I was really hoping for some good news today after watching Alabama implode in the final minutes against Notre Dame last night. I expected that good news to come in the form of an announcement that Rich Rodriguez would be the new head football coach at the Capstone.
...and what was I to expect really? Media outlets across the state said it was as good as done. Several even proclaimed him the new coach. (I wonder why I can't find those links right now???) I tried to temper my optimism by saying that it's never done until there's a signature on the dotted line. That's painfully true today.
While the temptation is there for me to rail against Rodriguez, I'm having a hard time mustering the energy to do so. Not because I don't think he doesn't deserve any of my venom, but mainly because I'm fed up with the way Alabama's administration has failed us again.
We've become a joke and the head coaching job at Alabama is one that it appears no one wants anymore. Could it be because of too much behind-the-scenes meddling from alumni with enormous bank accounts? Is it because of a rabid fanbase that yells "hail caesar" one moment and "crucify him" the next? Is it an overzealous media that reports every bit of minutia about the coach's life?
The truth is, I don't know. It's probably a little bit of all of that. I'll tell you what I do know though, it's not my job to figure it out. It's not yours either. It is Mal Moore's job to figure it out though.
So far, this coaching search has resulted in two coaches (Spurrier & Rodriguez) getting raises. Alabama, in the meantime, looks like some spoiled rich kid trying to buy a new best friend.
What to do now? I don't really know, but it seems like it's going to be harder and harder to get a coach...any coach...much less a really quality one at this point. This needs to be Mal's last hire.
I'm mad at myself for letting myself get my hopes raised by the media. I think season ticket holders should get a photocopy of the page of the contract that the signature is on with whoever gets hired. I'm not believing another word until I see the contract or hear it out the mouth of the new coach while he's standing in Tuscaloosa wearing an Alabama hat.
Rich Rodriguez: You played us well. Congrats on your raise. I can't be too mad at you I guess since the whole world plays potential employers off of each other to get themselves a bigger, better deal. I just hate that it was at our expense. I hope you get your agent a nice Christmas present.
To West Virginia and their fans: Congratulations. You were able to hold onto your guy. I can't fault you all for your feelings of anger and confusion over the last several days. I'd certainly hate to see someone flashing money around trying to entice a beloved coach away from here. It'd rub the wrong way too. I don't hold anything against you.
So...it's back to the drawing board Bama nation. I'm not going to lie and say that I'm not incredibly disappointed. I was looking forward to seeing an actual, real, live offense on the field in '07. Who knows...maybe we can still find one of those before too long.
Despite the frustration and the sting of disappointment...
ROLL TIDE FOREVER!