Frank Haith

So, there seems to be some weight to these recent reports that Frank Haith of Miami, FL  could be up for the Alabama basketball job:

In fact, an industry source told CBSSports.com on Thursday that Haith is interested in the opening, and that he’d absolutely leave Miami if presented with a respectable offer. Furthermore, the source said former Alabama coach CM Newton — who is assisting the school in its search for Mark Gottfried’s permanent replacement — has privately backed Haith’s candidacy, meaning Haith is a realistic option if for no other reason than that Newton has tremendous influence at Alabama (and in the SEC, in general).

Color me excited *sarcasm*

Look, I understand that coaching at Miami is a tough job. Add in ACC competition, and I can understand that a good coach in that league could come over and look better in the SEC (at least this season). Yet one thing seems to bug me about Haith………..hmmm……. can’t put my finger on it… oh yeah, his teams at Miami haven’t been that great.  The Hurricanes made the NCAA tournament last season (lost in the 2nd round to Texas), but not much else has happened down there. In fact, Miami brought back some core guys from that team, and ended up 7-9 in the ACC and out of the first round of the conference tournament.

Coach Haith wants to prove that Miami can play with the big boys, so he wore his daddy’s suit.

Why not go after Leonard Hamilton of Florida State? He’s been coaching basketball at a football school, and has connections to Dave Hart. It seems to me that Alabama could find a basketball coach with a better resume than Frank Haith. If Mike Anderson , Leonard Hamilton, or Anthony Grant tell you no, then I can understand looking at Haith. Yet it seems to me there are more coaches out there with more to offer (wether it be experience, excitement, or potential).

So what say you? Haith or no Haith?

Anthony Brock is Awesome

Well done sir!

NCAA + Me = Fetal Position

Ugh…..

The allegation against Alabama stand as Failure to Monitor (which means that one or two of our compliance people didn’t do enough on the front end to make sure who got what textbook). Honestly, I wonder why the heck we pay these people if they can’t get the proper controls to WORK!

To the University’s credit, we did an extensive Internal Audit and provided more detail to the NCAA than initially found, some of it
Dating back to 2005-06

 

Now, the University has sent their response, which is too long to link, but one important fact hangs out there (LINK):

 

“In stating what this case is, it is also important to recognize what it is not. This is not a case of intentional misconduct by coaches, institutional employees or boosters. No other type of NCAA rules violations were discovered. No one made a financial profit from the textbook violations – books were received or acquired in violation of the rules, but no one sold the book or materials for cash. Moreover, no one obtained materials other than materials of an academic nature.”

What started all of this was that certain student athletes reserved books and basic supplies under their names for buddies/ girlfriends/ boyfriends. They’d provide the list to the Supply Store, and would recieve their books. The key is that they didn’t sell the books, and would be charged cash if they did not return them.

Now I doubt the 2007 textbook stuff will be that big of an issue…. at least in my head. Our players served their suspension and were reinstated by the NCAA. The problem comes with the 2005-06 date, which is under that window of repeat offender status.

Personally, I expect a few extra years (2-3) of probationary status, which means we need to be extra careful near the Will Colliers of the world (you know, the types that ignore their own program’s wrong-doing in order to hammer the opposition to get an edge). Therefore, I think it would benefit the University of Alabama greatly to hire an outside auditing firm to externally analyze our NCAA compliance control system. I’ve been told the law firm we’ve retained can provide such services, but I did not see anything like that listed on their website. My friend at The Capstone Report did inform me that the SEC provides such an audit as well, but we all see how effective that turned out to be.

Now for a little ranting, for venting purposes only….

Look, I understand we aren’t squeaky clean, like the rest of the SEC. Yet one question remains: why are we the only ones GIVING info of transgressions to the NCAA that they would have never known about in the first place? They could have dug, but that wasn’t a certainty.

It’s not that I think we should have never played ball with them, but I wonder why the other SEC programs seem to get by without a single hiccup.

Furthermore, if the NCAA hammers us hard for this, I will literally protest in Indianapolis, Indiana. I understand that we goofed up, but trying to make us the example YET AGAIN when other programs hand out free grades, homes for player’s families, and $100 hand shakes seems awfully rediculous. You have to wonder what the purpose of the NCAA actually is. We were a big name in history the last few years, but were not one of the marketable big names ala USC and Ohio State. It sickens me really.

Yet the thing that is most absurd about this whole deal is that it happened at all. After all of the heart ache and pain from Albert Means, Mal Moore, the UA Administration and NCAA Compliance Dept. should have all gone over everything with a fine toothed comb to make sure UA was doing an impeccable job of preventing NCAA violations. I feel let down, but in the same time defeated because I feel as though there is nothing I’ll ever be able to do in the long run.

Stoking the Fire

So yeah……… Alabama hired Jame Willis out of Auburn. As if 36-0 wasn’t enough to earn eternal hatred in Auburn, Nick Saban has now entered evil mastermind status on the plains. Nick Saban has once again stoked the fires of this rivalry.

