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Tuesday Question - Do you want the Bama job?
Posted Dec 12, 2006

Tuesday Question ... Do you want the Alabama head coaching job?

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Pete Fiutak           
Q: Do you want the Alabama job?

A: Bring it on.

I know the expectations are unrealistic and the pressure is unbelievable, but name the big-time head coaching job that's a walk in the park? If you want no pressure at the moment, go take the Idaho gig.

If Auburn can recruit well and win, then so can Alabama. If I get the job, I go back to what Tide fans want and make sure the defense is a rock. The 2005 team won because it stopped everyone, and got every break in the book. Next, I'd make sure the running game is working. Really working. I'll sell the top running back recruits that the star of my team will be a national superstar as the focal point of the offense. In other words, I want the offense to be Arkansas of this year. If all that fails, I'll blame the Shula era and claim I need the full four years to get all "my guys" in.

Then I'll leave and take over at Texas A&M in 2009.

Richard Cirminiello  
Q: Do you want the Alabama job?

A: Unless I’m already at a first-rate school, without hesitation.  Okay, so maybe ‘Bama thinks it’s Jennifer Garner when it’s really Jennifer Bealls, but this is still a great head coaching opportunity.  It’s a chance to coach in the SEC at an institution that has one of the strongest traditions and fan bases in all of college football.  Compensation will be more than competitive, as will the facilities in Tuscaloosa.  Sure, Auburn has made inroads in recent years, but this is still a red state, particularly when the Tide is rolling.  Just because Mike Shula couldn’t produce more than six wins this year does not mean you’d be inheriting a rebuilding job.  The current roster has a nice mix of young players, including a returning starter at quarterback and future stars on both sides of the ball in offensive tackle Andre Smith and linebacker Prince Hall.  As far as the unreasonable expectations and ghost of the Bear—big freakin’ deal.  Those are challenges I’d embrace in order to lead such a storied football program.  Anyway, who’d want to work someplace where the expectations are tempered or the boosters and student body canonize you for winning seven games and earning an invitation to the Fly By Night Bowl?  The flip side of that immense pressure and enormous expectations is the potential to be that guy that brings the glory back to the ‘Bama program, which is even more intoxicating than the seven-digit salary and lucrative weekly television shows.  Look at Pete Carroll at USC or Jim Tressel at Ohio State.  They’re gods for raising the bar.  How about Charlie Weis at Notre Dame?  He’s been pounded by Ohio State, Michigan and USC this calendar year, but even hints of yesteryear have earned him the genius tag in certain circles.  I want a chance to be that guy. I want a chance to get Alabama football back to where it belongs.

John Harris             
Q: Do you want the Alabama job?

A. Absolutely, I’d love to have the job at Alabama, but I can completely see why certain coaches are turning it down.  However, this isn’t a football coaching question, as much as it is a question on risk management, ego and job security. 

How many people would take a job, say CEO of a major corporation with a meddling board of directors and unrealistic expectations of performance in the market place, when that individual is currently the CEO of a company that’s performing better, has more opportunity to be successful, where that person is wildly successful right now?  Shoot, pick an occupation – teacher, banker or candlestick maker.  The answer is still not many.  Now, add in the fact that most coaches are risk aversive by nature and it’s a volatile combination that doesn’t seemingly bode well for Alabama. 

But, coaches also have egos and if you could convince a coach that he could be a fixture at a university or a legend, well, maybe he’s listening.  That would have my attention.  Now, at Alabama, the place at the head table reserved for Bear Bryant is locked away forever, but it doesn’t mean he can’t handle a dinner companion.  Many thought that USC would never have a head coach on par with John McKay again, but Pete Carroll has carved his own niche in that program’s history.  Nebraska was never going to survive with that Osborne character following legendary Bob Devaney in the 1970s, right?  Uh, wrong.  And, at Penn State, okay, bad example.  The point is that greatness can happen at a place where a legend once resided.

If I’m worth my salt at all as a coach, I let ego take over and turn the Tide into the power it can still be.  I’m going to get paid.  I have great facilities.  I have one of the most fertile recruiting areas in the nation.  If I can’t win, it’s my own fault.  The last thing coaches in the SEC want is someone with a vision and a passion, with a little riverboat gambler in him, to take over that program tomorrow.  Who that is and where he is, hard to say, but he’s out there.

Matthew Zemek       
Q: Do you want the Alabama job?

A: No way in hell. Who wants a merciless, delusional employer who expects you to be the next Bear Bryant and will fire you if you're not able to live up to the Houndstooth hat?