Sunday, November 19, 2006

Power 12: Rivalry Weekend Edition

1.) Ohio State -- oh God, let there not be a re-match with Michigan.

there seems to be quite a bit of separation between the #1 team & the rest of the nation

2.) Southern Cal -- starting to play good football at the right time. And it could likely earn them a National Championship berth. They get Notre Dame, who they have beaten 4 years in a row & whose defense stinks, at home. Then if they beat UCLA, they're in like flynn.
3.) Arkansas -- I'd rank them over USC ... except for the tiny fact that the Trojans beat them earlier in the season ... soundly ... in Fayetteville.
4.) Florida -- the Gators will drop-kick the Seminoles this weekend.
5.) Michigan -- the Wolverines get 4 more quarters with the Buckeyes if (and ONLY if) each and every one of the above three teams loses in the next 2 weeks. Which is not out of the question, BTW ...
6.) Notre Dame -- lost to Michigan. Badly. How could anyone rank them above Michigan? Therefore, how could Notre Dame win a National Championship this season? They can't.
7.) LSU -- Wouldn't be surprised if they lay yet another egg in yet another big game ... this time, with Arkansas Friday.
8.) Texas
9.) Wisconsin
10.) Rutgers -- now Rutgers must learn to handle failure. They didn't handle success very well, forgetting to show up Saturday night against Cincy after the greatest victory in their school's history. Nevertheless, they beat Louisville, who beat WVU ... and will remain this high until the Mountaineers beat them.
11.) Louisville
12.) West Virginia

I will take this opportunity, also, to voice my displeasure for the leadership of the football program at the University of Alabama.

I will always have a great deal of respect for Mike Shula for coming to Alabama when few had the spine to come (much less stay ... FRAN). He faced handicaps with the installation of his offense, handicaps with recruiting, and ... well, handicaps. I'm not sure any school has had a four-year run like Alabama's has with such a lack in injury luck.

Nevertheless, it has become crystal clear to those who follow the program that Mike Shula does not resemble the tough, good-looking young coach his father was 40 years ago. Rather, Alabama's Shula resembles very much more his brother David, who failed miserably in his seasons at the helm of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Is it too harsh to say that Shula has failed miserably in his time at Alabama? After all, the Tide did win 10 games last season & finish ranked in the top-10. To see the true nature of the Shula Regime, one must look beyond that fact to see the truth in numbers.

  • 0-4 vs. arch-rival Auburn

  • 1-3 vs. arch-rival Tennessee

  • 0-4 vs. division rival LSU

  • 1-3 vs. division rival Arkansas

  • 2-8 in Alabama's last 10 SEC games

  • 0-19 when trailing entering the 4th quarter

These simply aren't numbers of a winner.

Alabama won 10 games last year because of it's defense. And that talent has graduated and is now thriving in the NFL. Demeco Ryans is a defense rookie of the year candidate. Mark Anderson is a sack machine for the Chicago Bears. Even Roman Harper was starting for the Saints before he blew his knee out. Anyone can look pretty good when they have more talent! Heck, even Mike DuBose won an SEC Championship at Alabama when he had Shaun Alexander at running back! Shula has won ONE game in which Alabama was not expected to win -- the 2005 Florida victory. And even after the fact, we came to learn that Florida was over-rated.

Mediocrity is accepted at other University's football programs. Not at Alabama. Alabama football coaches are expected to win. And despite the handicaps, Shula should have won more by now.

Mike Shula's brother David is now the Manager of his father Don's Shula Steakhouse in Miami, FL. Perhaps they could use a co-Manager?

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