WOOOOSH! McElroy to Maze! WOOOOSH! Sign the contract here, James. WOOOOSH!

Saban Set to Hire Sal Sunseri (Carolina Panthers)

It appears that Nick Saban has found a new assistant coach. Yes, it is Sal Sunseri………. if you had that pick, please sit at the front of the class.

Weve hired the aged version of Jake Lamotta from Raging Bull

We've hired the aged version of Jake Lamotta from Raging Bull

Crimson Confidential has the story up. I don’t know much about the guy, but he has Saban connections, and has had some success as a Defensive Line coach in the NFL (more than Orgeron could say). Sunseri made an immediate impact at Carolina, sending three of four starters to at least one Pro Bowl since becoming defensive line coach in 2003. His Defensive Lines have been a strong point for the Panthers since his arrival. He was also the interim head coach at Pittsburgh for one bowl game in Hawaii.

Utah beats Alabama in Sugar Bowl

Not much to say. We looked flat, and Utah seemed to want it more. This isn’t Boise-Oklahoma, because at least that had some memorable moments. This game was a flat team against a fired up team with something to prove.  Saban usually prepares his teams for this kind of thing, but a slow defensive start and a shattered Offensive Line did not perform with a high level of intensity. For the first time this year, we were absolutely beaten down on the line of scrimmage. Utah brought in a great game. They knew their size would never match-up to our size, but they had speed and a lot of misdirection that really gave us some issues. Hats off to Coach Whittingham and company.

I know, some will be disappointed…. I know I am. But let’s be honest, if your worst loss of the year is to an undefeated top 5 school, then something must be going right. Oh, and your other loss happens to be to a team playing for a National Championship. Year 2 is still way ahead of schedule. John Parker Wilson, Antoine Caldwell, and the Senior led us to a great season that ended poorly, but 2008 was still a very big step in the right direction.

On another note, I do understand that there will be some detractors that will be laughing at us. Somebody just sent this link to me in an e-mail, and it makes me chuckle because it is a sign that the pecking order in this state has shifted in Alabama’s favor.

toomers2

if you celebrate the fact that your in-state rival lost in a $15,000,000 bowl game by performing your “greatest” tradition when they lose a game, then you probably blog for the Auburner. What’s even funnier is the fact that they think it is a huge failure because we “only” finished 12-2 with a coach in his 2nd year (winning over 70% of his games during those 2 years).

As for Andre Smith, I don’t blame him for this. While it is true we really needed him, he didn’t miss any of those tackles, including that tackle on 3rd and 10 that resulted in a TD for Utah. If he goes pro, I’ll always cheer for the guy.

So that’s that. I could talk about JPW, but that deserves an entire post all in itself. He’s done a lot, and never once asked for your approval. He tried hard, having both good and bad moments. I’ll also give an opinion or two on our usually trustworthy defense. Until then, Roll Tide, and let’s get to another BCS game.

GAAAAAH!!!!!!

Andre…… GAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!

You Stay Classy, Patrick Fain Dye

Pat Dye has come full circle after his career as a football coach. He was out of the picture for the last few years after jetgate, but he seems to be back in full form. Back in his full, talking smack while playing dumb form.

From the Clarion Ledger-Enquirer:

Dye said don’t be scared by Chizik’s recent failure.

“His record don’t make any difference,” Dye said after the news conference. “Coach Bryant won one game his first year at Texas A&M. Coach Jordan won seven his first two years at Auburn. His record, that record don’t mean nothing. We hired a man and a coach, not a record.”

OK, so the object is not to win? If the record does not count, why is Tuberville, a man who won 85 games and lost 40 in 10 seasons, gone after a 5-7 season?

But Dye was not through making his point that you should look past what happened at Iowa State. He pointed north to coach Nick Saban and Alabama.

“Saban went 6-6 last year and got his a– beat by Louisiana-Monroe at Alabama,” Dye said. “Can you imagine that? Huh? You think those Alabama people were proud of Saban when they walked out and got their a– beat by Louisiana-Monroe. It happens, you know?”

Pat would’ve done his usual abruptly subtle dig at Nick Saban (trust me, that term makes sense when you talk Pat Dye), but he was too busy trying to find his pants.

Insert your favorite Pat Dye lost his pants joke

There are two issues I happen to take with what PFD said. I’ll start with the lesser of the two evils.

If we’re bringing up failures, why don’t we talk about these three coaches and their seconds years at their respective programs. Paul Bryant did struggle his first year at Texas A&M as he cleared house during his famous Junction days. But, he built that program back up quickly, going  7-2-1 in his 2nd season. Shug Jordan went 5-5 his first year, and did only win 2 games during his 2nd season. So yes, he only won 7 games. But, he inherited a program that had only won 3 games in the 3 seasons before Shug got to Auburn.

