December 12, 2006

Ask the expert: Alabama

In the first of several planned content swaps with, we asked BOL team expert Matt Scalici five questions about Oklahoma State's opponent in the Independence Bowl on December 28.

1) How did Mike Shula's firing affect the Tide's psyche?

It was a tumultuous and disturbing event for the team, particularly many of the younger players who were recruited by Shula. Sophomore quarterback John Parker Wilson got choked up reading Shula's farewell statement in front of the press. It could have been a very damaging event for the team had Alabama not named Joe Kines interim head coach. Kines is a strong personality and has clearly helped the team move past Shula's firing and focus on the future. Several players have commented that their practices with Kines at the helm are the best they've ever had.

2) Can you give OSU fans a brief synopsis of where Alabama's search to replace Shula currently stands? Is the hope of A.D. Mal Moore to have a coach hired before the Independence Bowl?

Alabama was thrown for a major loop on Friday when most Tide fans woke up believing Rich Rodriguez would be the new head coach only to have the door slammed in their faces later that same day. Right now, there are a number of candidates being mentioned but none that are considered an overwhelming favorite. Moore has set no timeline on the hiring and in fact many believe that it could be the end of the NFL regular season on December 31st before a deal is done.

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