Radio host, columnist, and Tennessee alum Paul Finebaum continues to lead the redneck-jihad for the job of Mike Shula. Finebaum blithely ignores the main fact concerning Alabama’s mediocre showing this year; that Alabama doesn’t have enough good football players to compete in the most competitive conference in the country. Nope, Finebaum’s screeds are devoid of any facts, save stats pointing out that Alabama isn’t very good, a point most fans are aware of, and that doesn’t surprise the knowledgeable in the least.
Finebaum’s disdain for Coach Shula is obviously personal. Whether it’s because Shula doesn’t want to be his pal, or doesn’t trust him because he’s a UT alum, is anybody’s guess. I find it odd that a UT alum is as immersed in Alabama football as Finebaum is, but ‘Bama is known for football, and not for brains.
Now, thanks to win-at all-costs folks like Finebaum, Alabama is as famous for cheating as for winning championships. Coach Shula, whatever else he may be, is a man of integrity that won’t condone that sort of bullshit on his watch. Could that be part of Paul Finebaum’s problem with Mike Shula?
Let me break it down for the rednecks and inbreds that make up the “fire Shula” camp. The crimson jerseys aren’t magical. If there aren’t enough high-quality, scholarship athletes filling the crimson jerseys, the Crimson Tide isn’t going to be successful. Alabama is down 21, count them, 21, scholarship athletes. That means that 21 of the crimson jerseys are filled with sub-standard football players.
If you’re mathematically challenged, and big numbers like 21 trouble you, think of it in different terms. If Alabama had two or three more quality offensive lineman, a couple more quality defensive lineman, another good back, an additional quality receiver, and a few more good athletes on defense, do you think they’d have gone six and six this year? Of course not. Do you think they’d be down 21 athletes if part of the fan base wasn’t comprised of out of control, win-at-all-costs fans? Of course not.
When, not if, Alabama is caught cheating again, it’ll mean the death penalty for one of college football’s most storied programs. It won’t happen on Coach Shula’s watch. But fire Shula now and replace him with anyone of less stature than a Steve Spurrier, and it’ll happen soon thereafter. The win-at-all-cost mindset will have prevailed. Auburn will then be the dominant football power in the state for the rest of the century, instead of the century’s first decade.