Saban’s predicament was a little bit different. He did lose to Monroe, something that will bug me to no end. But, he made progress quickly, winning 13 games in a row after the Iron Bowl loss . So 7-6 was followed by 12-1. His toughest job wasn’t in an actual physical ability of his players (although we all wanted to believe it), but a mental rot that had been building up during the Shula years. BTW, he won 7 games, not 6 (unless you want to specify regular season). He should have cut off a few players earlier than he did, but he was ultimately successful in pulling off yet another turn around of a college program.

Secondly, I get the feeling that Coach Dye is ignoring the larger issue. It isn’t the fact that you hired a coach with a 5-19 record-even though it highlights the awfulness of what the AU power brokers did-  that has your fans up in arms. It’s the fact that Auburn fired a proven entity with a great record in order for the Board buddies to retain full control of Auburn football!

Though I pull for the Tide, I must admit that Auburn fans deserve better than this move. A majority of them wanted an up and coming coach named Turner Gill, and now they must suffer through ESPN and Paul Finebaum dragging their program’s name through the mud because of a small group of men. I know this type of hire will help Alabama in recruiting, but Saban will get who Saban will get. If the players around here don’t want to go to Auburn, they could pick Georgia, Florida, or Tennessee. It’ll help in state, but there are still plenty of top notch schools out there for his to battle.

But who knows. Maybe Chizik will work out. He is certainly well respected as a Defensive mind, and could have success if he finds a big time Offensive Coordinator. But I have a feeling people like Pat Dye will have their hands in who New Coke hires, so it could turn out to be worse than it already is for Auburn fans everywhere.

One Last Iron Bowl Post

Oh, that felt nice. Very, very nice. 6 years of watching Tuberville make snide comments, holding up fingers across the ocean, and celebrating on our midfield logo have come to an end. Instead of getting #7 in a row, he gets career loss #7 against Alabama and the 7th loss of this 2008 season for his Auburn Tigers.

I guess I should give him his due. He came in trying to motivate his team with his behavior the past week. He was cool, collected, and even cocky up until the start of the eventual beat down. They say pride always comes before the fall. If that is the case, Tubs fell hard.

t-tub

How many co-SEC West championships do we want?!

Speaking of pride, I must brag on John Parker Wilson. He’s suffered criticism from all sorts, including comments on this very blog (not as negative as others, but still critical). He came up huge this year as a leader. He isn’t a Tebow or Stafford, but he’s the only one who has managed an offense to a 12-0 regular season.

I’ve never understood why Auburn fans referred to him as Sarah Jessica Parker Wilson, because he’s been one of the toughest QBs in the league since his 1st SEC start. He runs up the middle, doesn’t shy away from making tough blocks, and always tries to fight out of Sacks (sometime too much, as seen in the 2007 game against LSU). In fact, he broke out of a few sacks to make some nice 1st down plays against Auburn. Sarah Jessica no more, because he’s earned it and then some.

But enough about the Iron Bowl. It was a nice win, and I will certainly enjoy not having to suffer the modern day “Punt Bama Punt” for a few days, but it is time to focus on a game with much more importance. Yes, I’m talking about the SEC Championship game against the Florida Gators.

Some feel that Alabama will suffer a fate worse than Georgia at the Cocktail Party. Others think that Alabama is built to beat a team like Florida. Tim Tebow and Chris Rainey are VERY talented, and we will certainly need a big time performance from our Defense. Florida’s D-Line seems to be suffering from the injury bug, so I hope our O-line can continue to create holes and protect John Parker Wilson.

I’ve been so happy with this season so far, I’m almost ready to say I could live an ok life from here on out if we lost this game. But that was the old Bama mindset. The new Bama mindset involves discipline as you strive to beat the guy in front of you for 60 minutes. The new Bama mindset requires focus and tenacity every single play of every single drive. Bama teams of the recent past would’ve been happy to sit on a lead of 10-0 over an arch-rival, but not this one.

I know we’re capable of winning it all, and so is Florida. If we play hard and get beat in the end, I’ll be ok in a few days. But I want this one, and I want it bad. Something tells me that Nick Saban and company want it even more than I ever will.

Saban Shows Up LSU and More

I’m back, for a short while anyways. Too busy and tired to do too much, but I must say I am really pumped after last Saturday’s win. Even though people have been finding different types of adversity for Alabama to face, I think they’ve covered most everything. Two early turnovers put Alabama in a 14-7 hole. But, as possible champions do, we found a way to win. Rashad Johnson, John Parker Wilson, Julio Jones, and Glen Coffee were key players in that victory. Now that I think about it, it is much more enjoyable to give LSU fans false hope, only to rip out their hearts at the very end.

So sweet

Oh, and in case you were wondering, both Alabama and Georgia got a little bit of bulletin board material from Brad Lester:

“I feel like if we win these last two games, it won’t be as bad as it really seems. Last year, we had four losses. This year, we’ll have five if we win out.”

But, really, is that possible?

“I have no doubt in my mind,” Lester said. “We should beat both teams by a good amount of points. I feel real confident about it.”

Well Brad, I guess all I’ll say is see you on the field.