he chose his boss. And the tide rolls on…

  3. Todd Says:

    I’d have to add Bob Connelly to that list. With any semblance of a functioning O-Line, Alabama had a chance at winning at least five or six more games under Shula.

  4. Nico Says:

    I’d have to have Croom on the list. Shula wasn’t going to hang on to the job for long, but I’m firmly convinced his job was officially over that day.

  5. Capstonereport Says:

    On the topic of decisiveness, I’d like to say, Shula stood up to the Alabama fans at the end of his first season. Remember when everyone wanted Shula to fire Kines because everyone hated his defense?

    I thought Shula was right for saying NO to the fans. In my mind it made him a strong leader.

    Of course, we’d soon find out it wasn’t leadership, but stubborness that was most characteristic of Shula’s failed bid as a head coach. Oh, and arrogance. He was probably the most arrogant person to coach at UA—more than Saban—more than Bryant.

  6. Michael Roberson Says:

    Are you guys adding Croom to the list because he should have been the tide coach in the first place? Thats my stand point.
    Shula`s a good guy & will probably be a great coach one day;
    but he had absolutely no experiance & couldnt handle a situation of that magnitude.
    Anyone with football sense knew Croom was much more quilified &
    equiped to run the program.

  7. Brandon Smith Says:

    Michael, Shula will not be a great coach one day. He’s been doing this since he got out of college in ’86. The teams he’s coached have had some of the worst offenses in that respective team’s history (see Tampa Bay/Bama/Jacksonville this year). Any time he’s had a hand in calling the plays the offense has been completely atrocious. His father is/was a conservative play guy when you could get away with it. You MUST mix it up these days. I think Shula is a good man, but his discipline is/was questionable at best. Allowing Bob Connelly to use the schemes he did baffles me. You DO NOT pull a man on the goal line. Period. It’s just stupid… Ask any team in 2006 that made us kick a field goal.

  8. Nico Says:

    I’m saying Croom because of the loss at BDS in ’06. The only two other teams MSU beat last year were UAB (in overtime) and Jacksonville State.

  9. TideDruid Says:

    We can count Croom as 3B


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