AU & UA Football have seen highs & lows - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

AU & UA Football have seen highs & lows

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The line "what have you done for me lately" always applies to college football coaches. You win, they love you.

You lose, you have to go. This year certainly was not Auburn's year. But, Alabama has had seasons of misery too.

For big time SEC Programs like Auburn and Alabama, you're only as good as your last season. 

"We weren't winning as much as Alabama fans are used to", former Alabama football player Simeon Castille remembers of his time playing under former coach Mike Shula.

Shula went 26 and 23 in his four years at Alabama before being fired and replaced by coach Nick Saban.

Castille says a coaching change can make a big difference.

"It was bittersweet, to have a guy (Shula) that you've been around for three years go, but at the same time, you knew the kind of caliber of coach (Saban) that we're bringing in," recalls Castille. "So you're like, well I feel like (Saban) is going to be able to take us to the level that we're going to get."

In two seasons, Nick Saban gave the Crimson Tide a national championship. It was Auburn's turn to hold the crystal ball in 2010.

Now, two years removed from that championship, the 2012 season was a dismal 3-9 with no wins in the SEC. Coach Gene Chizik is gone.

"When (Auburn) won the national championship, you go back and look, the five senior starting linemen, were recruited by (former head coach) Tommy Tuberville" says Max Howell, co-host of 97.3 The Zone's "Fourth Quarter" sports talk show.

Howell played football at Auburn and spent years coaching before becoming a commentator.

He says, there can be a power struggle between coaches and administrators -- which can lead to tumultuous seasons.

"If in fact, the people in power (at Auburn) will relinquish that (power) and hire the right guy, to build the program from within. That's where it has to start, from within. In administration and then with the right recruits to come to that program," Howell explains.

However, Howell admits the highs and lows of a football program can be expected in the powerful Southeastern Conference

"In the Southeastern Conference, you don't have to be down for long, because it's so competitive, money is available for facilities, for travel, they can pay the coaches for whatever the market bears," says Howell.

 

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