Interesting read. Show's you one good year only buys you so much in the SEC. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Shula Alabama Mike Shula was hired as head coach at Alabama in May 2003 after the termination of Mike Price. At the time of his arrival, the program was in great turmoil despite a 10-3 record the previous year. In that year, the program had been hammered by NCAA sanctions, and lost Dennis Franchione to Texas A&M, and subsequently fired Mike Price due to his off-field actions. At the time, he was the second-youngest coach in all of Division I-A football, at age 38. He was hired on a six-year, $5.4 million contract. 2003 – With the loss of several players from the 2002 team, and an offense that was not fully installed due to time constraints, Alabama suffered through a 4–9 season in 2003. The season was marked by close losses and fourth quarter collapses. In games decided by one score or less, Alabama was 0–6 on the season. Alabama lost overtime games to Arkansas and Tennessee, and generally seemed to be close but not close enough to breaking through virtually all season. 2004 – The 2004 season got off to a quick start with Alabama quickly moving to 3–0 with blowout wins over Middle Tennessee, Mississippi, and Western Carolina. However, against Western Carolina, star quarterback Brodie Croyle tore his right ACL on a pass attempt, ending his season. The injury effectively marked the beginning of the end for the 2004 season. The offense sputtered the rest of the way while suffering even more injuries to several other key players. Starting tailback Ray Hudson suffered a season ending knee injury three weeks later against Kentucky, and starting fullback Tim Castille also suffered a season ending knee injury the following week in the fourth quarter against Tennessee. Backup quarterback Marc Guillon and backup tailback Kenneth Darby were also sidelined due to injuries. Alabama hobbled down the stretch to finish the year 6–6. By the time of the Iron Bowl, the Crimson Tide had a third-string quarterback, with a fourth-string tailback, two true freshman wide receivers, and a true freshman tight end. The season was, like the year before, marred by close losses. Shula did, however, lead Alabama to its first bowl game since the 2001 season, with a berth in the 2004 Music City Bowl against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Alabama lost the game after the third-string quarterback Spencer Pennington sailed a pass over the head of Tyrone Prothro, who was open in the back of the endzone, and failed to convert on a 4th-and-5. 2005 – The 2005 season would see fortunes turn around for Shula and his Alabama team. Despite a catastrophic leg injury suffered by star wide receiver Tyrone Prothro, Alabama went 10–2 with a victory in the 2006 Cotton Bowl Classic over the Mike Leach-led Texas Tech Red Raiders. The season included blowout wins over Florida and South Carolina, and also included a 6–3 win in a defensive classic over rival Tennessee. Alabama was ranked third in the nation and in the National Championship chase before losing at home in overtime to LSU and by rival Auburn on the road. The relative success gave Shula his first 10–win season in just his third year as head coach and also extended Alabama's lead in respect to having the most 10–win seasons of any program in the nation. Furthermore, the Cotton Bowl Classic appearance and victory extended Alabama's lead in playing in, and winning, more bowl games than any other major school. The Tide finished the season ranked eighth in the nation. Following the season, the university gave Shula a contract extension—6 years, $1.8 million per year. 2006 – Although few expected Alabama to win 10 games again in 2006, expectations generally still called for a solid eight or nine win season. The Tide jumped out of the gate playing well, moving to 3–0 on the heels of clutch kicking and the solid quarterback play of John Parker Wilson. The team suffered two consecutive losses to the Arkansas Razorbacks and, the eventual national champion, Florida Gators. The Tide struggled the rest of the year, as the offense could not consistently move the ball once inside the red zone, and the defense played below previous standards. The Tide lost to rivals Tennessee after leading for over fifty minutes. Alabama ended the season by losing their final three games to Mississippi State at home, LSU, and their fifth consecutive loss to rivals Auburn, ending with a 6–6 record. On November 26, one week after the Iron Bowl loss, Alabama athletic director Mal Moore notified Mike Shula that he would not be retained as the University of Alabama's head football coach for the 2007 season. The University of Alabama had to pay Shula $4 million left on his contract after they fired him.