Alabama Football: Tide fans and assistant coach concerns

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

In any offseason, not following a National Championship, Alabama football fans look for recruiting salvation and demand that coaching heads roll.

There are multiple reasons this particular offseason is worse for Alabama football fans. National Championships are the measurement of success or failure for Alabama football. Some believe not winning one for two seasons is unacceptable.

Mentally munch on that for a moment. Based on the Alabama football history of winning National Championships, not winning one for two seasons should not cause alarm. The Alabama Crimson Tide played 31 seasons before ever winning a National Championship. Then two came, back-to-back after the 1925 and 1926 seasons. After a three season interval, a third came in 1930. Another three season interval was followed by a fourth National Championship in 1934.

A somewhat dubious 1941 National Championship was claimed. It did not chronologically follow six seasons of no championships. It was claimed over 50 seasons later. Even if the Alabama football program had joined the Houlgate System and claimed a title after the 1941 season, the next interval to championship success would have been long.

Eighteen seasons of no National Championships followed the 1941 season. Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant ramped up Alabama football success with National Championships in 1961, 1964 and 1965. Success waned under Bryant before other National Championships in 1973, 1978 and 1979. It took Alabama football 13 seasons to win it all again in 1992

Not long after Bryant protegé, Gene Stallings returned the Tide to glory, gloom descended on a once-great program. It would be 17 seasons before the Nick Saban revival brought another National Championship.

There are two points in this history lesson. One is, from a historical perspective, going two seasons without a championship is nothing compared against program history. The other is a reminder in 1969 and 1970, a loud contingent of Alabama football fans wanted Bryant gone. The complaints he was out-of-touch and too old began less than five years after his team should have been awarded a three-peat in 1966.

Steve Spurrier spoke of a conversation he had with Saban,

"I told him he won’t retire until he loses three games in a season. He (Saban) told me, ‘If I ever lose three games around here again, they might kill me.’ I think he was joking, but I’m not sure."

Football is deadly serious enough in Tuscaloosa to give Saban’s joke a hard edge. That edginess leaves some Alabama football fans with no patience for losing. An occasional lost game can be accepted, even an Iron Bowl once or maybe twice in a decade. Failing to win a National Championship… someone has to pay.

Some Crimson Tide fans want punishment in firings of assistant coaches. Pete Golding is the top target. Brian Baker and Karl Scott are also targeted. Charles Kelly and Kyle Flood are sometimes mentioned. We will not debate the merits of any of these coaches. Let’s leave such decisions to Nick Saban.

Next. Crimson Tide remains the Standard. dark

Our tip for this offseason is the same one Nick Saban gave to A.J. McCarron several years ago. We’ll skip the quote, but the bottom line is, trust Nick Saban.